Memorial Day… the “unofficial” start of summer for many. While we love much of what summer brings, it can also bring blistering heat, and the challenges to keep yourself and your kids cool. However, as long as you take a few essential precautions, breezing through the summer heat can be easy. Let’s face it. Our kids aren't familiar enough with the symptoms of overheating to let us know when they need to take steps to stay cool. Children also sweat less than adults, making it harder for them to cool off and putting them at greater potential risk. Preventing dehydration, overheating and sun damage are essential for families in the summer. Balancing time in and out of the sun will help everyone enjoy summer more. So if you are out there this weekend, kicking off your family’s summer of fun, follow these 5 simple tips to prevent sun and heat-related illness.
1. Hydrate: Drink water. Stay fully hydrated by drinking water with other caffeine-free liquids. When you drink liquids with salts, sugar and minerals, you replace what you sweat out. Alternate drinking water with sports drinks and juices. Drinking water-rich fruit such as grapes or watermelon will also help kids replace fluids, nutrients and minerals. Kids old enough to eat whole grapes might enjoy them even more while frozen.
2. Stay Protected from the Sun: Play in the water, but remember to reapply sunscreen frequently. Playing in water, whether in the ocean or the pool, helps prevent overheating. But even water resistant sunscreen will wash off eventually, so reapply frequently and after leaving the water. If you kids are sweating while playing pick-up games with friends or at organized sport camps, re-application is critical here as well. General rule of thumb is that water resistant sunscreen like MISSION’s Kids Continuous Play Sunscreen SPF 70 has up to 80 minutes of water/sweat resistance.
3. Dress Cool to Feel Cool & Protected- Light, breathable clothing keeps everyone cool. Pastels and whites aren't just fashionable for summer: they help reflect light away from the body. Loose, lightweight, breathable fabric will keep kids cool. Sunhats for kids help protect their face and eyes, which can be crucial protection for kids who won't wear sunglasses. And now, there are more and more wearable accessories that have Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) that block the majority of harmful rays that kids are exposed to when in the sun. MISSION’s new line of Instant Cooling Gear will not only help your kids stay cool, but the fabric has UPF 50 protection from the sun! A two-in-one product to defeat the sun and heat this summer.
4. Bring Down Skin Temperature & Cool Pulse Points - Pulse points are essentially areas where you can feel your pulse because your blood vessels are close to the surface of your skin. Because they are so close, you can help cool off your blood by getting the area in contact with cool water or fabric. Your neck is arguably one of the most effective pulse points to try to keep cool. Other pulse points include your wrists, the insides of your elbows and knees and your temples. When kids exhibit symptoms of heat exhaustion parents can help cool them by running cool water on their pulse points. Jumping in a cool pool will also help, but let’s be honest; a cool body of water is not always readily available. When you need a portable solution that will cool down the skin, but not soak your kid’s clothing at the same time, try MISSION’s Instant Cooling Towel. A quick burst of cool anywhere that will give your budding all-star relief.
5. Limit outdoor activities during the hottest part of the day- This is either 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. or 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., depending on your location. Kids can still play outside during this time, but make sure that shade and beverages are nearby and check kids regularly for signs of overheating or sun damage. If you are attending a special event like a sports tournament, a fair or going to an amusement park, check the venue map for the nearest food courts or first aid facilities. They often have shady areas where you can cool off when needed.
Play Hard. Have Fun. Happy Memorial Day! Get your MISSION on!
To check out some of the products mentioned, click here
Success in professional basketball is a product of immense preparation. One important aspect of preparing for a game is the concept of “pre-game rituals”, or the routine a player goes through in the time immediately leading up to a game. Not to be confused with locker room superstitions, this routine that a player goes through not only makes for a great show for spectators, but also helps players to become both physically and mentally prepared prior to game time.
