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Live Wisely

Can Dogs Get Skin Cancer?

ANSWER: Sadly, yes.

We were as disappointed as you are to find this out. In fact, the common forms we develop are what also affect them – melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma. Although most dog breeds are at risk, Jill Abraham, a board-certified veterinary dermatologist in New York City, told the Skin Cancer Foundation that the ones with “light-colored, short coats and less hair on the belly” are the most vulnerable. Before you start slathering sunscreen on your dog (Yes, you can put sunscreen on a dog), there are a few tips to help your furry companion live a safer life in the sun.

Limit Sun Exposure

Like us, dogs can get sunburned. Ever notice when a dog’s skin looks a little red after coming back inside? Sunburn. We all know how much they love laying out in the backyard sunbathing in the grass, but limiting the amount of time they have in direct sunlight during the strongest hours (between 10am and 4pm) is crucial. Helping encourage them to shady areas is a very good compromise to beating the sun.

Sunscreen

We weren’t kidding! Dogs 100% can wear sunscreen and it is actually strongly recommended by Richard Goldstein, DVM and chief medical officer of the Animal Medical Center in New York City.

A dog’s skin can be damaged by the sun just like our own, so they require the same protection against the development of sunburn and skin cancer.

Richard Goldstein, DVM and Chief Medical Officer of the Animal Medical Center (PetMD)

Here’s a video from Banfield Pet Hospital to cover the rest of the important basics to know about sunscreen and dogs:

Video created by Banfield Pet Hospital
Sun Protective Clothing

Hear us out on this one. For the pets with no escape from the sun, you could use some of your older UPF 50+ tops and wrap it around them or even see if it fits without too much struggle. It might sound a little ridiculous, but even Dr. Abraham thinks it’s a viable option. And to be honest, it is always cute to see a dog running around in a t-shirt.

When it comes to our loyal buddies, keeping them safe is a no brainer! One of the biggest final tips on dog skincare is just building up the consciousness of knowing when your dog is receiving too much sun. Now get out there, grab a Frisbee and enjoy a sun-safe life with your loving, furry best friend.

Resources:

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Behind The Design Inside Coolibar

Coolibar Employee Holiday Gift Guide

The Holiday season is here, and you know what that means… trying to find the perfect gift. To get inspired for what you may want to get your loved ones, we caught up with some of the Team to find out what they are gifting!

SPOILER ALERT:

If you know anyone from Coolibar, read at your own risk because you may find out your present!

Brandyn (For Dad)

Director, Marketplaces & Digital Marketing

For the several years I have worked at Coolibar, it has always been special to gift family members and friends product from where I work. When you start working at Coolibar, you work for the mission as well, and that means really learning about the importance of protecting your skin.

Jumping ahead to the story, my dad is your typical, stubborn father that refuses to go see a doctor until he is seriously ill. He had a few blemishes on his skin that I constantly bugged him about it until he finally caved this year and saw a dermatologist. Luckily, it ended up being nothing, but he shouldn’t be too surprised by my gifts under the tree for him!

GIFTING:

Raymond (For Mom)

Inventory Assistant

For everyone here, the mission is very important, but for me, it’s a little more personal. My mother has a history of melanoma, so when I started working here, I already had a strong understanding of the importance of covering up.

During the holidays, my mom expects nothing but Coolibar from me! She sends me a wish list every year of what she would love from her “favorite kid” after browsing through the gift guide. It is very fulfilling to gift my mother with something that she wants and needs that the company that I work for makes.

GIFTING:

Kelly (For Sister-in-law)

eCommerce Data Lead

I love this time of year! Every holiday season, we do a secret gift exchange for my boyfriend’s side of the family and this year I drew his sister out of the hat – Hopefully, she does not see this…

It’s been exciting to see the innovative, yet trendy features of our new collections, so saying I’ve had fun surfing through our site for the perfect gift is an understatement! Hopefully, she doesn’t mind me wearing her gift when we show up. Oops.

GIFTING:

Hayden (For Dad)

Social Media Specialist

Eat. Sleep. Golf. That is my dad’s life.

The man has been a golf professional for 35+ years and has spent 6-8 hours a day in direct sunlight EVERY DAY in that span of time. Before working here, my dad was always conscious to wear sunscreen, but that was the extent of his skincare.

Now, after a little convincing, he always wears long sleeves on the course and never forgets his hat! Receiving a gift is always nice (That’s for my dad if he didn’t read the spoiler alert up top…) but getting my father something that helps his quality of life and he loves is an even better feeling.

