Water is Life: Our Lives Depend On It!

During times of drought in California, we are asked to ration our water usage. During drastic periods of dryness, we have been asked to use water on certain days of the week, depending on the random numbers in our addresses: odd numbers have access on certain days and even numbers on the others.

Not everyone is old enough to have lived through these dry periods, but imagine if limited access to water is part of daily living, 24/7. The reality is that 1.1 billion people worldwide lack access to water and a total of 2.7 billion find water scarce for at least one month of the year.1

Water usage has been growing globally at more than twice the rate of population increase in the last century, and an increasing number of regions are reaching the limit at which water services can be sustainably delivered.2 Even though water covers 70% of our planet, freshwater, which is what we drink, bathe in, and irrigate our farm fields with, is incredibly rare. Only 3% of the world’s water is freshwater and two thirds of that is tucked away in glaciers or otherwise unavailable for our use.3

Access to potable water is not limited to so-called third world nations. Our ecosystems have become more stressed and grossly polluted. And, climate change and weather patterns impact the world, resulting in water shortages, droughts and floods. Glaciers and snow packs are disappearing in some areas, affecting freshwater supplies to those downstream communities, making water scarce for agriculture, energy generation and ecosystems around the world.

Untreated wastewater, industrial waste, plastics, pesticides and fertilizers all add to the problem of water pollution. The World Wildlife Organization projects that by 2025, two thirds of the world’s population may face water shortages and ecosystems around the world will suffer even more.4

Each of us needs to not take water for granted. Water has to be treated as a scarce resource, with a far stronger focus on managing demand. Water is life and our lives depend on it.

There’s less than a week left to take advantage of the Nikken March promotion that not only helps you practice Active Wellness, but also helps you promote water awareness and help reduce plastic waste. For the entire month of March, we are offering four Water Packs. Each pack has two state-of-the-art PiMag® products. You get one at the regular price and the second at 50% off! You have your choice of two PiMag MicroJet® Wall Mount Shower Systems or two PiMag MicroJet® Handheld Shower Systems, both of which help neutralize chemicals, two PiMag® Sport Bottles of 100% recyclable biogreen materials, or two PiMag® Waterfalls that can help reduce bacteria by 99.99%.

1, 3, 4 www.worldwildlife.org/threats/water-scarcity

2 www.unwater.org

Take Action on World Water Day and Every Day

World Water Day is celebrated globally once a year to consciously recognize the importance of providing affordable, lasting access to safe water. It became a United Nations observance day in 1993 to focus attention on the global water crisis.

On 22 March every year, people and organizations mark World Water Day by taking action to tackle the water crisis. World Water Day 2021 will focus on the theme, ‘Valuing Water’. This focus will extend beyond issues of pricing to include the environmental, social, and cultural value people place on water.1

The value of water is about much more than its price—water has enormous and complex value for our households, food, culture, health, education, economics and the integrity of our natural environment. If we overlook any of these values, we risk mismanaging this finite, irreplaceable resource.2

Currently, 844 million people on our planet lack access to safe, clean drinking water and over 200 million are walking an average of four miles or six kilometers per day to gather water.3 That’s why one of the ways people take action is to “walk for water,” with corporate or personal sponsorships for every mile logged—gathering donations to help those with limited access to water.

People die every year from diseases caused by unsafe drinking water, lack of sanitation and insufficient water for hygienic use. When a million miles are logged by people who participate in ‘”walk for water,” an estimated 100,000 families are provided with clean water.4 This is a great example of what valuing water actually means to people as well as the true value of water and how we can better protect this vital resource.

A core focus of World Water Day is to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 6): water and sanitation for all by 2030. To achieve SDG 6, on the governmental levels, countries need to invest in adequate infrastructure, provide sanitation facilities and encourage hygiene. Protecting and restoring water-related ecosystems is essential.5

Although conservation on a grand scale may require legislation, it is something we can practice individually on a daily basis by being conscious of our water usage, not taking water for granted and participating in community events that support access to clean water and help sustain a cleaner environment. Human survival depends on all of us working with nature, not against it.

