LoveToKnow is pleased to present the BEX Runner Interview with Brett Warner, the President and Founder of Cool Palms, LLC. Cool Palms, Inc. sells the BEX Runner, a unique handheld cooling device that removes heat from the core of the body to keep it at a healthy temperature. Brett will discuss the BEX Runner and how it can help improve a workout.
About Brett Warner and Cool Palms, LLC
Brett Warner is the President and Founder of Cool Palms, LLC. Brett and his wife, Anna Ercius Warner, invented the BEX Runner as a way to keep athletes cool while running. The co-inventors discovered that their invention helped people stay comfortable and improved athletic performance during all types of workouts. They founded Cool Palms, LLC in 2009, to launch the BEX Runner. Denis Calabrese, president of USA Fit, joined their team as a strategic partner and investor in 2010.
BEX Runner Interview with Brett Warner
Brett Warner and his wife, Anna, know that maintaining a cool temperature during exercise is vital to health and athletic performance so they invented a cooling device. Their invention was a hit and launched a promising business venture.
A Husband and Wife Invent a Successful Fitness Device
LoveToKnow (LTK): The website mentions that you and your wife, Anna Warner, are co-inventors of the BEX Runner. What is the story behind how the BEX Runner was invented? What inspired the idea?
Brett Warner (Warner): The goal was to create a wearable product, based on the science of cooling the palms to cool the core. Our first prototype of the BEX Runner was actually a hard-boiled egg, which we froze and then carried on runs. Anna was not impressed. Our second prototype involved the destruction of Anna's spa eye-mask and the Velcro strap of her CD holder. Again, Anna was not impressed. The breakthrough was Anna and I working together for a complete redesign, with fabrics, sizing and a strap.
Once we had a product, we started on the business. Anna is an epidemiologist and handles product development and efficacy testing. And I am a former investment analyst with a focus on finance and healthcare. We have fun and try to complement each other's strengths.
What Is the BEX Runner?
LTK: How exactly does the BEX Runner work?
Warner: The BEX Runner is a high-quality, durable, ultra long-lasting device that consists of a cool gel-pack wrapped in purposeful materials that form-fits to the palm. The device freezes solid in the freezer, and athletes and exercisers wear the BEX Runner on the palm of one hand to stay cool during exercise and improve performance, comfort and safety.
The physiology is what is important. The BEX Runner works because this is how our bodies work to dissipate heat. Maintaining a cool surface to the palm of one hand helps the body remove heat more efficiently. This is different than comfort cooling, which is based on covering surface area and pushing cold onto the body.
LTK: What is the benefit of wearing a cooling device on the palm?
Warner: The palm is the body's radiator. The blood vessels that carry heat away from the core are called arteriovenous anastamoses or AVAs, and these blood vessels pool in the extremities: palms of the hands, soles of the feet and below our eyes (visible whenever you blush, because heart-rate increases and heat is generated). Cooling the palms improves our body's natural ability to dissipate heat. The best examples of this phenomenon include putting your hands or feet in the pool on a hot day, swinging an arm or leg out of the comforter at night, and washing your hands in cold water before an important meeting. We focus on the palms of the hands, because the palms are the most researched with respect to athletic performance.
Benefits of Wearing Cooling Devices for Workouts
LTK: Why do people of all fitness levels and athletic ability need cooling devices during workouts?
Warner: Heat limits performance. The better an athlete can thermoregulate, the better that athlete will perform. Lowering core-temperature, heart-rate and perceived heat-stress are direct indicators that an athlete's energy is dedicated more towards muscle exertion and less towards heat dissipation. Our studies proved statistical significance in results before, during and after exercise.
LTK: What is the advantage of the BEX Runner over other cooling methods or personal cooling devices?
Warner: The BEX Runner is a core-cooling device that works with the body's natural heat dissipation process. During strenuous exercise, our performance, comfort and safety are directly impacted by our body's ability to get rid of excess heat. We like to differentiate the BEX Runner as a Performance Cooling or Core Cooling product, as opposed to other cooling devices that are limited to Comfort Cooling.
Performance Cooling is pulling heat from the body to be cooler. Comfort Cooling is trying to push cold onto the body to feel colder.
Wearing the BEX Runner
LTK: Is the BEX Runner comfortable to wear? What are your tips for wearing it comfortably?
Warner: BEX stands for Better Exercise eXperience. A large part of that experience is comfort. The device is lightweight and does not impair running movements. It is designed with purposeful materials to allow for application directly from the freezer. The BEX Runner is available in two sizes: Large and Women's/Small.
You only need to wear one to get the maximum benefit. If you have two, then wear one during exercise and one after exercise. Cooling time is about an hour in use. As long as it is cooler than the outside air, it is providing a benefit.
LTK: Can you wear the BEX Runner during all types of exercise or are there restrictions?
Warner: The BEX Runner is perfect for running, jogging and walking. However, for sports that require the use of the hands I would suggest pre-cooling and post-cooling, or application during breaks in action.
LTK: The BEX Runner has received great reviews from top publications, such as the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) and Men's Health. However, the WSJ reporter mentioned that while the device cooled effectively, it made it slightly harder for him to reach his bike brakes. What are your recommendations for cyclists who want to use the BEX Runner while riding bikes?
Warner: BEX Runner is the perfect embodiment of the cool palms concept for runners. Cyclists may benefit from pre-cooling and post-cooling using the BEX Runner, but should not accept risks of impaired braking (in other words, please do not wear the BEX Runner on your bike.) That being said, we anticipate a BEX Cycle version to come out in 2011. My wife, Anna, is our VP and she is a cyclist. She is prototyping the BEX Cycle device for performance, comfort and safety.
Future Plans for Cool Palms, LLC
LTK: What are the future plans for the BEX Runner and Cool Palms LLC?
Warner: Our goal is to enter the market with university-supported research and to create a full product line based on the cool palms concept. Future products include a version for marathoners, cyclists, weight-lifters and more. Thermoregulation will be the next hot market for athletic performance.
Expanding retail outlets will be our focus in spring 2011, and we welcome the opportunity to supply running specialty stores and health/fitness clubs with the BEX Runner. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
For More Information on the BEX Runner
To learn more about the BEX Runner, Cool Palms, LLC and the Warners, please visit their official website, www.bexrunner.com, where the BEX Runner is available. In Texas, the BEX Runner is sold by Luke's Locker running stores, and in Austin the BEX Runner is available at Walgreens.
LoveToKnow thanks Brett Warner for this informative interview on the many benefits of his unique product, BEX Runner.