GIFTING:

Michelle (For Kids)

Manager, PR & Strategic Partnerships

Since their grandmother was diagnosed with Melanoma, my son Oliver and daughter Eloise have become mini skin cancer prevention advocates. They LOVE to wear Coolibar gear when it’s hot out, wait for other kids to ask about their long sleeves, then tell everyone who will listen about the “Coolibar science our mommy makes”. It’s fantastic!

I brought home one of the catalogs and as soon as I knew it, the kiddos just started circling everything they loved. I can’t wait for them to hit up the playground scene with their new gear!

GIFTING:

Bonus: Oliver and Eloise wouldn’t be the sun-safe advocates they claim to be if they didn’t take care of the people they love! Every year they pick a UPF 50+ hat for ALL of their teachers. They know that one of the best ways to tell someone you appreciate them is by giving a gift that will keep them safe.

GIFTING:

There’s nothing quite like giving the gift of sun protection. Whether it be for protecting someone with a sun-related condition or preventing another from developing one, choosing to gift UPF 50+ products is always a sun-safe bet.

Looking for more motivation? Check out our Holiday Gift Guide.

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Live Wisely

The Secret Advantage of Long Sleeves

On a hot, sunny day, long sleeves get a bad wrap. In fact, when it’s hot out, a wearer in long sleeves will endure laughter and ridicule on the golf course and the endless question, “Aren’t you hot in that?” Here’s the good news, if you wear UPF 50+ long sleeves when the rays are pummeling you, you no longer have to contend with those who simply don’t know the secret advantage of long sleeves.

The fact is that when the sun is shining and temperatures rise, UV protected long sleeves keep you safe from sunburn and keep you cooler. Doctors have long recommended wearing UV sun protective clothing as a way to prevent sun damage and protect against skin cancer; however what science is now proving that blocking UVA/UVB rays in combination with long sleeves actually keeps us cooler too.

A number of years ago, an inquisitive research team led by C Richard Taylor and Virginia Finch of Harvard University and Amiram Shkolnik and Arieh Borut of Tel Aviv University were puzzled by the ability of the Bedouins of the Sinai to minimize solar heat loads in a hot desert. The study, aptly called Why Do Bedouins Wear Black Robes in Hot Deserts?, measured the people’s overall heat gain and loss in the robes, considering their amount of coverage, long sleeves and the color of their robes.

A volunteer wearing different levels of coverage and different colored clothing was faced into the midday sun in the desert for 30 minutes. Withstanding 95F, the volunteer placed in the Negev desert at the bottom of the rift valley between the Dead Sea and the Gulf of Eilat wore either: 1) a black Bedouin robe; 2) a similar robe that was white; 3) a tan army uniform; or 4) shorts (that is, he was semi‑nude).

The results were surprising, but not surprising. Long sleeves and more clothing kept the wearer cooler. As the report puts it: “The amount of heat gained by a Bedouin exposed to the hot desert is the same whether he wears a black or a white robe. The additional heat absorbed by the black robe was lost before it reached the skin.”

As far as desert temperatures in our everyday world, when it’s hot, our bodies sweat as a natural cooling mechanism. Let’s face it, sweat sitting on skin feels sticky and damp. Then often, the temptation is to “release” heat by removing clothes or wearing short sleeves, leading to damaging sunburn. Comfortable loose fitting UPF 50+ long sleeves in a wicking fabric transfers sweat away from skin so it can dry, and it creates a small air flow between skin and fabric to keep it cool while protecting against sunburn and UV damage.

While long sleeves can actually keep skin dry and cool, when it’s exceedingly hot, long sleeves are not a replacement for drinking liquids. Medical professionals will always recommend wearing a sun hat, UV clothing, taking frequent shade breaks, using a UV umbrella for portable shade and drinking plenty of hydrating fluids.

So, the next time friends question if you’re too hot in your long sleeves, you have your answer. Recommendations are for sleeves that are loose enough for some air flow. Long sleeve styles like UPF 50+ wraps layered over a tank top or accessories like UPF 50+ scarves channel air in, around and flow heat out, like a bellows. As for the color debate, it appears dark is not an issue as far as staying cool in the deserts. Nor, would we suppose, it be an issue around the pool or on the boat either.

Sources:

Strange, but true: science’s most improbable research, The Guardian.

The heat and the hazard: 9 facts about summer health, The Washington Post.