There are a variety of customs that players in the NBA today go through just prior to gametime. Although the league recently implemented a new rule requiring starters to be on the court within 90 seconds of lineup introductions, there is still ample time for players to get into their mental and physical comfort zones. Dwyane Wade recently outlined his pre-game ritual here, which includes a “chin-up” on the rim (pictured) www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTy9dAuE1pA
Perhaps the most well known pre-game ritual is associated with the league’s most well known player: Lebron James. At the conclusion of introductions, James heads straight to the scorers’ table and powders up his hands. He then lets the powder fly into the air, almost always eliciting a massive reaction from the crowd. Some players are also now using a newer product called Mission Power Grip, which is a “liquid chalk” that they apply to their hands for a “dry grip” on the ball.
Right before tip off or when checking in, some players will step on a sticky mat to clean the bottoms of their shoes and more and more players are now applying Mission Court Grip to their sneakers for enhanced traction.
Another popular pregame ritual amongst NBA players is the handshake. Many players have developed intricate handshakes with one another. Sometimes these handshakes go beyond just player-to-player, expanding to coaches and even to the officials at the scorers’ table. The Oklahoma City Thunder are the team most well-known for these theatrics. www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6QlkghHHsA
Other players have specific shot routines that they go through, always making sure they take a certain amount of warm-up shots at certain areas of the floor. Some players must touch certain areas of the floor in their warm-up.
However, some routines, like that of the injured Boston Celtics star Rajon Rondo, become a bit more complicated. According to teammate Jason Terry, Rondo’s pre-game routine includes high-fiving the whole team, partaking in layup lines for five minutes, before finally “stand(ing) under the goal and Paul Pierce will shoot every ball on the rack from half court. He will catch four balls at one time and then after that…one pass off the backboard to KG, one bounce pass to Paul Pierce and then he throws it all the way up to the scoreboard and Jeff Green finishes with an alley-oop.”
Ultimately, pre-game rituals have become an essential part of the pre-performance routine and allow players to feel comfortable and ready to take on their opponent. In addition, it is the time when players apply their “tools of the game” that will help them perform to their potential.
So….what is the craziest pre-game ritual YOU have seen at any level, NBA, College, High School, etc.?
In honor of Mission athlete and expectant mom, Sarah Haskins, we asked one of our other Mission moms to write her secrets to keeping on pace...
When you have children, you feel like you’re always running around – to daycare or school, to work, to the grocery store, activities, friends, appointments – it doesn’t stop. But as tiring as it feels, it still doesn’t replace the need for actual exercise. For those busy moms who have considered starting or returning to running as a workout, it may seem impossible – but it isn’t! Here are some secrets that other running moms keep under their hats:
- Quality not quantity: You have a busy schedule, so chances are you won’t be able to leap into running marathons from the get go. So when you run, go for quality, not quantity. Go for long runs when you can, but when you can’t, focus on speedwork or hill work to work your muscles and lungs in a short amount of time. A little goes a long way.
- Make the time: It may feel like you’re running around doing something for everyone else, but you need to make time for yourself. Carve out even 30 minutes several times a week to focus on running – someone else can make dinner, fold laundry, or maybe they can even come with you! Maybe you have some time in the morning or during lunch. Slowly work it into your schedule and it will get easier to manage.
- Do what works: The treadmill. A gym. Going around the block. Finding a running partner or group. Listening to great music. Invest in good running shoes, or use anti-chafe cream to keep your skin comfortable. There are many options to get you out and running, so try them all. You need to do what works for you so that you can go for runs and keep at it.
- Keep it enjoyable: Running is hard work, so why make it harder than it needs to be? For example, listening to energetic tunes can help give you motivation. Wearing your favorite shirt can make you feel attractive. Using water resistant sunscreen can protect your skin without slowing you down. Running along pretty routes can keep it interesting. The more you like running, the more you’ll do it.
- Just run: Cross country skiing is a good workout. So is cycling, swimming, Pilates, yoga…but if you want to get better at running, then you just have to run. You can add in other activities, but don’t substitute them for running.
