TIPS & RESOURCES

 

FUNDRAISING TIPS:

Set up a personal fundraising page with SkyRise Chicago: Use your creativity and unique voice to personalize your SkyRise Chicago participant Web page. Here you can:

  • Let people know you’ve set a goal—and plan to achieve it.
  • Track your fundraising progress.
  • Send potential donors reminder e-mails as event day approaches.
  • Thank donors for their generosity.

Just ask: Get the word out by asking family, friends, coworkers and friends’ friends to support your SkyRise campaign. Then ask them to tell their family and friends and watch as your network grows!

Reach out through e-mail: Send an e-mail message to your entire contact list explaining the SkyRise Chicago challenge and your support for the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC). Be sure to include a link to your personal SkyRise Chicago page.

Add an email signature: Promote your SkyRise participation by creating an automatic email signature that links to your fundraising page. Download the official SkyRise Chicago email signature here. Follow these simple steps to set up your e-mail signature in Microsoft Outlook.

Promote on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn: Tweet or post status updates to start an event day countdown, track your fundraising progress, share inspiring stories about RIC’s patients or thank donors.

Host a happy hour: Pick a local establishment and invite friends, family and coworkers to support your fundraising endeavors over beverages.

Have a game night: Invite friends and family over for a fun poker, bingo or casino night where all winnings go toward SkyRise Chicago.

Share your unique skills: Get creative and leverage your natural abilities. Know how to bake amazing pastries? Invite friends for a cooking lesson in your kitchen and ask for a donation in support of SkyRise Chicago. Got a green thumb? Offer to weed neighbors’ gardens or plant flowers in exchange for a contribution. Whatever your talents are, use them!

Organize a Guitar Hero or Rock Band Competition: Get together your friends for a fun night of musical rivalry in support of SkyRise! Charge each competitor an entry fee and donate all proceeds to your campaign.

Scope out matching gifts: Check to see if your employer has a Matching Gifts program and be sure to ask donors if their companies have one. Such programs can help double your fundraising efforts!

Do some spring or summer cleaning: Hold a garage or yard sale and give all the proceeds to SkyRise Chicago. Ask friends and family if they have any unwanted items they would be willing to donate for your fundraising event.

Make your gift a SkyRise Chicago gift: Have a birthday or anniversary coming up? Ask family and friends to skip the presents and donate money to your SkyRise Chicago campaign instead.

Every dollar counts: Remind people that every contribution makes a difference, no matter how large or small.

Give thanks: Be sure to send a personalized thank you to everyone who makes a contribution in your name. Your personal SkyRise Web page makes it easy to do!

TRAINING TIPS

TEN TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL STAIR CLIMBING:

Check Mark  Be an Educated Exercise Enthusiast!

If you do two minutes of stair climbing -- that's a couple of flights -- five or six times a day, in eight short weeks you can:

1. Increase your heart-lung fitness by almost 20 percent, upping your odds of a longer, better life.

2. Reduce bad LDL cholesterol by 8 percent, and raise good HDL cholesterol by about that much, shrinking your risk of a heart attack, stroke, erectile dysfunction and wrinkles (all are increased by LDL).

You gain the most benefit and lessen the risks when you exercise in your target heart rate zone. Usually this is when your exercise heart rate (pulse) is 80% to 85% of your maximum heart rate. Your maximum heart rate is the highest your pulse rate can get. To calculate your predicted maximum heart rate, use this formula:

                        220 – Your Age = PREDICTED MAXIMUM HEART RATE

For example, a 50 year old would have a predicted maximum heart rate of 170 beats per minute (220 – 50 = 170). So, this individual’s ideal target heart rate zone would be between 136-145 beats per minute (170 x 0.80 = 136; 170 x 0.85 = 144.5). 

Check Mark   It’s as Simple as Stretching! 

Before climbing, you should perform some active stretching to “warm up” your muscles. Active stretches are a great way to improve flexibility, mobility and your sports performance. These stretches should focus on hamstrings, quadriceps and calf muscles. Marching in place, light jogging and easy squats will all increase blood flow to those muscles and prepare you for the big climb! Keep in mind that the “warm up” should not be vigorous as to cause any fast breathing or muscle fatigue. 

Check Mark  Pace Yourself! 

Increasing an exercise program to build strength and endurance is the ultimate goal, but be patient! Research indicates that increasing your activity by 10% every week is an appropriate guideline for progressing training programs. Each session should take about 20 or 30 minutes, three times a week. That just happens to be the same amount of moderate exercise recommended by numerous studies for optimum fitness. Be sure to space out these three days throughout the week to give yourself a chance to rest and recover between efforts. Refer to the suggested training schedule for more details. 

Check Mark  Practice Makes Perfect! 