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Behind The Design Experts Say

UV Rays in the Fall Can Be as Damaging as in the Summer

Leaves turn colors, temperatures start to cool, the sun’s heat wanes, and instinctively we drop our guard and “forget” sunscreen, leave our hats at home and waltz out into the day’s rays utterly unprotected. Is it really necessary to stay vigilant with UV protection? Are we truly risking the sun’s wrath if we sit beachside with our book or enjoy our morning cup of coffee on the terrace? Or is this UV stuff all hype?

The answer is simple and surprising. Yes, it’s necessary to stay vigilant even though it feels cooler outside. Science is very clear that the harshest of rays, UVB (“B” helps you remember for Burning) change in intensity based on the season and the position of the sun. But, UVA rays (emphasis on “A” for “Aging”) remain strong in full force with fearless intensity year-round, regardless of season or the sun’s position. These rays will undermine mind all your protective measures unless you stay on it. In short, UVA rays are incredibly powerful rays that never go away, constantly and cumulatively wreaking havoc with skin health, contributing to skin cancer, vision loss and reducing our immunities. While it may seem excessive to wear UPF 50+ clothing covering arms, faces, and heads in these cool fall days, a simple neighborhood walk, a casual bike ride, a lunch al fresco or a play day at the park adds up to long-term irreversible cellular damage. So, yes, keeping your guard up and staying protected is a year-round gig.

Omnipresent and relentless in their reach, the relatively long-wavelength UVA accounts for approximately 95% of the UV radiation reaching the Earth’s surface and thus our skin. Although UVA is generally far less carcinogenic than UVB radiation, it’s present more abundantly in sunlight than UVB radiation and contributes appreciably to the carcinogenicity of sunlight. UVA penetrates into the deeper layers of the skin where connective tissue and blood vessels are affected. As a result, the skin gradually loses its elasticity and starts to wrinkle. Furthermore, recent studies strongly suggest that it may enhance the development of skin cancers. The mechanisms of this UVA damage are not fully understood, but a popular hypothesis assumes that UVA increases oxidative stress in the cell.

Think of UVA as a sneaky, ill-intentioned ninja, stalking their prey (your skin) and never letting up. They penetrate your car windows, but you don’t see them; they’re invisible. They damage skin, but don’t feel them because they don’t burn. But, within a number of years, you start to see the effects of UVA’s work. Freckles pop up on your chest, wrinkles and brown spots appear, jowls and neck skin droops, collagen and elasticity diminishes. Even more serious concerns occur, like vision issues, eye cataracts, and macular degeneration. Or, most serious of all, cancer happens. While UVA isn’t the primary source of cancer, it is a known contributor. And, the simple and unprotected daily commutes and errands in the car, shuttles of kids to soccer or long walks on a warm fall day accumulate and become irreversible UVA damage.

For nearly 20 years, our focus on protection with UPF 50+ clothing was laser-pointed at people who’ve encountered a real medical concern, like cancer, sun allergies, Lupus, chemo treatment, prescription medications that create sun sensitivity. So our broad-spectrum UV fabrics have been specially developed to authentically protect those in need and attack UVB because of its evil results while also pushing back on UVA rays. With stylish, intelligent clothes that block UVA/UVB, a Coolibar tee-shirt looks and feels like any tee-shirt, and with incredible intent. You’d have no idea our tee was a hard-working UV blocking shirt; it’s as soft as a cotton tee and feels wonderful. This strategy has been essential to many customers, because nearly 70% buy Coolibar because of a medical issue, and they want to avoid visibly publicizing their health situation. So our design philosophy has been to develop highly technical fabrics in elegant, comfortable clothes and swimwear that look great. Candidly, we’ve never talked much about UVA. We’ve always blocked UVA, but we’ve never really emphasized these rays, until now. Today, with a company mission that emphasizes keeping people safe from UV damage, we need to be more assertive about prevention as much as we’ve designed for protection. We want to start younger, get people paying attention to skin health. This commitment is our version of “an apple a day.” What’s our answer to powerful UVA rays this fall? How can you start your prevention regime?