If you want to run, then there’s only one thing you can do – run! For busy moms, it can be difficult to get the motivation to pound the pavement, but with the right attitude, equipment and skin saving accessories like sunscreen and anti-chafe cream, as well as dedication, it can be done. And once you start, you’ll be glad you did.
You want to get yourself in better shape and feel amazing. You’ve heard about the health benefits of running, and so you want to give it a try. Or maybe you used to run and want to get back into it. Whatever your reasons, running can be a great past-time that helps you strengthen your muscles, help your bones, get your heart working optimally, and feel great!
As part of your motivation, you also signed up for a race – goals can be good after all. But there’s more to training than simply running the distance. But with this mindset, many new runners make mistakes that ruin their first race experience. With the tips below, you can avoid these first marathon mistakes:
- Inadequate training time: To run any distance, you need to be able to cover the distance. If you’re running in a half marathon or a longer distance, then typically, you would run most of the distance, such as 11 miles, comfortably during training. The problem arises when you don’t run enough longer distances times during your training. This can cause problems on the actual race day because your body isn’t expecting such a workout. Make sure you get enough longer training runs in before the race date so that your body isn’t left in a state of shock on the actual day.
- Ignoring your body: An important part of training is recovery. Though it may sound like a contradiction, you need to run, and you need to rest. This lets your body recover from the wear and tear that running causes. Insufficient recovery time will simply tire you out, making any subsequent runs more difficult than they need to be, and making you cranky too. Therefore, intersperse slow, short running days and no-run days in between your longer runs.
- Lack of proper nutrients and hydration: You don’t want to weigh yourself down with water bottles or food, but when running longer distances, your body needs fuel. You need water because you will be sweating, and you need food to replace the calories that you are burning. If you don’t get enough of both, you will feel sluggish and slow. During training, try out different foods and drinks to see what you enjoy eating, what your body can handle, and what you are comfortable to carry to avoid first marathon mistakes that many make.
- Not having comfy clothing: You may have a favorite race shirt, but is it comfortable? Your shoes are worn – time to get a new pair? You want to be as comfortable as possible on race day, but to know that, you have to wear your clothes on enough training runs to find out. If you need new shoes, wear them on enough training runs to ensure you don’t get blisters. If your clothes tend to chafe you during longer runs, consider anti-chafing cream. It can minimize the friction caused by the clothes rubbing together, prevent blisters, and even bleeding, while moisturizing your skin.
Learning to train properly for a race is a matter of trial and error – you need to know what works for you and your body, and tweak the areas that don’t. By following the tips above, you can prevent or minimize many of the first marathon mistakes that others make so that your first race can be an exhilarating accomplishment. Good luck!
Everyone has a goal this year; whether saving money, spending more quality time with family/friends, quit smoking/drinking, or getting out of debt. When some of those New Year’s resolutions start to fade, we want to help you keep you focused on what’s important. Getting into shape is, and should always be a priority.
If you are looking to stay focused on your resolution to lead a healthier lifestyle here are just a few fitness tips to help you keep while managing your busy schedule:
1. GET MOVING
Engage in fitness activities that will simply keep you moving. Getting in good shape doesn’t mean you have to commit to an intense workout routine. Movement can take place indoors, outdoors and at different paces. Sometimes we underestimate the importance of walking to help get you in shape or even in lowering potential diseases like diabetes and hypertension. People who share the good habit of walking for at least 10 to 15 minutes per day, despite their busy routines, see how beneficial it can be. Check out this article on the secret to losing weight:
2. SIGN UP FOR A RESOLUTION RUN
This gives you the momentum to reach your goals. Resolution runs give you something specific to plan for and to remain committed to.
If you stay focused on achieving smaller goals first, those will eventually lead to larger resolutions throughout the year. Your commitment will also have an effect on building a larger social circle and setting a good example for your family. Take a look at why people are signing up for resolution runs: http://www.active.com/running/Articles/Top-5-Reasons-to-Sign-Up-for-a-Resolution-Race.htm . You can find a race that meets your goals throughout the country by using the following link: http://running.competitor.com/race-calendar.