Water is Life and Nikken is doing its part to help people access clean water for Active Wellness—not only for drinking, but also for bathing. For the entire month of March, we are offering four Water Packs. Each pack has two state-of-the-art PiMag® products. You get one at the regular price and the second at 50% off! You have your choice of two PiMag MicroJet® Wall Mount Shower Systems or two PiMag MicroJet® Handheld Shower Systems, both of which help neutralize chemicals, two PiMag® Sport Bottles of 100% recyclable biogreen materials, or two PiMag® Waterfalls that can help reduce bacteria by 99.99%.

1 http://sdg.iisd.org/events/world-water-day-2021/

2  https://www.worldwaterday.org/

3, 4  https://worldwidewalkforwater.com/

5 http://www.undp.org

What Can We Do To Decrease Plastic Pollution?

There are many misconceptions about the plastic pollution problem, but there is no question that in its many forms, plastic is killing ocean wildlife that is vital to the ecosystem. In addition, plastic pollution is sickening land flora and fauna, including humans.

Miranda Wang and Jeanny Yao were two of the youngest scientists ever to win the Perlman science prize in 2016 for developing a bacterium that may transform plastic into CO2 and water. Although they were not the first ones to discover that bacteria can break down phthalates, they were the first to find a possible solution to a local problem by looking into their own river system in Vancouver, Canada when they were still in high school.1

The two have since won numerous other science awards and established their company, BioCellection. Years of research later, their company is still focused on taking a main type of plastic, polyethylene, and turning it into chemical building blocks for new products that don’t end up in oceans as waste. The firm takes dicarboxylic acid it generates from polyethylene and transforms it into high-performance materials, such as photopolymers or polyyrethane.2

 “It is such a waste when materials that are perfectly good to be reused or repurposed end up as pollution,” Yao says. “Not only are we turning this currently wasted carbon into new materials that are high performing, but BioCellection is also making new products that can be recycled over and over again.”3

Since 2016, a product called the SeaBin has been available for purchase around the world. Created by two Australian surfers, the SeaBin is a bucket with a pump and water filtration system that is designed to suck in any floating trash into a removable mesh bag. The bucket includes an optional oil-water separator system that will pull oil right out of the ocean, then spit out cleaner water through the other side of the pump. The SeaBin can be installed at any floating dock to suck up trash or oil floating in nearby harbors.4

Since 2017, the SeaBin Project has removed over 1,400 tons of plastic pollution from the world’s oceans with SeaBin units in 53 countries. Each unit has the capability to collect 90,000 plastic bags, 35,700 disposable cups, 16,500 plastic bottles and 166,500 plastic utensils each year.5

Removal of plastic from the ocean is only one piece of the pollution puzzle. What happens to all the plastic that is collected? Not all of tons and tons of plastic can be transformed into usable products in the way of BioCellection. Much of the plastic waste has to decompose. Just as plastic was a wonderful invention due to its durability, it’s also a nightmare when it comes to decomposition, as it can take 1,000 years!

Leave it to yet another Canadian high school student to find a way to more quickly biodegrade plastic! Daniel Burd, a student at Waterloo Collegiate Institute won the Canada-Wide Science Fair in May of 2019. He created a process of immersing ground plastic in a yeast solution that expedites microbial growth, then isolating the productive organisms. After experimentation with different strains and interbreeding them, Burd achieved a 43% degradation of plastic in only six weeks!6

What makes Burd’s discoveries so exciting is that his method of decomposing plastic is organic. Other research on decomposing plastic have mainly focused on chemical additives made by scientists to cause plastic to vaporize.7 Testing needs to continue with Burd’s discoveries to ensure that byproducts of organic decomposition are not carcinogenic, but what a great starting point!

We can’t all be scientific entrepreneurs and make breakthrough discoveries, but every single one of us can help in decreasing plastic pollution by remembering to practice the 3Rs: reuse, reduce and recycle.

