All posts filed under “Summer

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6 tips to beat the heat!

Ok. Portland isn’t supposed to be this hot. Ever. What’s the deal?! The sun is much appreciated – but how to stay cool in this insane heat if you don’t have air conditioning at home? Never fear! As always, the internet has the answers!

Tip #1: Freeze those sheets

This trick probably won’t keep you cool all night…but it will help you fall asleep, which seems like it’s half the battle! Put your sheets in a sealed plastic bag, being careful that it’s sealed tight so no moisture sneaks in. Pop the bag in the freezer for a few minutes – and snag them when it’s ready for bed.

This trick isn’t ideal, since your body heat will warm them back up. But hey – it’s something!

Tip #2: Cooling packs

These are more long-lasting than freezing sheets, and inexpensive which is another plus! Make your own cooling packs to put in your pillow cases at night. Pinterest for the win!

For each pack you need:

1 cup rubbing alcohol

2 cups water

2 freezer plastic bags

Put the rubbing alcohol and water in one freezer bag. Squeeze out all of the air you can, and then double bag it. Pop each pack in the freezer for 6+ hours. The rubbing alcohol will prevent the packs from freezing completely (making them squishy gel-like). Unlike Tip #1 above, these gel packs last for hours and are a welcome relief in the heat!

Tip #3: Close windows & blinds

This may seem like a no-brainer….but during the day close all your windows and draw the blinds. Keeping the sun out will help lower the temperature inside.

Tip #4: DIY A/C

If you’re feeling ambitious- try making your own air conditioner.

TIP #5: Swamp Cooler Method

Don’t worry. It’s classier than it sounds. Well…maybe not classy. But hey, it gets the job done. Cue Larry the Cable Guy…Get ‘er done!

What you need:

Large ice block from store

Turkey roasting pan


Place the large block of ice in the pan, with a fan blowing behind it. The fan will blow over the ice and cool down the room. Plus side – if you have animals, they will soon have tasty ice cool water to drink from a massive water dish!

Tip #6: Avoid large electronics

Using your oven, dryer, dishwasher, and other electronics can heat your home up. Avoid using them to keep the inside cool!

caption-arrow  Feature photo by Dorian Wallender

Walking for mental health
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Super tips for boosting mental health

We all know that walking is good for your physical health. But researchers are diving deeper in to the mental health benefits of walking. It’s not just a matter of putting one foot in front of the other, but the environment of your location plays a big factor is how your mental health improves. Read more on this from the Washington Post.

Looking for a few places to get in some quick nature walks? Check out Best Day Hikes for a few amazing places in the Pacific Northwest.  Remember to always pack a few snacks, water, cell phone and an emergency kit “just in case”.  REI has a great list of 10 essentials for any hike.

caption-arrow  Feature photo by Ian D. Keating



Swimming safey
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Stay safe when swimming

Every year there are accidents and deaths in our rivers, lakes and ocean.  As the weather heats up we look to our natural resources to find a place to cool down and have fun.  But all too often, even the best swimmers, find themselves out matched by mother nature.

The Red Cross has provided useful information on preparation and response in emergency situations.   Fox News 12  also reported on the dangers of swimming in extreme cold water and the unforeseen accidents that can happen.

Spend time with your friends and family talking about swim safety to enjoy a long summer of water fun.

caption-arrow  Feature photo by Michael Salazar

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Sun safety and you

Cue the music….it’s sunny! Here Comes the Sun – The Beatles

Here in the Pacific Northwest, we get a little giddy when we experience quality sunshine. Hula-hooping hipsters, frisbee tossing dudes,  and  bikini-clad sunbathers emerge from organic & free trade coffee shops and flock to be outside. Who can blame them? Not only does the sun provide wonderful vitamin D, but it’s scientifically proven to boost our mood!

As summer approaches, enjoying the sweet sunshine is on the schedule – but what about sun safety?

The American Cancer Society recommends the “Slip! Slop! Slap!® and Wrap” approach to being sun safety savvy!

  • Slip on a shirt (dry shirt offers more protection from UV rays than a wet one)
  • Slop on some waterproof sunscreen (use broad spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 15)
  • Slap on a hat (shade your face, ears, back of neck)
  • Wrap on sunglasses to protect your eyes/skin around your eyes

Ultraviolet (UV) rays from sun exposure can cause serious damage including cataracts and skin cancer. This summer be smart about your health while enjoying the sun.

Sun fun fact: it takes about 8 minutes for light from the sun to reach earth.

Source: Centers for Disease Control & Prevention & American Cancer Society

caption-arrow  Feature photo by Mario Luckow

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What you need to know about ticks

Ticks — tiny brown bugs — can carry Lyme disease and other illnesses. Here are some tips to avoid them:

  • Watch for ticks in woods and grassy areas, often near rivers, mountains or dry climates.
  • Use insect repellent with at least 20 percent DEET.
  • Check your shoes, clothing and body for ticks after being outdoors.

