Woman running

A Runner's Reference For Sun Protection

You’re serious about your running routine.You’re at it every day. And you want to see some serious results. You want to look in the mirror and see those biceps bulging. You want to see those glutes flexing and those quads defined. What don’t you want to see? Sun damage.

Running is a great way to stay in shape, but if the terrain is your domain, you have to deal with the elements, and the sun is a large element. All those miles in the sun increases the risk of malignant melanoma and associated abnormalities. If you’re skipping the sun screen, here are some things your dermatologist may want to tell you.

Don’t Skimp on Protection
According to Amy Mc Clung, MD, sweating in the sun increases the risk of skin cancer. Even if you are starting in the dark hours of the morning or in cloudy weather, there is no reason to throw caution to the wind. The darkest days can always give way to sun, and you can also burn on an overcast day. McClung recommends a generous application of sunscreen, a hat, and a pair of sunglasses, regardless of how the weather looks when you set out.

Apply Sunscreen with a Heavy Hand
Before you start patting yourself on the back for applying the sunscreen, make sure you have plenty on. Brooke Jackson, MD, and once dermatologist for the Chicago Marathon, says that if you are using a cream or lotion formula, aim to apply enough of the stuff to fill a shot glass. That translates to about an ounce and a half, which means you should go through an eight ounce bottle in about two days.

Woman applying sunscreen

Don’t Get A Base Tan
If you’re thinking gradual exposure will protect you from sun burn or damage, Jackson would like you to think again. She warns that tans and burns are not buffers, but rather the body’s built in way of telling you you’ve had enough sun. “As a dermatologist,” she says, “when I see tanned skin, I see damaged skin. It doesn’t at all look healthy to me.”

Don’t Run Shirtless
Or in a very small top, sports bra, or similarly sized contraction. While it is tempting to disrobe in the heat, doing so will increase the surface area of skin exposed to the sun. Look for the “UPF” label on clothes, which indicates that the item has sun protection built in. Even if there is no label, Jackson says that even regular tanks and shorts can provide an SPF of about 8.

Don’t Omit Your Head and Lips
Scalps with thinning hair are very vulnerable to sun damage and are known to be the first area on which cancerous growths first appear. As Jackson points out, the spot can be particularly dangerous, because remaining hairs can conceal the appearance of cancers, making them easy to overlook.

Apply sunscreen to the top of your head, and, if you have a full head of hair, remember that your part is also a target for sun damage, and should be protected appropriately. A hat will provide even better protection than lotion, and can also help to shade your forehead and spare you from the possibility of getting irritating sunscreen in your eyes.

Don’t forget about your lips, which are also subject to burn. Give them a coating of sunscreen or use a lip balm with SPF and wear your shades to protect your eyes from cataracts and cancer.

So take special care if you are running and let us know what you do to keep your skin from burning. We wish you good luck and great skin.

Couple hiking

Be Safe During Outdoor Activities

We all love the accessibility of recording devices, until we find ourselves on the wrong side of the camera. If it weren’t bad enough to have to have our epic stunts end up in epic fails, falls, and face plants, now we have the added probability of someone with a quick draw on the camera ready to capture the moment and post it on social media. It’s spring and that means it’s time to dust off the skateboards, surfboards, roller boards, and whatever other boards that have been sitting in the cellar for the last few months. But if your don’t want to find yourself the subject of unwanted attention on You Tube, here are some safety tips you may want to keep in mind.

Pack Layers
Spring weather is known for its variability. Hot sunny days may give way to cloudy afternoons and vice versa. Prepare for every eventuality by packing extra clothing layers, including socks. Wet feet can be most uncomfortable.

Hiking Preparedness
If you are heading to the mountains, you’re likely to encounter snow, and when there’s snow on the mountains, there is a risk of an avalanche. Check the local avalanche reports before heading up.

Hiking in the spring is wet. Rivers rise and snow melts, making roads muddy and slippery. Be aware of stream crossings and wet surfaces and look out for flash floods and rising water, characteristic of spring. Pitch tents above the high-water mark, even if it means sacrificing an impressive view or a longer distance to the stream. Remember that even designated campground sites can be dangerous in certain conditions.

Cotton Is Rotten
Although cotton is hailed for its comfort and durability, it is not known to mix well with water. Wet cotton clothes can trap water and rob the body of heat. Choose synthetic clothes appropriate for the activity you’re planning.

Paddling
Paddlers need to be aware of the possibility of hypothermia. If the air temperature and water temperature do not exceed 100 degrees when added together, hypothermia can be a real concern. If you must paddle when conditions are less than ideal, be sure to bring dry clothes and a fire starter in a dry bag.

