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We are right in the middle of winter, and while we are ever so thankful for the blue skies and snowy adventures in our Mile High City, spring does not *officially* arrive until March 20th. Plus, we have all seen that looming snowflake in the forecast through May. Even with the adventure life readily available in ski towns, cabin fever is real.
Feeling antsy for warmer weather? Here are my six favorite ways to escape the cabin, stay active (indoors) and invest in my own self-care during the long Denver winter season.
Put the pedal to the metal.
Let’s bring the bike indoors this season, sweat it out and make shift happen at studios like Shift Cycle + Fitness in Sunnyside! Get ready to raise your heart rate, climb an imaginary mountain and cycle your heart out. I love ending my day with this high-energy workout. Not only am I literally letting go of the email life, but I’m also pedaling to the beat and channeling my best Lady Gaga all while forgetting about the cold outside.
“Beyond fitness, a cycling class can prep your mind and soul to conquer really hard sh*t. In every class we set an intention, practice gratitude and open ourselves up to making a shift in our lives and in our bodies,” says Whitney Herman, founder of Shift Cycle + Fitness. “When we conquer hard stuff on the bike and push ourselves out of our comfort zone, we find the power and fortitude to overcome daily stresses, insecurities, and negativity in our everyday life and start kicking ass at positivity and shining a little brighter.”
Eliminate that winter upper body hunch.
The cold in the air creates a reaction in our bodies to literally hunker down and hunch over for warmth and protection of our core. Perhaps each night you feel the shoulder crunch and neck tightness after braving a day in the Mile High or out on the trails. You need to release the tension and channel total relaxation. After a morning hike in the mountains of Evergreen, I treat myself to a Sacred Stone Journey Massage at Sacred Stone Day Spa. Featuring heated toe stones and chakra balancing, you’ll instantly kick that lingering winter chill. Customize the level of depth and your preferred pressure—then just climb into the heated bed and take a deep breath as your massage therapist spends a little extra time on your traps, neck, and collarbone this time of year.
From 0 to 95, bring on the BIG heat.
This might be blasphemy in Colorado—the home of the heated yoga studios—but I’m not usually a heated yoga human. Eeek! However, I will make an exception during winter. Snow on the ground? Sign me up for all the heat. BIG Power Yoga in the RiNo brings sweat and inspiring conversation! Experience the best heated flow followed by a lavender infused towel during savasana. Ahhh.
“The heat in Baptiste Yoga is often misunderstood to be designed to simply make the practice harder,” says Laura Rust, founder of BIG Power Yoga. “The truth is, the 95 degree temperature is intentionally used to help you get deeper into your body (everything is more malleable in heat, especially tight muscles!), help you detox and release old stuff (everything from physical toxins to toxic thoughts), and help get you out of your comfort zone in a way that calls forth full presence.”
Keep hydrated to keep healthy.
If you live in Colorado, you might have been infected with the gastro virus or perhaps the 6-week respiratory cough rocking daycares all over our sweet city. With temps dropping up and down, the flu is relentless, especially this time of year! Get your vitamins intravenously from the team of nurses that hold down the best IV treatment center in Denver, Hydrate IV Bar. It’s no secret that hydration is key to health and should be the main focus with the Colorado altitude, especially if you have a fireplace (hello dehydration!).
"We provide IV hydration therapy in a relaxing setting for deficiencies such as altitude sickness, low energy, athletic recovery, and general health and wellness,” says Katie Wafer, owner of Hydrate IV Bar. “Our custom IV solutions are safe and effective, and are formulated to help you feel better faster."
A sweat-worthy playground for adults.
I love walking up to Fitness in the City on Delaware Street and reading the big graffiti wall that tells me to ‘BE A GOOD PERSON’. Honestly, when I show up to sweat, I actually am a good person—way nicer than I was before. I love Stefan Olander’s Meta Circuit class because it’s like a playground for grown-ups. The circuit training style class focuses on cardio, movement, and fun. We swing kettlebells, run ladders, lift barbells and jump rope all in one class. Drenched, breathing heavy and sweat dripping after 60 minutes results in high-fives… and has you feeling pretty damn grateful for the work you put in.
Bounce out the winter blues.
Some days I really need to trick my body into working out with a fun surprise. Nothing beats rebounding on trampolines at Compass Fitness in South Denver. Owner and powerhouse trainer, Jillian Keavany, brings the sweat to the trampolines with Sound Off headphones to shake up your morning—or evening—ritual of movement.
“Trampoline workouts are a GREAT way to experience a high cardio experience without the high impact on joints! It's wicked fun (with a side of terrible, I like to say), high energy, and with a consistent high heart rate, burns loads of calories throughout,” says Jillian. “If you like to ski, this is the perfect cross-training workout for incredible leg and glute strength.”
However you choose to take care of yourself this winter, welcome spring with a little extra self-care and MINDBODY!
Summer is officially here, and with that, there are so many fun activities that will motivate you to get outside to stay in shape and strive for those post-quarantine fitness goals. But before you decide to get outside to enjoy some walking, yoga, swimming, or hiking, remember these best practice skincare habits to protect your skin from common skin concerns, such as, sunburns, chafing, and excessive dryness.