If you find an attached tick, grasp it with tweezers as close to the skin as possible and pull it straight out. If you get a rash or fever in the following weeks, contact your doctor.

caption-arrow  Feature photo by John Tann


Pacific Crest Trail
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Go Wild – 4 tips to safe hiking

We all receive inspiration in many different forms. This can come from an experience, books or even watching a movie. In the film Wild it displays a woman who is hiking the Pacific Crest Trail on her own. She surpasses obstacles and creates a movement that motivates those who watch.  This leaves many of us anticipating on how we can accomplish a similar trip. Here are some tips to keep you safe while hiking:

  1. Disclose your location - Let people know where you will be hiking, the duration of your hike, who you are with and when they should expect you back.
  2. Watch the climate - Check the weather and be aware of the circumstances. There is nothing wrong with postponing a trip due to bad weather.
  3. Be prepared - Wear proper attire; carry supplies that you can anticipate to use (ex. First aid kit), have plenty of water available.
  4. Plan properly - Become familiar with the hike and stay on trail as best as you can. A map and compass are good tools to assist with direction.

The most important tip is to have fun and make the most of your journey. Take lots of pictures, and soak in the beauty of nature that is all around you.

caption-arrow  Feature photo by Miguel Vieira

ice bucket challenge
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Ice Bucket Challenge – Cool off and raise awareness for ALS

Have you heard of the Ice bucket challenge? Simply put, dump ice cold water over your head and/or donate to the ALS Association. Even Justin Timberlake has dumped an ice cold bucket of water over his head to raise awareness.

Once you have completed the challenge you nominate 3 others to do the same. You can either accept the challenge, or donate 100$ to an ALS foundation of your choice. Doing both though are encouraged! Challenge your friends, co-workers, family today!

So what is  ALS? The full name is Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. It  is a disease that effects your body’s ability to move and perform basic functions like eating and breathing. Currently, ALS has no cure.

If you aren’t up for this challenge you can always volunteer to support the cause.

We challenge YOU to raise awareness and take the Ice Bucket Challenge! Don’t forget to share your videos and thoughts with us below!

UPDATE: Moda Health accepted the  Ice Bucket Challenge! 20 brave employees were voted for this challenge by fellow coworkers last week. We were asked to put down cash to choose who we wanted to see take the challenge at our company picnic. The money raised was all donated to the ALS foundation. Way to go Moda employees!

caption-arrow  Feature photo by Andre Bohrer


pink facekini
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Facekinis – Would you rock this new fashion trend?

Have you spotted the latest fashion trend hitting the beaches? The Facekini is making a big splash in China, and making its way to the U.S.

Facekinis were originally designed for Chinese women to keep their skin looking fair. This is a foreign thought for Americans who chase a tan all year round.

Most Facekinis range from about 3 to 5 dollars. Here is a site I found with many different color options at Buy Facekini Online. There are also college themed Facekinis coming soon!

Would you rock this new fashion trend? Or, does it scare you a little bit? Give us your thoughts below.

And for those of you that would not wear a facekini, remember to put on the sunscreen (SPF of at least 15) not only on your body, but on your face as well. For additional tips on sun protection check out the Rights and Wrongs of Sunscreen Use.

caption-arrow  Feature photo by Buy Facekini Online

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1 in 5 Americans – Skin Cancer Awareness

Summer is officially here in the Pacific Northwest! We are enjoying the warm weather and many of us are planning our vacations. That being said, this also brings to mind sun safety and skin cancer awareness. Did you know that skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States? Many of us think it won’t happen to me.

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation “more than 3.5 million skin cancers in over two million people are diagnosed annually. Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon. And one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.”

The good news is that this may be preventable! Read More

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Oregon 4th of July Events – 2013 Edition

What are your plans for the July 4th Holiday and weekend? This year, try something new and join a walk or race. It’s not too late to sign-up!

There is everything from trail runs to a kid’s fun run, a Portland running city tour and even a Special Forces challenge for adventure seekers. Of course there are the traditional 5K, 10k and marathon distances as well.

Here is a list of many of the events around Oregon this coming holiday weekend. Get out, enjoy the holiday and have some fun!  


4th of July Fun Run-Boardman – 10K run, 5K run, 5K walk, Boardman, OR

4th of July Run 4 Freedom 5K and Kids Run – 5K run Central Point, OR

Ashland 4th of July Run – 10K run Ashland, OR

Butte to Butte 10K – 10K run, 4.5M walk Eugene, OR

CAT Walk & Fun Run – 5K run, 5K walk Hillsboro, OR

Firecracker 5K – 5K run, 5K walk Prairie City, OR

Foot Traffic Flat Marathon & Half Marathon – 26.2M run, 13.1M run Portland, OR

Freedom 5K – 5K run, 5K walk Molalla, OR

Freedomthon – 5K run Beaverton, OR

Funky Foot Race and Kids Boardwalk Dash – 13.1M run, 10K run, 5K run, kids run Brookings, OR

ORRC 4th of July Run/Walk and Kid’s Run – 4M run, kids run, 4M walk, 5K walk Wilsonville, OR

Recycle Run – 8K trail run, 5K trail run, 8K walk, 5K walk Sisters, OR

Spark Your Heart 5K Run – 5K run, 5K walk Bend, OR

Tilikum Trail Run – 5K trail run, 1.6K walk Newberg, OR

GORUCK Challenge – 12H adventure race Portland, OR

City Running Tours Portland Brew Pub Running Tour – Portland, OR

Hagg Lake Tri & Du – triathlon, duathlon Forest Grove, OR

Lostine River Run – 10K run, 5K run, 1M run Lostine, OR

Smith Rock Sunrise Summer Classic – 13.1M run, 10K run, 5K run Terrebonne, OR

Stars and Stripes Marathon – 26.2M run, 13.1M run Beaverton, OR