Warm Up
Keep in mind that your muscles, joints, and lungs are probably still in winter mode. Don’t take on anything physically taxing if you’re not ready for it. Make sure to warm up before engaging in physical activity and stretch out when your done. Work up to longer outings to keep your self from getting strained early in the season.

Check Your Gear
Remember that the gear that broke last spring has not gotten fixed by itself. Make sure to examine, clean, and fix gear before heading out, especially if children are part of the plan.

Share Your Expertise
If you see someone who looks as if they’ve bitten off more than they can chew, don’t be afraid to make a suggestion to ease their situation. They may appreciate your advice about finding a safer place to camp or the offer of some water.

Let us know what you’re doing this spring to keep safe. We want to know your best tips for a happy healthy spring.

Woman using barbells

Use Muscle, Don't Lose It

We’ve all seen it. The celebrity weight transformations. A celebrity gets a role and that calls for an actor with a muscular physique and all of a sudden they’ve transformed into the “Incredible Hulk,” seemingly overnight, adding masses of muscle to their formerly moderate frames, only to slim down just as quickly to normal or even emaciated proportions depending on their next role. Of course they will openly discuss how they “bulked up” or “slimmed down” with tales of excessive carb, consumption and exhausting workouts or stories of food deprivation worthy of a homeless orphan.

However, while we are used to the seemingly impossible becoming commonplace in Hollywood, we hope for a more stable body weight for ourselves. When we build muscle, we generally hope to maintain it, but we need to use it to make sure we don’t lose it.

The Bad News
If you don’t start exercising now, your muscles will shrink by the time your are seventy. Two recent studies found that the atrophy of muscles previously though to be a normal part of aging is not inevitable.

One study used MRI snapshots to compare muscle mass in the mid thighs of athletes aged 40 to 81. Images revealed not much difference between the younger and older athletes and found very little decrease in mid thing muscles with age. In contrast, in healthy but sedentary 70 year old, the results were very different, showing a significant decrease in muscle mass.

Another study looked at the “motor units” of the leg muscles. Motor units are the basic units of the muscles, each of which is connected to a single neuron. It is believed the part of the general weakening that occurs with age is attributed to the atrophy of the motor units. The study revealed a close similarity in the number of motor units of 60 and 20 year old runners. However, this did not apply to the arm muscles, with older runners and non runners alike experiencing similar decline in the motor units of the arms.

Woman with prominent biceps

The Good News
The loss of muscle mass, also known as sarcopenia, can be managed with exercise. Exercise stimulates the release of hormones crucial to healthy muscle mass, such as the growth hormone, crucial to the mechano growth factor. Exercise can also prevent the loss of essential bone and muscle associated with aging.

Although aerobic exercise is great for the cardiovascular system and effective in keeping down fat levels, it is only mildly helpful in maintaining the lean body mass you already have. When it comes to the preserving and increasing lean mass, resistance training is the way to go. The Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises strength training, such as using weights, machines, bands, and other devices to promote mobility, improve fitness, and increase bone density.

The Big Four For Muscle Building
Because your body is made primarily of “push and pull” muscles, it is important to focus on exercises that focus on those movements. The squat is a great whole body “push” exercise and should be coupled with a whole body “push-pull” like the deadlift, which incorporates core and lower body muscles. For the upper body, the bench press and barbell row are the two main lifts to incorporate into your strength training routine. Doing these will let you minimize finishing exercises for the abs and calves.

How are you using your muscles? Let us know! You’re looking great!

Couple exercising in the park,.

Benefits of Outdoor Activity

The weather is warming up and the sun is shining brightly on lawns that are once again green and flowers that are in bloom. Unfortunately, most of us aren’t using this weather to our advantage. Many Americans are not participating in regular exercise and some people use the excuse that they aren’t comfortable at an indoor gym. Worry no more because Resveralife found out that taking the exercises outdoors can provide benefits that you just can’t get from an indoor gym.

Works Both Mind and Body
You know that exercise benefits your body and if you keep with a routine you are able to see physical proof that your hard work is paying off. However, you may be unaware of all of the added perks exercising outdoors provides to your mental health. A study published by the National Center for Biotechnology suggests that individuals who run outdoors expend more energy than those using a treadmill indoors. The reason for this is that when you run outdoors, you face elements that a treadmill cannot give you such as resistance from a strong wind. Exercising outdoors gives you more challenges and is more strenuous than workouts at your indoor gym and the more energy you exert, the more calories you burn, the easier it is to get in shape.

