• Show Your Heart the Love this Month

    By Sweaty Bands

    HeartsTraditionally, heart disease has been considered one that affects men primarily, but the reality is heart disease affects men and women in the same proportions. In fact, heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States. February is heart month, so what better time could there be to shower yourself with love and commit to a more heart-healthy lifestyle? Here are some ways you can show your heart the love this month!

    FOOD Although most of us know we should eat healthier, we convince ourselves we are too busy to invest the time required in planning and preparing healthy meals. It’s time to change that mind-set. There are thousands of delicious, heart-healthy recipes out there you can prepare quickly and easily. Our heart-healthy Caprese salad recipe, for example, takes only five minutes to make and will no doubt become a favorite for lunch. A quick online search will provide thousands of heart-healthy recipes for you to explore. Try adding one or two into your cooking rotation each week. You’ll see eating healthy doesn’t have to be a chore and probably find some new favorite foods.

    EXERCISE Exercise is another area where most of us know what we should be doing but fall short in the execution. The American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of exercise five times per week to improve cardiovascular health. Many of us get caught up in thinking we have to join an expensive gym or go for a five-mile run for our workout to count as exercise. In reality, exercise is anything that makes you move your body and burns calories. If you’re not ready to sign up for a gym membership, search for ways you can add extra movement to your daily routine. You could dance around the house while vacuuming. Make a couple of extra trips up and down the stairs when you’re doing laundry. Anything activity adding extra movement to your life will be good for your heart.

    Heart-Month-Image

    HEALTHY HABITS Habits such as smoking and drinking excessively can increase your risk of complications from heart disease, especially if you have any other conditions, such as diabetes or high cholesterol. To protect your heart, you should stop smoking and drink alcohol only in moderation. For women, it is recommended to have no more than one drink per day. Once you change an unhealthy habit such as smoking, your body immediately begins the process of healing any damage inflicted. Give yourself the gift of health this Valentine’s Day and take steps to eliminate any of these damaging habits from your life.

    SLEEP Sleep is another critical factor in maintaining good heart health. Sleep deprivation and poor sleep quality can lead to a host of health problems, including high blood pressure, fatigue and metabolic problems. Getting the right amount of high-quality sleep is essential to your overall health and is a key factor in keeping your heart healthy. If you struggle with falling asleep or staying asleep, you should try reducing your caffeine intake and establishing an evening routine that includes going to bed at the same time every night and eliminates the use of any electronic devices, including cell phones, tablets and television close to bedtime. It’s important we demonstrate some self-love by taking extra good care of ourselves as women. Practicing good heart health habits will ensure you have the opportunity to live a long and healthy life! Also, check out our red bands this month and wear red for heart month!

    Heart Month bands

    LaToyaG

    About the Author: LaToya is an advocate for healthy living. She enjoys cooking up tasty, nutritious recipes and regularly practices yoga and Pilates. As a writer for eHealth Informer, she loves sharing her knowledge and inspiring others to live healthier lifestyles.

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  • Tips for Running at Night

    By Sweaty Bands
    reflective-runner_sm

    Don't let the time change ruin your running routine! Now that Daylight Saving Time is about to kick in, running after sunset is likely unavoidable. With the right preparation and focus, you may even learn to enjoy the darkness.

    Protect yourself and follow these 10 tips:

    1. Choose the best lit route.

    2. Stick to routes you know well but vary up your routine. Potential attackers notice consistency so don’t make yourself an easy target by always running the same route at the same time.

    3. Wearing a headlamp will help light the way in the dark.

    4. Clip on a flashing or strobe light of some sort. Green and yellow are the most visible colors.

    5. Load up on reflective gear. There are so many options now. A reflective vest can be layered on top of anything. Also, check out our Reflective Runner Sweaty Bands!

    6. Run with a group. There are so many running groups that meet several times a week and hit the road. We love seeing that camaraderie— and the mass of reflective gear and flashing lights is hard to miss! Plus there is always safety in numbers!

    7. Ditch the headphones.

    8. Always carry your phone with you and some sort of identification. A Road ID shoe tag is a great option.

    9. Always run against traffic. It is easier to avoid cars if you can see them coming at you. And it's easier for them to spot you!

    10. Follow your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right head in the other direction.

    Night or early morning runs in the crisp air can be very invigorating. Don’t let the darkness push you away from your goals. Your consistency and dedication will be unwavering if you are well prepared!