Incorporate training sessions in a real stairwell into your program. Use the stairs at work or in your apartment building. The closer it is to the real thing, the better! The next best option to train with would be to use a rotating stepping machine, commonly found at gyms, fitness and health clubs. 

Check Mark   Focus on Fuel!

Food is the fuel for our body! Maintaining a well-balanced diet will give you optimal energy to train for the stair climb. Avoid large meals the day of the climb. You may want a 200-300 calorie snack prior to start time.

Check Mark The Wonders of Water…

Did you know that we lose a pint or more of water every day simply by breathing? And, dehydration of just 1 percent of your body’s water can make you physically or mentally weaker. Staying hydrated, especially while stair climbing, is so important! A key to successful workouts is keeping well hydrated before, during and after exercise. Start hydrating early by drinking 1-2 cups of water in the morning. Keep a water bottle with you all day long. Drink 1-2 cups before you exercise. Tip: Drink ½ - 1 cup of fluid for every 15 minutes of exercise!

Check Mark Building Strength…  

Like most cardiovascular exercising, stair climbing requires a basic foundation of strength. Predominately the lower body muscles are worked, including quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteal muscles, hip flexors and calves. Squats, lunges, leg extensions, leg curls, hip abduction, hip adduction and calf raises are all examples of exercises to target the muscles working during stair climbing. As a general rule, each muscle that you train should be rested one to two days before being exercised further in order for the fatigued muscles to rebuild.  

Beware "No pain, no gain." This statement is not only false, but can be dangerous. Your body will adapt to strength training, and will reduce in body soreness each time you work out. 

Check Mark   The Hip Bone is Connected to the Knee Bone…

With good movement mechanics and proper shoe wear, stair climbing will not cause excessive wear on your bones and joints. Proper stair climbing posture means:

  • Neck and shoulders should be relaxed.
  • Look forward but periodically look down to check for the stairs.
  • Avoid bending the neck to look down for extended periods of time.
  • The entire foot should be placed on the step.
  • Do not allow the heels to hang off the edge of the step.
  • Keep your trunk upright and avoid excessively bending forward.
  • Avoid locking (over straightening) your knees while climbing up.

Check Mark  Ouch! What now? 

If you start to experience pain or discomfort that persists following exercise, then decrease the time or intensity at which you are exercising. You may also try applying ice to the painful area, elevation, and gentle range of motion or movements. If the pain continues or gets worse after 48 hours, contact your personal physician to review prescribed medication or other treatment options. 

Check Mark   Enjoy Climbing for a Cause!

Recruit friends and family to join you as you increase your fitness level! Having a climbing “buddy” can be fun and motivating. Stair climbing may be the fastest and most convenient way to get an excellent aerobic workout, no matter what your fitness level.

IMPORTANT NOTE: It is strongly recommended that you have your physician’s approval to participate in exercises like SkyRise Chicago. Please be sure to know and understand the potential side effects of all medications and supplements you will be taking on the day of the event.

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TEN TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL HAND CYCLING:

 Check Mark Be an Educated Exercise Enthusiast!

Did you know that studies on spinal-cord-injured individuals have shown strength training and arm ergometry/handcyling for two times a week over a period of nine months increased power output and strength by 81% over their sedentary counterparts? Those same individuals reported less pain, stress, depression and overall higher quality of life scores as well!

You gain the most benefit and lessen the risks when you exercise in your target heart rate zone. Usually this is when your exercise heart rate (pulse) is 80% to 85% of your maximum heart rate. Your maximum heart rate is the highest your pulse rate can get. To calculate your predicted maximum heart rate, use this formula:

220 – Your Age = PREDICTED MAXIMUM HEART RATE

For example, a 50 year old would have a predicted maximum heart rate of 170 beats per minute (220 – 50 = 170). So, this individual’s ideal target heart rate zone would be between 136-145 beats per minute (170 x 0.80 = 136; 170 x 0.85 = 144.5).

*Note that those individuals with spinal cord injuries above T6 may be less able to increase their pulse in response to exercise. A maximum heart rate for someone with tetraplegia might be as low as 120 or 130. Please consult with your physician on how to monitor exertion prior to starting your exercise program.

 Check Mark It’s as Simple as Stretching!

Before cycling, you should perform some active stretching to “warm up” your muscles. Active stretches are a great way to improve flexibility, mobility and your sports performance. These stretches should focus on the biceps, triceps, wrist flexors and extenders, pectorals, deltoids, latisimus and rotator cuff muscles. Doing arm circles (first small circles then increasing in size), marching your arms in place, non-weighted up rows and light rolling will all increase blood flow to those muscles and prepare you for the cycle event! Keep in mind that the “warm up” should not be vigorous as to cause any fast breathing or muscle fatigue.