As mentioned above, the results of exercise are not limited to your outward appearance. One of the greatest outdoor workout extra is the effect it has on your mental health. Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry conducted a study using 800 participants. The results were incredibly positive. Those that exercised outdoors reported increased vitality and memory and a decreased number of negative feelings. Outdoor exercise was proved to lower feelings of anger, depression and tension while a traditional indoor workout session did not result in the same benefits. Additionally, a study in Quebec, Canada by Isabelle Dione suggests that when people exercise outdoors, they are more likely to work out for a longer period of time than those exercising indoors. The constant change of scenery and the beauty of nature eliminate the monotony of staring at your screen or display on the treadmill.

Added Benefits of Sunshine
Calcium is a necessary nutrient to build, and maintain, strong bones. Vitamin D3 is an important factor for both bone health and metabolic function and you can get plenty of D3 by taking your exercises outdoors as sunshine is great provider of vitamin D3. However, there are more benefits to receiving sunlight than getting vitamins and a possible tan. Exposure to sunlight during the day helps your body sleep better at night, increase endorphins and strengthen your immune functions.

Woman exercising in the gym.

Better Than Your Gym
A gym membership is a great thing to have during the winter when it is too cold to take your exercise outside. But once the weather warms up, working out in the great outdoors saves you money. If possible, invest in a six month gym membership and exercise outdoors whenever you have the opportunity. The only costs you incur from exercise when heading outdoors are items that  are most likely already in your home, such as a pair of well-fitting shoes, exercise gear that can handle outdoor weather, and sunscreen. You can also use your favorite mp3 player and playlist to get you more motivated outdoors.

In addition to getting your cardio in outdoors, you can also practice exercises designed to gain strength and build muscle. A park bench is a wonderful and useful item for an outdoor workout. Use it for push-ups, mountain climbers and tricep dips. A little bit of creativity with your outdoor workout not only keeps you challenged, but it provides you with the bonus of increased health from being outside. Lace up your shoes and slather on some sunscreen and enjoy a healthier, stronger way of living.

Couple exercising in a park.

Resveralife Live Well: Best Outdoor Exercises

The sun is shining bright, the grass is turning green once again and the birds are chirping happy songs. It’s spring. Most people look forward to heading outdoors as soon as the weather is nice enough. Make your outdoor time do double duty by planning not just to get some fresh air and vitamin D, but a total body workout as well. This Resveralife Live Well Guide highlights the best moves that will work your entire body while you enjoy the refreshing and invigorating spring weather.

Woman jogging in a park.

Walk/Jog/Run
A simple walk around your neighborhood or along a local hiking trail help you to get in shape. You most likely know that walking/jogging/running is great to help shed pounds and burn calories, but you may not be aware that there are significant benefits to your mind as well. During cardiovascular exercise, your heart pumps blood to other organs in your body. One of these organs is the brain. The oxygen and other nutrients can improve your clarity, mood and memory. As little as 30 minutes is all it takes to get enhanced brain power.

Woman performing push-ups on a park bench.

Park Bench Push-Ups
Work the arms, chest and core with a twist on the classic push-up. Begin by placing your hands on the edge of the park bench and walk your feet out. Stop when your legs are fully extended. Bend your arms and lower your chest. Repeat 10 times. Beginners may want to stick with three reps, while those with a bit more strength may complete as many as 10 reps.

Woman using a park bench for tricep dips.

Park Bench Tricep Dips
Tricep dips work the arms, specifically as the name suggests, the triceps. Begin by sitting on the bench and placing your arms firmly behind you shoulder-width apart. When your arms are in place, slide off of the park bench and slide forward. Some prefer to fully extend their legs while completing this exercise while others find it more beneficial to keep the knees bent. Straighten your arms then bend your elbows and entire lower body until the elbows reach a 90 degree angle. Push yourself back up and that counts as one rep. Aim for two to three sets of 15 reps each.

Woman doing mountain climbing exercise on a park bench.

Park Bench Mountain Climbers
Take a twist on regular mountain climbers and use the park bench to support your weight. Begin in the same position you would for a park bench push-up with your palms on the park bench and your legs fully extended. From this position bring your knees to your chest switching legs each rep. You can repeat sets by the number you choose (15 complete climbers is a great place to start) or simply do this as a timed exercise and spending about 30 seconds per set.

Getting outside and into nature helps so much more than your body. Strengthen your body, and mind, by getting out of the gym and into the fresh air. As an added bonus, your daily dose of vitamin D helps you strengthen bones naturally as you strengthen your muscles. If it’s been a while since you last exercised, it is a good idea to consult with your doctor to make sure that you get in shape in a safe and healthy way.