Water is Life and Nikken is doing its part to help people access clean water for Active Wellness—not only for drinking, but also for bathing. For the entire month of March, we are offering four Water Packs. Each pack has two state-of-the-art PiMag® products. You get one at the regular price and the second at 50% off! You have your choice of two PiMag MicroJet® Wall Mount Shower Systems, two PiMag MicroJet® Handheld Shower Systems, two PiMag® Sport Bottles of 100% recyclable biogreen materials, or two PiMag® Waterfalls.

1 https://www.thescienceandspace.com/2019/05/the-high-pollution-in-the-oceans-is-big.html?

2 www.intellingentliving.co/amp/students-recycle-polyethylene

3 https://cen.acs.org/environment/recylcing/BioCellection-Miranda-Wang-and-Jeanny-Yao-aim-to-make-treasure-out-of-plastic-trash/98/19

4 https://mitte.co/2018/02/13/water-related-technologies-inventions-inspire-us/

5 https://seabinproject.com/discovery-australia-joins-seabin-project-to-help-clean-up-sydney-harboru-in-world-first-program/

6,7 https://www.treehugger.com/boy-discovers-microbe-that-easts-plastic-4868136

Innovations in Clean Water Technology

We failed to take care of the environment and are paying dire consequences. Around one in three people worldwide, or 2.2 billion, lack access to safe drinking water near their home. By 2025, half of the world’s population will be living in water-stressed areas, when resources in a region or country are insufficient for its needs.1 Fortunately, innovative youth are coming up with ways to de-contaminate water sources.

At only 14 years old, Deepika Kurup noticed children in India using plastic bottles to collect water so dirty that she wouldn’t go near it. Coming from the United States, it was not something she was used to seeing. She understood that the dirty water was the only water they had to drink, and it was also used for washing clothes and bathing. She learned that lack of access to clean water restricted the girls’ opportunity for an education, since they could not attend school during their period.

Deepika Kurup proceeded to create an affordable and effective water purification system composed of a cement-like composite material that is activated by sunlight to reduce the amount of bacteria in water. The material can be molded into different shapes: a rod in a bottle, a disc or pot for a water tank—molds that can be scaled up or down. Kurup says, “This solution alone isn’t going to be what solves the water crisis, but it will be more effective in sunny parts of the world.”Kurup has patented her technology and will be working to implement it.

Around the world, many of the 783 million people who don’t have clean drinking water also don’t have access to electricity.  In 2014, 17-year-old Cynthia Sin Nga Lam created her prototype – the H2Pro – a portable device powered only by sunlight. Dirty water goes in one end, and a titanium mesh, activated by the sun, sterilizes the water and sends it through an extra filter. The photocatalytic reaction also splits the water into hydrogen and oxygen—so someone can flip a switch and start feeding a hydrogen fuel cell to produce clean power. Detergent, soap, and other pollutants in the water help make more hydrogen. There are similar water purification technologies but her invention did not require an extra source of electricity; only sunlight and titania was required. Besides being low-cost and easy to maintain, the H2Pro also generated a very efficient source of clean energy.3

Lam is now working as a contract consultant at the World Health Organization and hasn’t continued working with the H2Pro project. However, the idea of her two-in-one machine lives on with the development of scientists.4

Gitanjali Rao, from Colorado, was just 12 when she was awarded the title of “America’s top young scientist” for designing a compact device to detect toxic lead in drinking water, which she believes can be faster and cheaper than other current methods. At 15 years old, Rao was selected from a field of more than 5,000 nominees to be TIME magazine’s first ever 2020 Kid of the Year.

“I was like 10 when I told my parents that I wanted to research carbon nanotube sensor technology at the Denver Water quality research lab.

(they are cylindrical molecules made of carbon atoms that are very sensitive to chemical changes, and thus are good for detecting chemicals in water, among other uses.] It was just that changing factor of, you know this work is going to be in our generation’s hands pretty soon. So if no one else is gonna do it, I’m gonna do it.

