Diets come and go, but the need for a healthy Active Wellness regimen never ends. One of the ongoing trends is to cut down on carbohydrates or in some diets, to eliminate them. Those who… More
Do you stand up straight or do you slouch? Having good posture is more than a matter of being attractive. It’s important in terms of your physical strength and flexibility—it’s essential for Active Wellness—and especially for bone and joint health.
More than half of the American population older than 18 years of age (about 54%) are affected by bone and joint conditions.1 It’s no wonder that the most common cause of long-term disabilities are related to bone and joint pain.2 As life expectancy increases, so does the prevalence of bone and joint degeneration.
Here are some ways to help keep bones and joints strong and stable:
- Move more! Less movement increases stiffness in joints. Don’t sit in one position for a long time. Get up and stretch or take a short walk.
- Research suggests that aerobic exercise (otherwise known as cardio exercise) can help reduce swelling of the joints. Inflamed joints respond well to low-impact exercises such as swimming or cycling.
- Stand and sit up straight. Slouching is hard on the joints, from your neck to your knees. Good posture helps keep hip and back muscles strong.
- Pay attention to your stance when lifting or carrying heavy items. Bend your knees instead of your back.
- Make sure to get enough calcium in your diet, since calcium helps keep bones healthy and strong. Natural sources of calcium include milk, yogurt, broccoli, kale, figs, soy or almond milk. Fill in any dietary gaps with the Kenzen® Bone Health Pack to help meet your recommended daily value of calcium with optimum absorption.
- Make sure to eat enough protein to build and maintain muscle mass. Muscles support the bones and joints. Good natural sources of protein include lean meats, seafood, beans, legumes and nuts. Just one serving of Kenzen Vital Balance® Meal Replacement contains more than 39% of the recommended daily value for protein.
- Incorporate citrus into your diet. Some studies suggest that vitamin C and other antioxidants can help keep joints healthy.3
- Take Kenzen® Joint with its advanced formula of a naturally occurring compound, cetyl myristoleate. This ingredient has natural surfactant and lubricant properties to help in smooth movement.* The same ingredient is found in CM Complex Cream to provide a naturally cooling and soothing effect to achy joints and muscles.
October 16 is World Spine Day and October 20 is World Osteoporosis Day. It’s an annual reminder to take care of your bones and your joints. It’s never too early to develop the habit of maintaining good posture, so be a good role model for the kids in your life. It’ll also keep you looking strong and healthy!
Poor indoor air quality can cause or contribute to many respiratory problems. Unfortunately, airborne contaminants are rampant and most people are not aware that indoor air quality often is even worse than polluted outdoor air.
Here are some of the things that can cause indoor air to be bad to inhale: asbestos, bacteria and viruses, building and paint products, carbon monoxide, odors from carpeting and flooring, cleaning supplies and household chemicals, dust mites and pet dander, mold and mildew, radon, secondhand smoke, volatile organic compounds and insect debris. Ironically, because air freshener is scented, it actually can be a culprit for respiratory distress—artificial fragrances are a major cause of serious health problems, especially for people with lung diseases such as asthma or COPD.1
There are simple precautions you can take to maintain indoor air quality:
- Do not allow anyone to smoke indoors.
- Make sure there are no leaks or standing water, for example, in the kitchen, basement or attic.
- Keep fuel-burning appliances fully vented to the outdoors and serviced regularly for proper functioning. These include gas stoves, water heaters and fireplaces.
- Store household chemicals, paints or solvents in closed compartments.
- Keep garbage covered before its removal.
- Select unscented or naturally scented personal care products.
- Keep pesticides and herbicides securely sealed.