3. ENLIST SOME HELP
A third important tip to tackle your fitness resolutions is to find a workout that accommodates your budget.
After spending so much money on holiday gifts and trips, the last thing people want is to add another expense to the year’s budget. Luckily, there are options to save cash while taking advantage of free offers, gym discounts, and nutrition tips. If you are willing to spend a bit more on a personal trainer, you will have the privacy and comfort in your home by controlling the temperature, the music, cleanliness, equipment and having no audience around. But you can save money by motivating a friend or colleague to split the costs. There is also a cheaper and fun way to workout from home with DVDs that include fitness videos like Zumba for a variety of levels and interests. Zumba fitness is centered around dance and aerobics, heavily inspired by Latin music. The following links contain valuable information on how you can make the most out of your Zumba workouts :
Tips for Beginners: http://www.livestrong.com/article/259924-zumba-for-beginners/
100 Zumba Workouts Online for Free: http://www.squidoo.com/100-zumba-workouts
Follow the instructor’s steps: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rvJQUD5XwY
4. FIND INSPIRATION FROM EXPERTS
Mission sat down with company partner and Olympic Triathlete Sarah Haskins during a training session last year, and talked to her about setting goals and living a healthy lifestyle. She recommends you to get out there, follow your passion, eat healthy, and protect your body. What motivates her is to focus on what needs to be done to achieve a specific goal. Check out at what she had to say below:
Tips for a Healthy Lifestyle: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QhrBVgSUzY
Accomplishing goals : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEybsKNAjc0
Motivation to Achieve Goals: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYbkdsWDWYY
5. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT:
You don’t need to “over-gear” with expensive items to make working out a little more enjoyable and less painful experience. Nevertheless, you need to be aware that one of the most important pieces of equipment to any kind of exercise is choosing the right shoe. If you decide that running is your thing, you are better off with a shoe that provides a firm heel, good support, and lightweight. Also make sure you are using a shirt made of wicking fabric, wicking socks, comfortable tights, and for women, a comfortable sports bra. Check this article for more tips on essential equipment for new runners: http://www.active.com/running/Articles/3-Gear-Essentials-for-Newbie-Runners. Products like anti-chafe are must-haves, especially in humid weather, and now you have the option to prevent chafing using silicone-based creams or sticks that stay in place longer than waxed-based anti-chafing products.
Mission Athletecare has developed an Anti-Chafe formula that outlasts the competition: http://www.missionathletecare.com/collections/anti-chafe.
Additionally, having a muscle rehab product in hand will help you get back out there quicker: http://www.missionathletecare.com/products/max-muscle-rehab.
So, get your Mission on, and keep those resolutions going all year round!
In sports, a millisecond or millimeter can be the difference between a win or a loss…
Looking to make a difference in your game this basketball season? Check this out…
Today, we released findings from an independent three month study that showed a 24% average improvement on basketball player’s lateral quickness and improved balance and stability when using Court Grip™!
The company who did the study was OptoSource™, a recognized leader in sports performance tracking, utilizing state-of-the-art LED sensors to track and measure athlete’s speed, agility and quickness to determine their efficiency of motion.
Once they reviewed their preliminary findings, OptoSource™ traveled to Wisconsin to test with Milwaukee Bucks star point guard Brandon Jennings, and to analyze the difference in his signature step back jump shot with and without Court Grip™.
From Brandon himself: “I used Court Grip all of last year, and I could feel the difference in my game, but actually seeing the data from the study, the visible improvements that Court Grip made to my form, stability and performance was really amazing.”
Check out the video that breaks down the findings:
Co-developed and co-created with 2-Time NBA Champion and Miami Heat All-Star Dwyane Wade, we launched Court Grip™ last season, with support from company partners Steve Nash, Dwight Howard and Brandon Jennings as well as the NBA and the NBA Trainers Association. Due to record-breaking adoption of the product, all major sports retailers are featuring Court Grip ™ this basketball season.