“Observe, brainstorm, research, build and communicate. I’m currently working on an easy way to help detect bio-contaminants in water—things like parasites. I’m hoping for this to be something that’s inexpensive and accurate so that people in third-world countries can identify what’s in their water.”5

As a new generation of innovators makes headway in cleaning up water systems that previous generations have contaminated, the Global Wellness Community will continue spreading the word about conservation, respecting nature and new ways to access clean water. As Rao says, “I recently hit my goal of 30,000 students who I have mentored, which is super exciting. It’s like creating a community of innovators. I really hope the work that all of these kids are doing identifies innovation as a necessity and not something that’s a choice anymore.”6

Water is Life and Nikken is doing its part to help people access clean water for Active Wellness—not only for drinking, but also for bathing. For the entire month of March, we are offering four Water Packs. Each pack has two state-of-the-art PiMag® products. You get one at the regular price and the second at 50% off! You have your choice of two PiMag MicroJet® Wall Mount Shower Systems, two PiMag MicroJet® Handheld Shower Systems, two PiMag® Sport Bottles, or two PiMag® Waterfalls.

1, 2 https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/25/world/deepika-kurup-water-purification-intl-c2e

3 https://mitte.co/2018/02/13/water-related-technologies-inventions-inspire-us/

4 https://www.intelligentliving.co/teenager-invents-two-in-one-device-generates-electricity-purifies-water/

5,6 https://time.com/5916772/kid-of-the-year-2020/

Be Great Role Models for Heart Health

Have you thought about what the saying “Monkey see, monkey do” really means? When it comes to children, surrounding them with good role models is a fast way to ensure they develop good habits and behaviors. Children mimic the adults around them more easily than listening to requests or taking direction. When it comes to healthy heart habits, it’s a no brainer:  Whatever we do to be heart-healthy is more than likely what our children and grandchildren will copy. Be a good role model and get them on the Active Wellness track as early as possible.

Even though heredity is an important risk factor for heart disease, experts agree that healthy eating habits from an early age can lower the risk of developing cardiovascular issues, diabetes and other serious ailments later in life. American children and adolescents average more saturated fat in their diets than their counterparts in other developed nations.1

Although children and teens usually don’t show the symptoms of heart disease, the silent buildup of fatty deposits can start in childhood and can have a serious impact on their adult life. “The kinds of heart problems which relate to the problems adults have don’t really manifest themselves until [the children are] much older,” says Ronald Kanter, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics, division of pediatric cardiology, at Duke University. “But the seeds of those problems are sown in childhood and adolescence.”2

Fortunately, parents can influence their children’s behavior by encouraging healthy eating and regular aerobic exercise, as well as discouraging smoking. Dr. Kanter says he has noticed a gradual decline in the activity levels of the children and adolescents he treats and an increase in the prevalence of obesity. “It’s a clear epidemic,” he says. “There is now definite evidence that obesity is a risk factor for coronary events later in life.”3

We can help prevent obesity in our kids by encouraging them to be active in school and at home. Give them time to play outdoors each day. The United States Department of Agriculture’s guidelines recommend 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity for children most days of the week.4

To be good role models, we need to set time limits for TV watching, computer use (other than for work) and handheld computer games. On the other hand, we can set a good example by exercising regularly and making it a family routine—walking, biking, swimming, dancing to favorite music, etc. are all activities that are heart-healthy and also can bring us closer to our kids by sharing the gift of time. And to help them get some fruit and veggies into their diets, start them off early with Kenzen® Total Vegan Drink Mix—its chocolate flavor will make it an easy habit to develop!

There are a few days left to give the precious gift of heart health with the V-Day Promo Pack from Nikken! It contains one bottle of Kenzen® Bergisterol® capsules and one jar of Kenzen® Super Ciaga® powder, a dynamic duo for the heart. And, if you hurry, you will also receive the value-added Kenko® Heart Set, while supplies last. The V-Day Promo Pack is available through February 28th.

1 https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/heart/Pages/Heart-Disease.aspx#:~:text=According%20to%20the%20American%20Heart,including%20low%2Dfat%20dairy%20products.