We’ve developed a proprietary year-round fabric derived from the Merino sheep in New Zealand. It’s a fantastic blend, machine washable and super comfortable, and we’re not just saying that because we developed it. The Coolibar Merino Wool is an ultra lightweight, comfy, super breathable UPF 50+ fabric that insulates on chillier days and cools on warmer days, and, equally important, it tells UVA rays to bounce off (putting it politely). It’s light enough for men who fear sweater weather; it travels; it’s a lightweight fabric that’s a heavyweight UV fighter. Tested and endorsed by dermatologists and holds The Skin Cancer Foundation seal of recommendation, our Coolibar Merino Wool blocks 98% of UVA and UVB rays and does it in a collection of fall wraps, pullovers, sporty polos, long cardigan-style sweaters, scarves, designed to cover arms, necks, hands and look perfect for the season. Being based in Minnesota, we revel in all outdoor seasons. Our entire company actively participates in outdoors year-round activities. We wear test our products for technical performance, styling, wear-ability, fit, comfort and durability. If we were pushy and not Minnesota nice, we’d highly suggest you wear a quality, high-end sunscreen, always protect your eyes with the best sunglasses you can buy (please avoid the glasses from the dime store; their lens effectiveness degrades) and wear UPF 50+ clothing that makes hiding from UV rays look and feel good.

 

 

Sources:

http://www.who.int/uv/faq/whatisuv/en/index2.html

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10907526

 

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Experts Say Live Wisely

How Do You Pick a Dermatologist?

Dr. Cynthia Bailey, Dermatologist practicing at Advanced Skin Care and Dermatology Physicians, provided guidelines to unlock the mystery of selecting the right dermatologist.  After a summer of being outside, fall is a great time for scheduling your annual skin exam.

Way to go! You’ve decided to get your skin checked and now you’re about to embark on the first step in the process: picking a dermatologist. For some it’s a daunting task, for others, it’s simple. But everyone could use some general guidelines to get the most out of your visit and skin exam.

With these suggestions, go forth and choose a dermatologist that fits your needs and leaves you feeling confident in your decision.

  • Focus

Each dermatologist has their own specialty or focus. Keep this in mind while you start your search. If you are someone who only needs a skin exam to screen your skin for skin cancer choose a dermatologist who focuses on what you need.

Many dermatologists have diversified their practice to include cosmetic procedures. Along with cosmetic dermatology, it’s important to remember dermatologists diagnose and treat more than 3,000 diseases of the skin, hair, and nails.  Look for a board-certified dermatologist who specializes in melanoma and skin cancer for your full-body skin exam, also known as the Total Body Skin Exam (TBSE).  Reference the American Academy of Dermatology Skin Exam Module for a comprehensive overview of what to expect during your skin exam (TBSE). If you are not interested in certain types of specialties or procedures make sure you factor that in when you are looking for a dermatologist.

  • Referral

 

Get a little help from your friends. Rather than rely on a Google search, ask members of your community. Find out who they see for their TBSE and ask them to share their experience with you. They might be a helpful resource if you can tell them what you are looking for in your skin exam and future needs.

If one name does not bubble up as a frequent recommendation in your area, use this find a dermatologist resource from the American Academy of Dermatology as a starting point for a skin cancer specialist in your neighborhood. In the search line of this site, enter “skin cancer” for a list of physicians who treat skin cancer near you.  This physician listing will also indicate the doctor’s accepted insurance, as well as hospital affiliations and patient reviews/star ratings if any have been entered.

  • Clarity

When you call to schedule your TBSE, be precise about what you are looking to accomplish during your appointment and that an appropriate visit type and amount of time has been scheduled. Be very clear with the scheduler and ask the right questions to insure you make the most of your exam visit. When you are clear about what you want to get out of a visit it helps the dermatologist focus.  I liken this analogy to that of a chef.  “Dermatologists treat thousands of diseases and generally specialize in just a few.”  When someone is coming in for a TBSE, I know what we are doing during the appointment. If it is vague, your dermatologist may not know what to expect out of the visit.

Here are some key questions to ask:

  1. What types of conditions does the doctor frequently treat?

(You are looking for an expert in finding and treating skin cancers. An emphasis on acne, rashes or esthetics may be considered for a future appointment but keep your skin check appointment focused on early skin cancer detection. Save the rest of your concerns for a return appointment because your time is limited.)

  1. How long will the appointment take?

(The more moles you have the longer the exam may take. The average full body, head-to-toe exam should take about 10 minutes.)

  1. How does the doctor document suspicious “spots,” freckles or moles for their patients? (Some doctors take a photograph or measure the suspicious “spot” and take inventory of any findings in the patient record as baseline reference. This is a good practice to confirm for your visit.)

 

  • Advocacy

 

You are your own best health advocate. Be assertive and make the most of your 10-minute exam because early detection is key.  If you feel the dermatologist is missing the reason for your visit, remind them that you are there for a skin check.