Use promo code FREECGSHIP to get free shipping here on all orders.
Ok, everybody, we need your help! Today begins the 21-Day Reusable Challenge. Led by the awesome Gretchen Bleiler, the 21-Day Reusable Challenge calls upon all of us to kick a bad habit: plastic consumption.
Did you know that 2.5 million plastic bottles are tossed per hour?
Or that plastic grocery bags kill 1,000,000 sea creatures every year?
How about that Styrofoam containers make up 30% of our landfills?
Those are pretty staggering statistics.
We’re right behind Gretchen and her continued work to raise environmental awareness. Join us in our pledge to go plastic-less for the next three weeks. In addition to cutting down on waste, there’s a pretty nice prize (which includes $100 of Mission products) up for grabs. Check out the 21-Day Reusable Challenge Facebook page to learn more!
As the editor of Mission's blog, I have the job of figuring out what comes next. Given that the Olympics are around the corner, we at Mission will be checking in with some of our athletes to talk training - a topic that many of you are interested in. Via Facebook and Twitter, you've shared news of your latest race, upcoming season, and personal fitness goals. In fact, more often than not, one of your comments leads me to a workout of my own later on in the day... But back to the Mission athletes. I figure their secrets will benefit us all. Before we jump in with their favorite workouts and tricks of the trade, I wanted to write a post about the preparation needed before one even begins training. Baby steps, if you will.
Before considering which race to sign up for this spring, I spent some time searching the web for sources that deal with the importance of training and came across a wide variety of opinions. The articles that I have included here offered some of the best advice, in part because they spoke to the fundamentals of training as an everyday endeavor for the everyday athlete.
In an article for xtri.com, Brad Stulberg breaks World Champion triathlete, Jordan Rapp's quote, "train as much as possible" into two parts. He writes:
"1) Train as much: More volume and more intensity is good, so long as...
2) As Possible: The body and mind are in a position to successfully adapt to the applied load."
His article, available here, made me reconsider the feet to the fire approach I initially thought was necessary to start training. The idea isn't to ambush your body. It is to first, be thoughtful, and second, act accordingly. As Stulberg writes, we, the training athletes, need to consider the rest of our lives - the amount of time we spend at work, the amount of time we sleep, the amount of time we would have to recover after working out - before we can commit to a training regimen. I completely agree.
Tip 1: Be realistic.
I found more valuable insight at the New York Times and Tara Parker-Pope's blog on health and wellness (one of my go-tos for insight re: fitness, health, food and the intersection of the three) where Nicole Kolata was writing about the limits of personal workouts.
Kolata sat down with University of Indiana's sports psychologist, John Raglin, to talk about a recent trend and the focus of his studies, overtraining. Raglin's advice to the everyday athlete is to take notice of your body. "You should feel tired... but if you do too much with too little rest, your performance gets worse, not better. Serious athletes recognize these issues — whether they respond to them or not is another matter. A lot of recreational athletes really have no idea.”
If you're not sure how to keep your workouts in perspective, Kolata suggests writing in a diary or taking notes on how you feel after training. The act of recording will help you stay atune to what your body may be telling you.
Rule 2: Take time to recover.
Rule 2.5: Take notes.
A little late to the race, I stumbled across ESPN anchor, Sage Steele's blog about preparing for her first half-marathon. (You can follow her on Twitter by searching #RUNSAGE.) In the latest entry, two trainers - both marathon runners and moms - Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea, give her some "sage advice," beginning with:
1. Don't think, just go. (For their other tips, read the rest of the article here.)
Perhaps more than anything, you and I, just have to start. Lace up the old Nikes and get out there. Reading these articles was step one. Onto step two and the actual running!