2, 3, 4 https://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=prevention-of-heart-disease-starts-in-childhood-1-2073

Interesting Facts about the Heart

Keeping the heart healthy is one of the most important things we can do for Active Wellness. Since February is American Heart Month, here are a dozen interesting but possibly rarely known facts about this life-giving organ of the body.

  1. An electrical system controls the rhythm of the heart. It is called the cardiac conduction system.1
  2. The earliest known case of heart disease was identified in the remains of a 3,500-year-old Egyptian mummy.2
  3. Most heart attacks happen on a Monday.3
  4. The number of heart attacks peaks on Christmas Day, followed by December 26th and New Year’s day.4
  5. The beating sound of your heart is caused by the valves of the heart opening and closing.5
  6. It is actually possible to have a broken heart. It can have similar symptoms as a heart attack. The difference is that a heart attack is from heart disease and broken heart syndrome is caused by a rush of stress hormones from an emotional or physical stress event. Death from a broken heart, or broken heart syndrome, is possible but extremely rare.6
  7. Your heart beats around 100,000 times a day.7
  8. Your heart pumps about 2,000 gallons of blood a day.8
  9. Arteries are only about four millimeters in diameter, so it doesn’t take too much of those fatty, greasy foods over the period of a decade or two to start clogging up the arteries, according to Johns Hopkins cardiologist Roger Blumenthal, M.D.9
  10. A woman’s average heartbeat is faster than a man’s by almost eight beats a minute.10
  11. Every cell in the body gets blood from the heart, except for the corneas.11
  12. When you laugh, the lining of your blood vessel walls relaxes and expands, This increases blood flow and serves to help reduce stress and boost the immune system. So, laughter is called “good heart medicine.”1

Although Valentine’s Day has come and gone, it’s not too late to give the precious gift of heart health with the V-Day Promo Pack from Nikken! It contains one bottle of Kenzen® Bergisterol® capsules and one jar of Kenzen® Super Ciaga® powder, a dynamic duo for the heart. And, if you hurry, you will also receive the value-added Kenko® Heart Set, while supplies last. The V-Day Promo Pack is available through February 28th.

1, 2, 3 https://www.healthline.com/health/fun-facts-about-the-heart

4 https://health.clevelandclinic.org/facts-about-the-heart/

5, 6  https://www.healthline.com/health/fun-facts-about-the-heart

7, 8 https://www.unitypoint.org/livewell/article.aspx?id=20b07ab0-e855-49c6-9ee2-91247e52d5cc

9 https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/5-heart-facts-that-may-surprise-you

10, 11 https://health.clevelandclinic.org/facts-about-the-heart/

12 https://www.webmd.com/heart/features/amazing-facts-about-heart-health-and-heart-disease_#2

When We Give We Also Receive

February 14th through 20th is known as Random Acts of Kindness Week. It is designated to bring awareness to the benefits of being kind, not only to others but also to ourselves.

Researchers have dedicated years to exploring the effects of giving and receiving. Research shows that when we do things for others, we do get repaid—not just through reciprocation, but as a result of the psychological benefits acts of benevolence produce in the giver.

Jamie Gruman, Ph.D., a Full Professor and Senior Research Fellow in the Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, notes a couple of studies that show the complementary effects of giving and receiving. In one, employees at a company in Spain were asked to either perform acts of kindness for colleagues, or asked to simply count the number of kind acts they received from coworkers. It turned out that the people who received acts of kindness became happier, demonstrating the value of benevolence for the receiver. Those who delivered the acts of kindness not only showed a similar trend towards being happier but also had an increase in life satisfaction and job satisfaction, with a notable decrease in depression. The givers benefited even more than the receivers did! The positive effects of being kind were contagious in that the beneficiaries of the acts of kindness ended up spontaneously paying it forward and doing extra nice things for other colleagues. The study concluded that when we give kindness to one, we spread kindness to many.1