Use these suggestions to schedule your next skin exam. When we think of melanoma prevention, we often think of the usual: using sunscreen, covering up, not burning, avoiding tanning beds, etc. But did you know that finding a suspicious mole or spot and having it checked out by a professional is considered one of the most important steps to preventing melanoma? Detecting melanoma, when it’s early enough to treat, could mean the difference between life and a life-threatening illness.

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What's Hot

Coolibar’s Favorite Gifts to Make Your Holiday Shopping Easier!

Coolibar holiday gift guide

If your idea of a white Christmas means a white sandy beach, you are not alone. Even though the temperatures are dropping, many still try to make it a priority to stay active outdoors. We have handpicked a few of our favorite gifts to help you tackle your list faster than singing “The 12 Days of Christmas.”

 

Nike custom shoes
Photo: Nike, Inc.

For the Runner

If someone on your list loves to pound the pavement, treat them to a unique pair of custom running shoes from NIKEiD. With a wide variety of shoes, styles, and colors to choose from, your recipient can be completely unique. Make running a fun activity for the whole family by spicing up the entire shoe rack.

For the Foodie

Photo: Williams-Sonoma, Inc.
Photo: Williams-Sonoma, Inc.

Satisfy your loved one’s sweet tooth with The Original Peppermint Bark by Williams-Sonoma (shown above). Their taste buds will go wild once he or she experiences the rich flavors of dark and white chocolate, peppermint oil, and peppermint bits. You will want to buy your own because your loved one will be tempted not to share.

For HerCoolibar ZnO Cowl Neck

The woman in your life is sure to love our ZnO Cowl Neck Pullover. This best seller is stylish, lightweight, and breathable. It’s available in eight colors and two prints. Whether she is running errands, sipping morning coffee, walking to her next yoga class, or enjoying a cocktail by the pool, the ZnO Cowl Neck Pullover is so versatile you may want to get her two!

For the Sports Enthusiast

Picking the right pair of sunglasses can be daunting. So why not take the guesswork out? In Oakley stores, experts work one-on-one with your gift recipient to build sunglasses with the best performance features for any outdoor activity such as golf, cycling, running, hiking, fishing, hunting, or water sports. There are millions of possible combinations of frames, lenses, ear socks, and icons to create a unique and custom look, and they can even handle prescriptions. Your loved one will not only look stylish but will be protecting their eyes from the sun as well.

For the Person on the Go

Photo: Jon Hart Design, LLC
Photo: Jon Hart Design, LLC

Help your loved one stay organized with a customizable bag. Jon Hart Design creates fashionable yet durable bags for anyone. You can find bags for work, travel, and sports and outdoors. They offer a wide variety of colors, materials, and monogram styles to choose from allowing you to make a one-of-a-kind bag for the special someone in your life.

For Him

Give the man on your list the gift of style and comfort with our timeless UPF 50+ Sport Polo. He will look polished anywhere he goes, whether it’s the gym, office, or a casual dinner. Choose from three vibrant colors that are great for any time of year.

 

Photo: Beats Electronics Inc.
Photo: Beats Electronics Inc.

For the Musicoholic

It’s no fluke that Beats by Dre are the worlds most popular headphones. These headphones are stylish, comfortable, and allow listeners the ability to feel, and not just hear, the music whether indoors or out. The noise-canceling feature will reduce most surrounding noises while playing their favorite tunes. Beats come in a variety of colors to suit their taste, and have a 20-hour rechargeable battery.

Photo: Gallery Leather
Photo: Gallery Leather

For the Writer

A personalized journal from Gallery Leather is the way to go for the person on your list, who loves to stay organized, make lists, or jot down their thoughts. He or she will enjoy writing in their hand-bound Spanish leather journal every day.

 

Coolibar Swim SkortFor Girls

Little girls will stay sun safe and look fashionable in our Girls Swim Skort. The Navy Polka Dot pattern pairs well with our Girl’s Short Sleeve Surf Shirt in Bubblegum Zig Zag, or any shirt of your choice. Busy girls can go from swimming in the ocean to a nearby jungle gym, and then out to lunch in this outfit.

 

For the Outdoor Lover

Encourage your loved ones to stay sun safe year round! Temperatures may be cooler this time of year, but the sun can still damage your skin and increase your risk of skin cancer. Sunscreen should be used as a second line of defense, behind sun protective clothing. Neutrogena is the favorite of dermatologists to provide sun protection for the whole family.