Even people who live an Active Wellness lifestyle can experience negative health impacts from breathing polluted indoor air. Symptoms can be as mild as respiratory irritation (sneezing, sniffling) to serious ones that may cause asthma, bronchitis, emphysema and COPD.2
Some symptoms may not pertain to the respiratory system but can still be the result of breathing bad air. These include dry throat, headache, nausea, reduced resistance to infections, fatigue and even weakened athletic performance.3 When resistance to infections occurs, most people may experience cold-like or flu-like symptoms that can result in more severe respiratory complications.4
To breathe is to live. Breathing clean air is necessary to have an Active Wellness life. The KenkoAir Purifier® (KAP) is such an easy solution with multiple-stage HEPA filtration. Energy Star qualified, KAP is 35% more efficient than standard models and saves a minimum of 215 kilowatt hours per year. Using only 55 watts to cover 313 sq. ft., its carbon footprint is further decreased with a reusable prefilter and replaceable outer filters. Its advanced system helps to generate negative ions, replicating those in Nature, and it operates ozone-free and is therefore non-toxic. Made with recyclable plastics, KAP supports respiratory health and the health of planet Earth.
Traditionally, autumn is the colorful harvest season that precedes the cold winter months. The temperature begins to drop and the air becomes dryer as winds blow and leaves fall. In contrast to Nature’s beautiful brush strokes, autumn is often a time for many people to get sick with colds and flu, and for the digestive system to take a major hit, causing various intestinal disorders. Fortunately, there’s a reason for this and simple solutions.
Each change of season is a transitional period in Nature and our bodies follow suit even if we are unconscious of what’s happening. Autumn is a time when leaves fall and vegetation is either harvested or dies off. During this natural cycle of life and death, mold is released. Even though mold is airborne year round, this extra release can be a stress on the immune system.
Depending on the individual’s state of Active Wellness, the immune system either continues working well or becomes overloaded during autumn. Digestion may not be as smooth and the foods that worked well during the summer may suddenly be overwhelming. Autumn is therefore an ideal time to reduce the toxic load on the immune and digestive systems. In fact, since 60 to 80% of the immune system revolves around the digestive system, the two impact each other a great deal.1
- Minimize exposure to chemical toxins in the environment or in products you might use on a daily basis, including cosmetics, laundry detergent, cleaners, plastics, air fresheners, etc.
- Try using unscented cleaners and detergents. Scented products often are full of artificial ingredients that tend to burden the immune and digestive systems.
- Read labels and try eating food without artificial food coloring and preservatives. Processed foods in general may irritate sensitive digestive tracts.
- Dry cleaning often contains chemicals that not only create breathing issues but also tax the central nervous system, which rules the digestive system! Even if you can’t avoid dry cleaning clothing, be aware and try to allow time for them to air out.
- Pay attention to food sensitivities. This is a great time of year to eat warming foods, just as summer was a perfect time to eat cooling salads. A rule of thumb is to heed Nature and eat what grows seasonally, for example, pumpkins, squash, root vegetables (like beets and turnips), dark leafy greens, and whatever is locally grown.
- Store your reusable plastic bags and containers in closed cupboards and air-tight containers. Plastics contain petrochemical molecules that are airborne, especially indoors.
- Drink filtered water. Chlorine is a harsh chemical placed in many municipal water systems. The PiMag Waterfall® exceeds the standard for chlorine reduction and helps households filter tap water and reduce or eliminate the use of bottled water that becomes trash in landfills.
- Traditional Chinese Medicine recommends preventing gastrointestinal flare-ups by eating moistening foods, such as tofu, tempeh, spinach, barley, pears, apples, seaweed, mushrooms, almonds, sesame seeds, persimmons and loquat, also known as monkfruit.2
- Protect skin from the dryness and wind. Use a moisturizer such as True Elements® Youthful Face Cream at night and Nourishing Face Cream during the day. For optimum results, exfoliate first to get rid of flaky skin—True Elements® Radiance Scrub is gentle and soothing.
Try to get plenty of rest and sleep to help keep your immune system happy, and enjoy this beautiful season!
Eat well, exercise regularly and avoid high-risk behaviors such as smoking, excessive drinking and unnecessary drug use. This is common sense that applies to virtually everyone. In other words, practice Active Wellness.