In another study that took place in China, researchers asked participants to wait in the lobby of a university building because they hadn’t yet determined which room they’d be using for the study. When each participant arrived in the lobby, a female research assistant greeted them standing beside two cartons at the bottom of a flight of stairs. In one scenario, the assistant pretended to have trouble carrying the cartons up the stairs, dropped one, and asked the participants if they’d be willing to help her. In the other scenario, the assistant simply said that the first part of the study involved participants carrying a carton up the stairs. Afterwards, participants in both scenarios were asked to estimate the weight of the carton. The participants who acted out of kindness by helping the assistant carry the box up the stairs estimated its weight as lighter than those who simply carried the carton because they thought it was part of the study.2  Being kind clearly helped to lighten the load!

The benefits from being kind are actually rooted in science, not just in perception. Being kind boosts our levels of serotonin, the neurotransmitter that fuels our feelings of well-being. Similar to exercise, being kind releases endorphins and produces what is known as a “helper’s high.”3 Kindness also releases the hormone oxytocin, which in turn causes the release of the chemical nitric oxide, which expands the blood vessels and reduces blood pressure. Oxytocin is therefore known as a cardio-protective hormone.4 In this way, kindness actually strengthens the heart physically and emotionally—no wonder kind people are often described as having “big hearts.”

Oxytocin also helps reduce inflammation in the body, and even small acts of kindness can trigger its release. Preventing inflammation is one of the key ways to decrease the risk of many health issues, including diabetes, cancer, chronic pain, obesity and migraines.According to a study of adults aged 57-85, volunteering manifested the strongest association with lower levels of inflammation.5

If you don’t already perform random acts of kindness in your daily life, this is the perfect time to try it out. The results may surprise you in a completely positive way and help you achieve your Active Wellness goals! 

As we fast-approach Valentine’s Day, think about what you can do for those you care about, and consider giving them the precious gift of heart health with the V-Day Promo Pack from Nikken! It contains one bottle of Kenzen® Bergisterol® capsules and one jar of Kenzen® Super Ciaga® powder, a dynamic duo for the heart. And, if you hurry, you will also receive the value-added Kenko® Heart Set, while supplies last. The V-Day Promo Pack is available through February 28th.

1, 2 https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/dont-forget-the-basil/201806/being-kind-others-benefits-you

3, 4, 5 https://www.quietrev.com/6-science-backed-ways-being-kind-is-good-for-your-health/

Celebrate Your Heart and Your Love

Valentine’s Day is generally represented by a heart that signifies love and affection. But what about the physical heart which pumps to keep the body alive? Shouldn’t we celebrate the life-giving heart as well?

There are many things we can do to keep the heart healthy. Practicing Active Wellness means eating fewer fatty foods and more vegetables and fruit, exercising regularly and not smoking are the basics, but here are five related yet more specific tips for heart health:

  1. Eat healthy fats. In keeping away from fatty foods, we sometimes forget that we need healthy fats to function optimally. This means including healthy fats from nuts, seeds and olive oil. Eat healthy fats in moderation as they tend to be high in calories, but regular consumption can help maintain healthy levels of cholesterol. Avoid trans fats, as they are the ones that clog arteries. Read labels when purchasing ready-made food and rule of thumb is to avoid fast food outlets.
  2. Practice good dental hygiene. Develop the flossing habit and do it daily. Dental health is a good indication of overall health, including your heart, because those who have periodontal (gum) disease often have the same risk factors for heart disease. Studies show that bacteria in the mouth involved in the development of gum disease can move into the bloodstream and cause increased levels of C-reactive protein, a marker for inflammation in the blood vessels, which compound the risk of heart disease and stroke.1
  3. Sleep enough and sleep well. Those who don’t sleep enough may be at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease, regardless of age and other habits. One study of 3,000 adults older than 45 found those who slept fewer than six hours nightly were about twice as likely to have a stroke or heart attack as people who slept six to eight hours each night.2
  4. Don’t sit in one spot for a long time. Sitting in one place, whether it’s at a desk for work or on a long plane ride, increases the risk of blood clots known as deep vein thrombosis. Studies that have included 800,000 people show that there is an associated 147 percent increase in cardiovascular events and a 90 percent increase in death caused by those who sit the most.3 Get up and stretch or walk around every hour.
  5. Stay away from those who are smoking cigarettes. We all know we should not smoke, as it puts us at risk for heart disease; however, even breathing in secondhand smoke from other people’s cigarettes may be dangerous. Studies show that the risk of developing heart disease is about 25 to 30 percent higher for people who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or at work. Nonsmokers who have high blood pressure or high blood cholesterol have an even greater risk of developing heart disease when exposed to secondhand smoke. This is because chemicals emitted from cigarette smoke promote the development of plaque buildup in the artieries.4

