When I was first contacted via Twitter by BEX (Better Exercise Experience) Runner and asked to try using the Cool Palms performance cooling device as an early adopter candidate, President and inventor Brett Warner could not have know that not only do I love to do just about any workout but I am also a sweater. My theory is that my half-Polish, half-Ecuadorian body composition allows me to adapt well to both hot and cold environments but the tradeoff is that I sweat quickly. If what they designed offers any kind of a core cooling benefit, as a lifetime athlete, I feel qualified to offer a certified Sports Techie review and let you know if it worked for me.
More about BEX Runner can be found at their web site: http://www.betterexerciseexperience.com/, Youtube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/BEXrunner Facebook page, and Twitter user name: http://twitter.com/bexrunner.
When you are a leader in Thermoregulation for Athletes as BEX Runner is, technology is going to be a big part of why this is so. The Science behind wearable cooling technology has not yet hit the mainstream for manufacturers and consumers to take advantage of and BEX Runner is poised to change that.
Here a couple of resources to consider. A link to a study of the Science behind Cool Palms by BEX Runner: http://www.betterexerciseexperience.com/wp-content/themes/client/Science-of-BEX.pdf and, a King 5 HealthLink: http://www.king5.com/video/featured-videos/Keep-cool-while-exercising-in-the-heat-100633054.html.
Brett has been in recent contact with the University of Texas kinesiology department Austin, TX where the BEX Runner corporate office is, in order to be part of their new study on thermal regulation. This controlled study could go a long way to providing normalcy and establishing benchmarks for the Performance Cooling industry much like happened with heart rate monitors.
My first thought was to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and the movie ‘The Social Network’ when he says, “all we know is we have something cool right now.” Sports Techie is cool yet many do not know what it is yet and the same can be said for BEX Runner and Cool Palms. Additionally, Zuckerberg started Facebook off as a company by targeting Universities like Harvard as their early adopters and first clients. This is exactly the sportsbiz model Brett is going after with BEX Runner.
“Improve Strength, Endurance, Power and Confidence” says the Cool Palms marketing material on the cardboard insert in the devices packaging. When I think about heat exertion, those are exactly the areas an athlete wants to not have to focus on losing when exercising or playing in a game. We all know that when heat zaps you to the point of exhaustion, your performance begins to tail off. In severe cases, heat stroke can occur which can be life threatening. As your body try’s to balance between muscle output and heat dissipation, the last thing on your mind is staying cool and that is where Cool Palms begins to do its magic by helping you stay cool throughout your fitness regime starting with your first burned calorie.
It makes logical sense to cool down before, during and after a workout. By targeting the specialized blood vessels underneath the palm surface known as arteriovenous anastomoses (AVAs), BEX Runner cools down our body’s natural radiator for humans and enhances the natural occurrence of heat transfer. Heat stress symptoms, fatigue, cramping and possible cell damage can all be better regulated with Cool Palms is the BEX theory.
Read about Torbjørn Sindballe and how this competitive triathlete used a glove filled with ice to help cool himself down: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torbj%C3%B8rn_Sindballe. Nike and others have produced a cooling vest that helps to legitimize the concept of Performance Cooling: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooling_vest.
While Cool Palms was designed to be used from the office or home, other activities such as marathons, triathlons, biking, weight lifting and sport specific devices are being targeted for new product releases in 2011 and beyond.
Something about the Cool Palms just feels Sports Techie. It could simply be the gel coolant that is used which provides cooling benefits for up to an hour during your run or walk. Maybe it’s the Dry-fit material on the outside or the fabric on the inside that lies across your palm that has a tech look and feel to it. Perhaps it is the adjustable Velcro strap and the noise it makes every time you put it on or take it off. What ever it is, I liked it as soon as the cool package arrived in the mail.
The first thing you do with your Cool Palms is put it in the freezer for four hours to freeze it. Once it is cool but not cold because that would be dangerous, you apply it from there. The thick mesh in the palm offers insulation and protects the skin from freezer burn.
When you review a product sometimes the conditions are optimal, other times not so much. It happened to be a spring day in Seattle with a high temp of 50 degrees when I tested Cool Palms at Discovery Park. The device is designed to operate in a temperature range of 50-110 F so I was obviously on the low end. The beautiful park offers excellent cross training opportunities such as long flights of stairs to climb, trails in the forest to run on, and a sandy beach to do sprinting.
I was able to raise my core body temp and sweat as usual; only this time I had my Cool Palm on my right hand only. Did it work; was I able to stay cool? The answer is yes. Right off the bat I felt a cooing sensation happening in my palm. After one flight of stairs and about a mile run to get to the trails, I found that the cooling sensation occurring in my palm was helping to regulate my body temperature unlike other previous training sessions. Once I got down to the beach, I really noticed the difference. After some sprints, I was full heated up yet the Cool Palms area seemed to be regulating my blood flow with enough of a cooling process that I was satisfied that it works. Here is my Youtube evidence: http://youtu.be/rmu6Qi29g_c
I can only imagine how it would have helped me during a hot and humid day but with global warming underway, you can be sure more and more of these types of days are on the rise all over the world. If that is indeed the case, no question about it then, BEX Runner is pioneering in the new industry called Performance Cooling and that is perhaps the best reason to buy one yourself.
For the next three days Sports Techie, if you are interesting in purchasing a Cool Palms, use Promo code: bexvid.