Here, board-certified Dermatologist, Dr. Bottiglione, shares some advice to help your skin stay healthy as you embark into the great outdoors.
When going outside, the sun is going to be your biggest culprit for damaging your skin. While the sun boosts benefits like vitamin D production, take notice when your skin is overexposed to the sun’s harmful rays as it becomes dangerous. When overexposed to direct sunlight, the skin is irritated, causing sunburns, dryness, and sensitivity that can increase the chances for wrinkles and skin cancer as we age.
Luckily, staying inside when it’s so pleasant outside is not the only skincare alternative to avoid the sun’s damaging rays. Here are a few simple tips to prep your skin before stepping outside.
Opt to protect your skin with a clinical-grade sunblocking lotion of 15 SPF or higher.
“Anytime you go outside, you need to apply sunscreen to your skin,” advises Dr. B. “Ensure you apply sunscreen to the full body and reapply often. In the morning, after cleansing your face, is the best time to apply.” He recommends a spray for oily skin, or the Dermatologist’s Choice Sunscreen Enhanced Moisturizer for dry to combination skin types that needs a little extra hydration.
The key is the more intentional you are about proactively protecting your summer skin, the healthier it will be. It may sound simple, but your skin will be happier when you take a preventive approach rather than a reactive approach—for example, applying the sunscreen moisturizer before a walk to help to avoid the treatment of a sunburn after. When prepping your bag for the fun day ahead, make sure to add sunscreen, a hat, and plenty of water.
Now the real excitement begins! However you decide to get your fitness outdoors, we have the skincare routine you need or a carefree and healthy day.
Deep breath. Like our favorite flow, these skincare tips will keep our mind—and our skin—at ease. If you take your yoga practice outdoors, wear an SPF shirt, and lay your mat under a nicely shaded tree to help shield you from excessive sun exposure.
“Avoiding direct sunlight and wearing protective clothing is smart to protect your skin from sun damage. Even if you are going for a relaxing walk or doing just a few sun salutations. Staying out of the direct sunlight will reduce your risk of sun damage and wrinkles.” - Dr. B
Swimming is one of the best cardio and strength training workouts, while also an enjoyable activity during the summer. Whether you are swimming in open water or laps in the pool, the excess amount of water with exposure to pool chemicals and environmental pollutants can cause skin irritation and dryness. To keep your skin hydrated and protected, Dr. B. recommends applying the Dermatologist’s Choice Pre-Bath Oil to your skin before entering the water. This will seal your skin’s protective barrier to avoid skin irritation from chemicals and debris. He adds, “The Pre-Bath Oil is what I give to all my patients with eczema or dry skin. It is the only thing that will protect and also deeply hydrate the skin.” Just apply this serum before you put on your sunscreen, and you're good to go!
With warm temperatures during the summer months, it’s the perfect time for hiking and exploring the mountainous outdoors. It is essential to take the necessary steps to avoid your skin becoming sunburnt, irritated, or breaking out. “Wearing a hat with a large brim that will shade your face and neck is key. A baseball cap is just not enough for the sun protection you need. After your hike, it is important to clean your face and pores of sweat, dirt, and toxins with Dermatologist’s Choice Glycolic Peel Cleansing Pads to avoid breakouts from occurring,” Dr. B. warns. Keep them in your bag for easy cleansing after a hike.
One of the biggest skin concerns cyclists or runners usually bring to dermatologists is chafing. Even if you’re just cruising along the seaside or taking a cycling class, those tight clothes and friction can cause some intense irritation and redness. “When you have an issue with chafing, you need to protect your skin. You need armor over the skin. Beeswax, for example, is thick to coat the skin and protect it. Another effective option is the hydrating Dermatologist’s Choice Pre-Bath Oil. For best results, moisturize your skin, and then add a piece of clothing to cover it (that is actually like armor),” Dr. B. shares. Are you a runner? Feel free to use this tip too before your next mile or 30.
At the end of your activity, the real results of that skin preparation set in. But sometimes, you need a little extra support afterwards. After any good workout, cleansing off the sweat, dirt, toxins, and irritant is paramount. Dermatologist Choice pH Balanced Cleanser helps to gently but effectively remove sweat, oil, and restore the skin’s natural pH levels.
Did you end up getting a sunburn, or is your skin dry from the elements? Soothe with the Pre-Bath Oil with natural oils like sunflower and jojoba oil for deep hydration and healing.
“Sun damage can manifest in multiple ways. Most often, you will notice a sunburn first, which can then lead to irritated skin—and over time, sun damage increases the appearance of wrinkles.” For safe measure, at night regenerate sun-damaged skin with Dermatologist's Choice Ultra Anti-Aging Cream with 15% non-neutralized glycolic acid to your skin. This powerful dermatology treatment rebuilds the collagen and exfoliates fine lines, sunspots, and acne on the skin. “Do not apply the Ultra Anti-Aging Cream on a sunburn or irritated skin,” Dr. B. shares. These are long-term habits to aid in maintaining your best skin health.
Capture your best skin with everything you need this summer with the Dermatologist’s Choice Skin Kit, and get 20% off your order with code MB20 at www.dermchoice.com.