To celebrate heart health and those you love this year, Nikken has a V-Day Promo Pack that is available the entire month of February! It contains one bottle of Kenzen® Bergisterol® capsules and one jar of Kenzen® SuperCiaga® powder, and while supplies last, a Kenko® Heart Set from Nikken to you. Taken together, Kenzen Bergisterol and Kenzen Super Ciaga are a dynamic duo that help maintain cardiovascular health*, support the immune system* and provide overall health benefits*.

All of us at Nikken wish you and your loved ones a Happy Valentine’s Day this coming February 14! Get your V-Day Pack—it’s a gift for heart health!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

1, 2, 3, 4 https://health.clevelandclinic.org/5-things-to-do-every-day-to-keep-your-heart-healthy/

How Can We Create Good Habits?

During the first months of a new year, many of us make resolutions and unfortunately, break them soon thereafter. But what if we focus on creating good habits instead? How will that help us with Active Wellness? The dictionary defines a habit as “a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.” Habits can therefore be good or bad.

Jeff Isom, Chancellor of Nikken University, recently sent me a couple of YouTube links to hear some TED talks about creating good habits. If you have time, you might want to take a listen, but here’s a summary that will just take a few minutes to read.

Stephen Duneier is an exceptionally successful corporate executive who started out as a C student in school. By the time he was a junior in high school, he decided to make a change. He says that his main challenge was that he could never focus on anything for more than five to 10 minutes at a time. How did he change that behavior to become an A student, get into a renowned college and eventually lead hundreds of employees in various companies?

Because he could not change his short attention span, he made the decision to complete all homework and in later years, tasks, in five to 10 minute increments. That means he would “work” the length of his attention span, then do something else. The important change he made was to return to the work at hand for another five to 10 minute stretch, do something else, and repeat. In this way, he managed to complete everything he was responsible for. He emphasizes that even as an executive, he continued to use this system of focusing five to 10 minutes at a time. This way of focusing became his lifelong habit.

By breaking down seemingly unattainable goals into small manageable decisions, he was able to accomplish his goals. He says, “Marginal improvement leads to huge impact.” In other words, marginal adjustments in a daily routine can make big things happen. He gives the example of having learned German by making the small change of listening to language lessons instead of music every time he was hiking or during “free time.”

Author of Tiny Habits, BJ Fogg contends that even the tiniest behaviors have life-changing potential. He explains that there are basically two ways to implement long-term change. One way is to change your environment, both social and otherwise; and the other is to make tiny changes over and over again to create new habits. Obviously, changing the environment is not always possible, but making tiny changes is do-able.

He personally got into better physical shape by creating the habit of doing pushups every day. He notes that he didn’t buy a gym membership that he would never use; nor did he put himself on a strenuous regimen. He created his fitness habit by implementing his system of “before” and “after.” The “before” refers to any current behavior or habit, while the “after” refers to the future, or the habit that is going to be created. In his case, he stated to himself: “After I pee, I will do two pushups.” By linking the habit he wanted to create with something he already did regularly, he was able to work up to doing 40 pushups at a time and maintain his desired physical condition. BJ Fogg says that by applying the before and after system to create tiny habits, we really can accomplish whatever we set out to do.