For the DIYer

Make it easy to capture memories by giving your loved one a Shutterfly gift card. He or she will have the opportunity to create a unique and special gift by uploading their favorite photos and choosing from pre-made designs. They can choose from a variety of items such as coffee mugs, calendars, photo books and more.

For BoysCoolibar Island Board Shorts

Our Boy’s Island Board Shorts and Long-sleeve Rash Guard is a must have for families who are planning a tropical winter getaway. This outfit is cool, yet sun safe for boys of all ages. He is sure to love boogie boarding and lounging around the resort in his new Coolibar.

 

For the New Year!

Photo: Fitbit Inc.

Cross that “hard to buy for person” off your list! A Fitbit is a great gift for anyone! Fitbit tracks a variety of health stats including activity, calories burned, heart rate and more. There is a variety of models to choose from designed for everyday, active or performance fitness levels. We love the new Fitbit jewelry from Tory Burch.

 

 

We hope you enjoy some of our favorite gifts this holiday season! Remember to stay sun safe and have fun doing what you love. Consider your shopping done and done!

 

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Wellness Warriors

What’s Your Ultimate Resort Destination?

Canyon Ranch Tucson - Guest Room

With the launch of our new Resort Collection, we’ve pondered the whole concept of the “resort experience.” Our new collection of colors and prints can help show what we decided. You’ll love the look right away. Once you slip into it, you’ll find it’s also about being comfortable – for wherever you go, whatever you’re doing and whenever you’re doing it.

Traveling to an actual resort is optional, but desirable. In fact, while we were dreaming up our Resort Collection, we dreamed up some of our favorite resort destinations. See if you agree!

Canyon Ranch,Tucson, Arizona

Canyon Ranch Tucson
Courtesy of Canyon Ranch

A unique and original blend of upscale comfort and deep well-being. This place has evolved with the times – once a cattle ranch, then a classic guest ranch, now a fitness spa resort in the beautiful Sonoran Desert. Actually, it’s an all-inclusive health resort and luxury spa. That sounds impressive, and it is; Canyon ranch has been a driving force as the entire concept of a “health resort” has taken off.

Suggested look: Ocean Glimmer Antigua Tunic

Cal-a-Vie Health Spa, Vista, California

Cal a Vie Resort
Courtesy of Cal-a-Vie Health Spa

For all of its hundreds – yes, hundreds – of spa treatments, fitness activities and mind-body-spirit classes, we can’t help but notice how simple and elemental this California health spa resort is. Particularly impressive is that the resort balances this active and/or meditative experience with a passion for fresh, local cuisine. And just for good measure, there’s golf at the resort’s Vista Valley Country Club.

Suggested look: Banded Fitness Tee with Swim Capris

Lake Austin Spa Resort, Austin, Texas

Law
Courtesy of Lake Austin Spa Resort

Everything you could ask for in a wellness retreat: a lake (in this case, Austin Lake) for Paddle Fit, Aqua Zumba or just a mild boat cruise; the Lakehouse Spa with two pools, steam rooms and a café; luxury guest and garden rooms; five course meals and more. Bonus: all of this is surrounded by the incomparable Texas Hill Country.

Suggested look: ZnO Sun Wrap outfit

 

Omni Amelia Island Plantation, Amelia Island, Florida

Amelia Island Plantation Resort
Courtesy of Omni Hotels & Resorts

If you’re thinking about visiting a spa on an island, you’ll find that here. But around it you’ll also discover a world-class resort, and all that that implies: a tiered pool complex including a splash park, a fully-equipped fitness center (think LCD TV screens) and a championship golf course for starters. The resort also provides a variety of ways to explore the island, for you and your whole family.  

Suggested look: Sport Polo with Zip Off Sun Visor

Casa Dorada Los Cabos Resort & Spa, Los Cabos, Mexico

La Casa Dorada Resort Los Cabos
Courtesy of la Casa Dorada Resort

This is a truly impressive getaway that you’ll have almost as much fun telling people about as you will on the actual trip. A highlight is the saltwater spa – if you can tear yourself away from the pools, the four restaurants, the luxurious accommodations and the best swimmable beach in Cabo. This is for the whole family, too – pets included.

Suggested look: Convertible Swim Shirt outfit

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Wellness Warriors

Coolibar Asks: What Does Yoga Mean to You?

Coolibar - Yoga

We’ve been thinking about yoga a lot lately. We can’t help it. When you’re promoting sun protection, health, happiness and peace of mind, yoga just naturally comes up.