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  • From Sketches to Sweaty Bands

    By Sweaty Bands

    At Sweaty Bands, we use many different mediums to create our designs—
    everything from markers to watercolor paints. Have you ever wondered how a simple sketch on paper becomes a beautiful, finished design? My name is Jordan Stevens, the Design Director here at Sweaty Bands, and I’m going to walk you through it!

    sketch-to-sb_blog-pics

    Step One: Studio Days
    After we have had an initial inspiration meeting, we take a couple of days to close our doors and play. We listen to music as we paint, draw and try out new techniques. We have created bands with nail polish, ink and milk, fingerpainting, colored pencils, pen, markers, paint, watercolors, tissue paper and of course, the good old computer. You name it—we’ve probably tried it… and if not, we want to!

    Step Two: Scan and Trim
    Once we have a room covered in beautiful art, we begin picking what will look best on a band and we start scanning the art straight into the computer. Sometimes, for example in the case of the milk and ink, we have to photograph it to bring it into the computer. Once it’s in the computer, we use Adobe Photoshop tools to cut out the pieces that we like.

    Step Three: Play with Color
    Once we have the content in the computer and trimmed to what we would like to work with, we can start altering the color. We can change the color completely or make it really bright and vibrant. We can make it black and white, scale it up or down, multiply it a bunch of times, rotate it, flip it and reverse it (Yes, a Missy Elliott reference—see aren’t you glad you read the blog?).

    Step Four: Finalize and Sample
    Finally, we have art that we are super excited about and we cannot wait to see a sample of it on a Sweaty Band. We create our final print files in Adobe Illustrator and send them off to the printer. Three business days later, we receive printed artwork on what we call “top ribbon” (the part of the band that has the printed design on it). We lay them flat on the table, hold them in our hair, try them in different hair colors and ultimately pick which ones will become Sweaty Bands!

    Have a great idea for a Sweaty Band? Work directly with our design team to create a custom band of your own! We will send you a couple design mock-ups with your exact vision and help you narrow it down until it’s perfect. Sweaty Bands make perfect Christmas gifts… hint hint (It's never too early!).

    Shop the new bands pictured above here.

    Stay Creative (& Sweaty),
    Jordan

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  • Pumpkin Seeds

    By Sweaty Bands
    Food Network Kitchen's Pumpkin Seeds 5 Ways: Classic for Pumpkin and Squash, as seen on Food Network Pumpkin Seeds 5 Ways: Classic for Pumpkin and Squash,
    as seen on Food Network

    Have you ever roasted pumpkin seeds? If not, you are in for a tasty treat! Throw them on a salad or eat them as a snack; they are soooo good! Here are some ideas to get you going or add anything that sounds good to you!

    DIRECTIONS:

    Seed the pumpkin: Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Using a spoon, scrape the pulp and seeds out of your pumpkin into a bowl.

    Clean the seeds: Separate the seeds from the stringy pulp, rinse the seeds in a colander under cold water, then shake dry. Don't blot with paper towels; the seeds will stick.

    Dry them: Spread the seeds in a single layer on an oiled baking sheet and roast 30 minutes to dry them out.

    Add spices: Toss the seeds with olive oil, salt and your choice of spices (see below). Return to the oven and bake until crisp and golden, about 20 more minutes.

    - Sweet Toss with cinnamon and sugar (do not use salt in step 4).

    - Indian Toss with garam masala; mix with currants after roasting.

    - Spanish Toss with smoked paprika; mix with slivered almonds after roasting.

    - Italian Toss with grated parmesan and dried oregano.

    - Barbecue Toss with brown sugar, chipotle chile powder and ground cumin.

    Read more at Food Network

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  • SIDS Awareness Month

    By Sweaty Bands

    October is SIDS Awareness Month! We think it is important to raise awareness on this topic, and encourage you to educate yourself as well.

    SIDS, or sudden infant death syndrome, is the sudden unexplained death of a previously healthy infant. 90% of the time, SIDS occurs in babies less than 6 months old, and usually during sleep. A diagnosis of SIDS is given once the death remains unexplained even after a thorough autopsy and detailed investigation.

    While there is no one “cause” of SIDS, some risk factors have been identified:

    1. Preterm birth or low birth weight
    2. Being born to a mother under the age of 20
    3. Having a lot of siblings, especially close in age
    4. Babies who have suffered an apparent life-threatening event (stopped breathing,turned pale, blue, and limp and required resuscitation)
    5. American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Non-Hispanic blacks
    6. Being a boy

    As a preventative measure, it is recommended to follow the A, B, Cs of Safe Sleep:
    Your baby should be Alone on their Back in a Crib.

    Source: http://www.babycenter.com/0_sids-keeping-your-baby-safe-during-sleep_419.bc

    Please watch the video below of Kat and John Clifford’s brave and tragic story about losing their daughter, Kylie Xiu, to SIDS – and the tangible hope they ultimately brought others through their experience.

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