Similarly, Atomic Habits by James Clear, tells us that the tiniest habits can be life-changing. He defines an atomic habit as “a regular practice or routine that is not only small and easy to do but is also the source of incredible power, a component of the system of compound growth.”1 He explains that what seem to be small and unimportant changes can compound into remarkable results if you’re willing to stick with them for years.

Clear encourages us to focus on the system and process of changing rather than on what we want to achieve. In fact, he states categorically that to obtain better results in creating good habits, “forget about setting goals and focus on your system instead. Focus not on what you want to achieve but on who you wish to become” because “habits are the compound interest of self-improvement.”2

The ways of creating good habits posed by the TED talks as well as by James Clear parallel the variety of self-development exercises presented in Humans Being More training. Go to the Nikken shopping cart and look under Training and Self-Development to register for the next online classes: January 30, 2021 hosted by Barb Satterwhite at 10 am Eastern and February 13, 2021 hosted by Michele Kowalchuk at 10 am Pacific.

Youtube.com/watch?v+TQMbvJNRpLE

Stephen Duneier TEDxTucson

Youtube.com/watch?v+AdKUJxjn-R8

BJ Fogg at TEDxFremont

1, 2 www.samuelthomasdavies.com/book-summaries/self-help/atomic-habits/

Exercising but Not Losing Weight?

One fact about exercise that many tend to ignore is that when we work out, the calories burned only account for a tiny part of our total energy expenditure. “In reality,” says Alexxai Kravitz, a neuroscientist and obesity researcher at the National Institutes of Health, “it’s only around 10 to 30 percent [of total energy expenditure] depending on the person (and excluding professional athletes that workout as a job).”1

Exercise has another effect that actually deters us from losing weight. Many of us consume more calories after exercising vigorously than without a workout. We also might take on “compensatory behaviors” after exercising, behaviors that actually slow down the metabolism. Examples are lying down to rest, being too tired to cook, eating whatever food is at hand, whether it’s processed or not. These compensatory behaviors cancel out the calories burned during the workout.

Simply increasing physical activity won’t help us lose significant amounts of weight. While exercise is hugely important for Active Wellness, how much and what we eat helps determine our waistlines much more. It therefore would make sense for public health policies to prioritize fighting overconsumption of low-quality processed foods while educating the masses and improving the food environment.

The National Weight Control Registry has conducted a study with 10,000 enrolled members. The study analyzed the traits, habits and behaviors of adults who have lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off for a one-year minimum. The researchers behind the study found that people who have had success losing weight have a few things in common: They weigh themselves at least once a week; they restrict calorie intake; they omit high-fat foods and watch portion sizes; and they exercise regularly.2

Decreasing calorie intake is necessary to lose weight, even with an increase in exercise. Research suggests that a person may be able to lose weight with extremely high levels of exercise, but even then, losing more than 4.4 pounds (2 kilograms) is unlikely.3

When it comes to decreasing calories, omitting sugar and high-fat foods is basic. However, did you know eliminating or decreasing alcohol intake may help with weight loss goals? Alcohol tends to be high-calorie in general. For example, a 12-ounce beer has about 153 calories and a glass of red wine has about 125 calories. Evidence suggests that in most cases it is not necessary to avoid alcohol completely to lose weight; however, it is helpful to limit drinking to two or three per week, and to stick with low-calorie selections, such as vodka or whiskey.4

In a nutshell, the most important thing a person can do to lose weight and maintain the loss is to limit calories in a sustainable way and exercise moderately. That means focusing on eating healthful yet delicious foods as in an Active Wellness lifestyle, not only as a temporary way to lose weight. To help ensure adequate intake of fruit and veggies, try supplementing with Kenzen® Total Vegan Drink Mix. By substituting some meals with Kenzen® Vital Balance Meal Replacement Mix, you may help achieve weight management goals, as it is formulated specifically to help burn fat, boost metabolism and build muscle!

1,2 https://www.vox.com/2016/4/28/11518804/weight-loss-exercise-myth-burn-calories

3, 4 https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324836#not-addressing-the-diet