Check Mark Pace Yourself!

Increasing an exercise program to build strength and endurance is the ultimate goal, but be patient! Research indicates that increasing your activity by 10% every week is an appropriate guideline for progressing training programs. Each session should take about 20 or 30 minutes, three times a week. That just happens to be the same amount of moderate exercise recommended by numerous studies for optimum fitness. Be sure to space out these three days throughout the week to give yourself a chance to rest and recover between efforts.

Check Mark Practice Makes Perfect!

Incorporate training sessions on an actual hand cycle. If you have a hand cycle, find areas in your neighborhood or in parks that have slight graded incline (5% or less) for training in the beginning and work your way up to steeper hills of greater than 5%. Sign up for indoor training sessions at the RIC Galvin Health and Fitness Center in the month of October to test out challenging courses that will be similar to the course design on the big day, visit www.ricsports.org or call 312-238-5001 for more information on the center.

If you don’t have a hand cycle and cant get down to the RIC Fitness Center, the next best option to train with would be to upper body ergometers or rowing machines, commonly found at gyms, fitness and health clubs. For upper body ergometers use, start with lower wattage numbers (less resistance) and small bouts of 10-15 minutes. Gradually increase wattage and time the weeks leading up to the event.

Check Mark Focus on Fuel!

Food is the fuel for our body! Maintaining a well-balanced diet will give you optimal energy to train for the stair climb. Avoid large meals the day of the climb. You may want a 200-300 calorie snack prior to the climb.

Check Mark The Wonders of Water…

Did you know that we lose a pint or more of water every day simply by breathing? And, dehydration of just 1 percent of your body’s water can make you physically or mentally weaker. Staying hydrated, especially while hand cycling is so important! A key to successful workouts is keeping well hydrated before, during and after exercise. Start hydrating early by drinking 1-2 cups of water in the morning. Keep a water bottle with you all day long. Drink 1-2 cups before you exercise. Tip: Drink ½ - 1 cup of fluid for every 15 minutes of exercise!

Check Mark Building Strength…

Like most cardiovascular exercising, hand cycling requires a basic foundation of strength. Building a combination of aerobic and anaerobic strength is even more paramount in hand cycling. Your upper body muscles including the biceps, triceps, and deltoids are much smaller muscle groups than those located in the lower extremity. These muscles will fatigue faster than the lower extremity and also produce less aerobic power or output. Bicep curls, dips, seated rows, lateral raises; lateral pull downs and wrist curls are all examples of exercises to target the muscles used in hand cycling. As a general rule, each muscle that you train should be rested one to two days before being exercised further in order for the fatigued muscles to rebuild. Think about training one muscle group on day and its opposite the next. For example, plan to exercise your biceps and chest muscles on a Monday and your triceps and back on Tuesdays.

"No pain, no gain." This statement is not only false, but can be dangerous. Your body will adapt to strength training, and will reduce in body soreness each time you workout.

Check Mark The Wrist Bone is Connected to the Elbow Bone…

With good movement mechanics, proper stretching and training, hand cycling will not cause excessive wear on your bones and joints. It is actually considered a non-weight bearing exercise that reduces the amount of pounding or shock that joints will naturally incur during weight bearing exercise. However, proper biomechanics and form are essential. When hand cycling there should always be a bend in the elbow through all phases, if your elbow is locking out, you are positioned too far back from the crank arms. Conversely you don’t want to sit too close to the crank arms that your elbows have to flare out significantly to go through the range of motion. Gloves can be used to help reduce friction and prevent blisters on hands. Wrist straps or taping can also offer additional support and reduce overuse injuries in the wrists.

Check Mark Ouch! What now?

Overuse injuries are very common, and joints like shoulders, elbows and wrists are very susceptible to these injuries if proper warm-up, cool down and stretching are not followed. The small group of muscles in the shoulder called the rotator cuff, whose main purpose are to help decelerate the shoulder during rotation are prone to overuse injuries, especially in hand cycling.

 If you start to experience pain or discomfort that persists following exercise, then decrease the time or intensity at which you are exercising. You may also try applying ice to the painful area, elevation and gentle range of motion or movements. If the pain continues or gets worse after 48 hours, contact your personal physician to review prescribed medication or other treatment options.

Check Mark Enjoy Cycling for a Cause!

Recruit friends and family to join you as you increase your fitness level! Having a training “buddy” can be fun and motivating. Hand cycling is a truly inclusive recreational activity that can be a fast and effective way to better health.

*It is strongly recommended that you have your physician’s approval to participate in strenuous exercises like SkyRise Chicago. Please be sure to know and understand the potential side effects of all medications and supplements you will be taking on the day of the event.

Back to top