Do you practice yoga? If you do, what does it mean to “practice yoga?”

At one extreme are the hardcore enthusiasts.  You may have heard that yoga can relieve stress, improve digestion, balance the metabolism and strengthen the immune system. These folks will tell you yoga is about cleansing the bioemotional self, toning the endocrinal system, coordinating the musculoskeletal structure, creating a union between our physical and emotional beings.  It decreases cortisol and adrenalin, which co-opt the production of vital hormones! It promotes and balances neurotransmitters, and inverted postures re-balance the pituitary and thyroid glands!

Corresponding to this knowledge is a full range of classes. There’s hot yoga, restorative yoga, yin yoga, power yoga, and the list goes on.

Other people, as we’ve read, just like wearing the clothes. This is okay too; we know that not everyone wearing a North Face jacket is an experienced High Alps mountain climber either. And when you’re trying to attain a fully integrated mind and body, total comfort certainly helps.

At Coolibar we think our understanding of yoga is pretty balanced between the neurobiologists and those who just look the part.

“I just needed a form of physical activity that I didn’t dread,” says Heather Olson, Wholesale Operations Manager at Coolibar. She says she’s been practicing yoga for about two years, drawn to it by a background in dance with its balance and flexibility. “It’s a way to get a workout – and have fun.”

Coolibar Yoga
Kelly Johnson in Coolibar Banded Fitness Tee, Active Swim Tights

Kelly Johnson, Coolibar Customer Service Manager, thinks so too. “It’s a slower pace of exercise,” she says. “I’m not the type of person who likes to go to the gym and pump weights and run on the treadmill. I like the mediation aspect, too, to calm my mind, re-center and relax.”

About that last part: yoga can be especially practical if you’re living what we might refer to as a full life.

“I get stressed out easily,” Kelly says. “And I have a five-year-old. So yoga is my alone time.”

What kind of yogi (that would be, “one who practices yoga”) are you? Tell us about it!

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Educate Others Events

After 25 Years with Lupus, Still Going Strong

Jan Jundt - Coolibar 5K Lupus Walk

Can there be any disease as grueling and, often, mysterious as lupus?

Certainly not for Jan Jundt, 2014 ambassador for Lupus Foundation of Minnesota, who was diagnosed in 1989. “I thought at the time that it was arthritis,” Jan says. “I was having trouble getting my hands open, and walking stairs. I was really afraid it was arthritis – my family has a long history of arthritis.”

Back then it was very common even for doctors to diagnose lupus as something else, she says, and not just in her home town of Bismarck, North Dakota. “For years lupus was misdiagnosed completely,” says Jan, on the eve of the foundation’s 17th annual Lupus Walk for Hope and 5K Trail Run – Twin Cities.

The Onset

Jan Jundt Coolibar Lupus 5K
Jan Jundt

Jan is married; her husband Dave recently retired from the North Dakota National Guard. Last spring the couple moved to Fargo, ND from Bismarck to be closer to their three grown daughters.

Also: 25 years ago, lupus nearly killed her.

“I thought it was arthritis,” Jan relates. “In a visit to my allergist he said: ‘go see a rheumatologist.’ The look on his face was, ‘you do it now.’” She got an appointment the following week – a miracle in itself. After tests were run, her rheumatologist called to say she had lupus and wanted to visit with her and her husband.  She scheduled a follow-up at the end of the next week.

“And I didn’t make that appointment,” Jan says. “The night before, I crashed. I had complete renal failure. Basically the only things functioning were my heart and my brain. They gave me 24 hours to live.

I don’t remember the next 10 days, and my husband says well, that’s a blessing. You don’t want to know.”

Another time, much more recently, she had another scare. “I had come down with pneumonia. I just thought it was my allergies, and my asthma. We were driving to Minneapolis and I collapsed. That’s the lupus; if you have a weakness in one spot, it just goes for it.”

What’s most striking about this is her positive, enthusiastic tone, even when the subject turns dark. How can you ensure that these frightening episodes do not happen? “You can’t,” she says.

What is Lupus?

If anything about lupus can be simple, here’s the simplest explanation – lupus causes the immune system to malfunction. It mistakenly starts creating auto-antibodies that normally guard the body against bacteria and viruses. Instead, they attack and destroy healthy tissue. This can result in a very wide range of symptoms – pain at the joints, fever, fatigue, headaches and sensitivity to the sun among them.