Stay tuned in the coming months as I'll be writing about our athletes as many of them gear up for the Olympics. I'll let you in on their training secrets and the Mission products they're using to keep them in prime condition. I welcome any of your suggestions as to what comes next. To stay in touch, visit our Connect page here.
Now, back to training!
What's your Mission? Three words, one tough question.
With 2012 underway, we took the opportunity to poll our online community to see what people are committing themselves to this year and we received some interesting responses. Not all had to do with completing longer races in shorter amounts of time - although many responses did involve personal bests. More people responded about wanting to find a balance in a busy life, bettering relationships, or, simply having more fun.
We took some of our favorites from Twitter and Facebook to share with you here. We welcome you to add your own.
From @Sam_in_Training: "Run a sub-4 marathon!!!!! @MissionAthlete"
From our very own @sarahhaskinstri: "@MissionAthlete Triathlon at 80. Active and healthy till I hit the dirt"
Ally V: "To land a job and continue working out and eating right. And talk to Bellflower City to get our community garden established and going."
Tammy Johnson Rhodus: "To run my second marathon injury free! Most of all, appreciate each day."
Our favorite, and the silliest goal for next year came from @matthew4ward:
"@MissionAthlete @AmandaRayBeard I'd like to be able to flip an egg without a spatula and not break the yolk. That would be wicked."
We'll be checking back in with these Mission users to see how it's going later on in the year. We're also interested in featuring some Mission users here on our blog. If you want to share your story, we're ready for you.
As a brand, it's our goal to make products for people who are on the move. If you're stocking up on Mission goodies, use promo code Mission2012 through January 15th to save 20% off all online orders. Thanks for reading, now go get 'em and happy new year.
They're tough to come by, but once you find them, you're good to go ... and go and go and go. What are we talking about? Gym bag essentials.
Finding products that work for you is key to staying on track toward achieving your goals - whether they be completing your first race, staying healthy through the playoffs or something as commonplace as staying protected while you and your family exercise outdoors. Part of the reason Mission appeals to so many different people is because our products address various components of the training process. They help you protect, perform, and rehab. Depending on your specific needs, you can browse our products by any one of those three categories.
We highlighted a couple of go-to fan (and athlete) favorites:
For protection, we've chosen a fan favorite: the SPF 30+ No Sting Face Stick. In fact, just a couple weeks ago, we had a Mission user check in over Twitter from the Cayman Islands. She is an Ironman triathlete and runner and while training under the tropical sun, she's choosing Mission. She's in good company too. Sergio Garcia - our resident golfer - uses it every time he's out on the green. So, if you're putting in miles outside, or just spending time in the sun, our sun (protection) products are athlete approved, and available in varying SPFs and applications.
For performance, we went with a lesser known product, with an equally impressive fan following. 5 Hour Anti-Chafe Creme. If you missed our blog post on Sarah Haskins from earlier this year, she candidly gushes about how Anti Chafe has saved her from saddle sores and blister hickeys (on her way to World Championships and Olympic Games, of course!). If you're running, biking, swimming, and everything in between, Mission's Anti-Chafe stands up to your crossover ways.
And finally, when it comes to rehab, you've got to show your feet some love. We recommend our new Athlete's Foot Rehab Spray. It is clinically effective to cure and prevent most athlete's foot. It relieves itching, burning and cracking while absorbing sweat and fighting odor. You know, a bunch of our athletes are quite vocal about keeping their feet looking fresh. Dwyane Wade has traded jabs with Skip Bayless about manicures and pedicures; Serena even has her own nail polish line. To keep your feet happy and healthy, look no further than Athlete's Foot Rehab. (Dare we say, a perfect stocking stuffer for the person in you life who's always on their feet!)
This holiday season, we're doing our best to make finding gym bag essentials easy. All of the products listed above are featured in gift baskets designed by our superstar athletes themselves (and offered at a great value!). To take a look at who likes what, you can browse all of the kits here. And, if you're in love with a product and want to share where you've been using it, shout us a holler. It's always fun to hear from fellow athletes on a Mission.