Lupus Walk for Hope, Plymouth, MN
Lupus Walk for Hope, Plymouth, MN

Like most other people, Jan knew none of this. Following her first harrowing episode, she started researching the disease.

“I could not get any information about lupus,” she says. “Every place I called, I was finding dead ends.”

The one certainty: there were lots of others suffering from lupus, and they likely had no place to go either.

The Support Group

Jan and her husband started a lupus support group 24 years ago in Bismarck, ND. She found a catalyst for it in the Lupus Foundation of Minnesota, which provided the help needed to start the support group.

The group meets the second Thursday of every month. There are about 15 people in the group, Jan says, with a core of about a half dozen. The group first met at night, but switched to mid-days after fatigue became a problem. There are also frequent transportation issues in a community with lots of rural areas; “the community has been very good to us,” she says. “They help whenever they can.”

Team Coolibar at Lupus Walk
Part of Team Coolibar, Sept. 13

Still, the resource has become irreplaceable.  “I have learned the most from those who have lupus,” says Jan. “People come for different reasons. “Some people come when they’re not feeling good, and need some support. Others come when they are feeling good, and just want to be around people.”

Going Strong

Since her move to Fargo, North Dakota last May, Jan can no longer attend the group she started. But it’s still going strong. On Saturday, September 13, she walked along with Coolibar team members as the official ambassador for Lupus Foundation of Minnesota in the  Lupus Walk for Hope and 5K Trail Run – Twin Cities.

“Our goal is to help one person,” she says. “If we can do that, we’ve done our job.”

For information on Coolibar sun protective clothing, visit our site!

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Coolibar Athletes Valerie Stewart

The Athlete Within

Valerie Stewart - Kayak

By Valerie Stewart

In fourth grade I ruled on the four square court. NO one could knock me out of the server’s square. My family didn’t know and I didn’t receive any blue ribbons, but I knew and it made me feel great.

Thinking back, I realize that I took no specific pleasure in beating the other kids. The payoff was the sense of power that being the best gave me. In an era when parents and teachers didn’t constantly stroke and support children, it was up to us to find a sense of identity and pride. I see now that it was incredibly satisfying to beat all the boys at a time when girls weren’t encouraged to be athletes.

As an adult, what I don’t like about competition is making the other women feel badly when I beat them. What I do like is the sense of power and personal accomplishment that winning gives me. Many athletes say that they are really competing against themselves. Which is why timed competitions are so much more satisfying than judged ones; the former are not subjective, and athletes can accurately measure their own progress.Valerie Blog2 A

I define “athlete” as a person who has decided to commit to a physical activity, while working to improve their skills.  In other words, anyone who chooses to can be an athlete. You may be drawn to a sport, or you may want to try out various activities to find the right fit. Don’t worry about your age or past experience or what you “should” do;  if you don’t enjoy it, you won’t do it.

I joined several kayaking groups last summer as a newbie, and am thrilled to have found another sport that I love. I’ll compete in some casual Class 1-2 kayaking events, but kayaking is primarily my safe and peaceful sport. A chance to discover the rivers, lakes, and bays of Northern California, while meeting lots of men and women over 40 who like to do the same thing. We share the delight of seeing eagles, herons, egrets, osprey, pelicans, geese, seals, otters, sea lions, turtles, even sharks and whales in their natural habitat as we float by. A year ago I didn’t realize that these experiences existed.

When I started snowboarding, I was totally unaware of snowboarding competitions. I hadn’t competed in anything since I was a kid in Horse 4H. But my willingness to try a new sport at an “old” age opened up a whole world of unforeseen experiences. I found myself competing on a national level against other women my age who also loved the sport. I produced two award-winning snowboarding videos, and interviewed pro boarders from around the world as they competed to qualify for snowboarding’s historic entry into the Olympics. I competed alongside Shaun White as he evolved from a promising nine-year-old into a multiple Olympic gold medalist. And I found a sport that expresses exactly who I am.

So be open, and ignore your doubts. And the doubts of others. You never know what life may bring if you’re ready to let it in.


Valerie’s Product Pick:

Valerie Stewart - Coolibar Swim Tights

If you thought you could never swim in public again because of your “imperfect” legs, you were wrong. Coolibar has introduced a new age of swimwear – the Active Swim Tight.  It comes in two styles; with or without an attached skirt.  And it’s offered in three lengths; above the knee, below the knee, and above the ankle. The SUNTECT® fabric is UPF 50+ and resists chlorine and saltwater. I own three of these, and will buy more when they’re offered in more colors.

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