What is particular to women’s health and fitness? Women’s health includes a range of specialties, such as birth control and gynecology, breast, ovarian, uterine and cervical cancers, menopause and hormone therapy, osteoporosis, pregnancy and childbirth, heart disease specific to women and more.1
Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in women. If you have a family or personal history of breast cancer, your risk for developing this condition is higher. The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that women of average risk have a mammogram screening every two years between the ages of 50 and 74. They also recommend for women with an average risk of developing breast cancer to have their first screening in their 40s. Many doctors and medical groups recommend yearly mammograms starting at age 40. If you have a family history of breast cancer, your doctor may recommend you start earlier. These medical professionals also encourage women to conduct self-exams on a monthly basis starting at age 20.
Health practitioners generally advise women to get a Pap test to check for cervical cancer every three years when 21 or older. Between 30-65, women can get both a Pap test and HPV test every five years. Women older than 65 may be able to stop testing if the doctor determines you are low risk.2
Heart disease is the leading cause of death among American women, and women are more likely than men to die following a heart attack. Women are known to exhibit symptoms leading up to a heart attack that are less well known than men—often this results in ignoring the symptoms until it’s too late. As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.3 In fact, women may experience a heart attack without chest pressure—instead, they may feel a shortness of breath, pain in the abdomen, dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting, upper back pressure or extreme fatigue.4 A heart attack can be misconstrued as acid reflux, the flu or normal discomforts related to aging.
Men and women share many of the same risk factors for stroke, including high blood pressure and high cholesterol. However, women have several unique risk factors that make them more likely to have a stroke than men. Risk increases with the use of birth control pills, pregnancy and hormone replacement therapy.5 A healthy Mediterranean diet and a consistent exercise regimen are preventative measures. Choose supplementation with Kenzen Bergisterol® and Kenzen® Omega Green+DHA to help support heart health.
Women also are more at risk than men for developing osteoporosis, due to their tendency to have smaller, thinner bones. Estrogen, a hormone in women that protects bones, decreases sharply when women reach menopause, which can cause bone loss. Of the estimated 10 million Americans with osteoporosis, about 80% are women, and a woman’s risk of breaking a hip is equal to her combined risk of breast, uterine and ovarian cancer.6 The good news is that osteoporosis can be prevented—denser, stronger bones can be built by getting enough calcium and vitamin D, exercise and practicing Active Wellness. The key is to start early in life, from childhood through the teen years and onward. The Kenzen® Bone Health Pack with Kenzen® Calcium Complex and Kenzen® BDZ is exceptional. Partner products deliver naturally sourced calcium and minerals complemented by a formula that actively binds calcium to the bone matrix.*
Look for other aspects of women’s health and fitness in future blogs. For now, remember to eat well, exercise consistently, get regular physicals with your health practitioners and keep your bones strong!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Providing food is a universal act of care in every species within the animal kingdom. Humans above all show affection by preparing and serving a variety of food. Often, certain types of food are given as “treats,” thus assigning them extra value.
Here’s an example of a dialogue between parent and child:
Parent: Finish your dinner and you can have a special treat.
Child: What’s the special treat?
Parent: You can have a frosted cupcake.
The problem here is that the frosted cupcake is given the status of a special treat, so the child perceives it as something highly desirable. The fact that the child has to finish dinner in order to obtain the treat implies that the dinner is something to get out of the way in order to obtain the cupcake. It may seem harmless enough, but this kind of behavior becomes entrenched in the child and carries into his or her adult life and can even perpetuate itself into the next generation. Unfortunately, high-calorie, high-fat and heavily sugared foods are the ones that are generally called treats, while nutrient-dense foods that should be valued, are not. No wonder childhood obesity has become a serious problem in North America.
Obese children are at a higher risk of having chronic health conditions, such as asthma, sleep apnea, bone and joint problems and type 2 diabetes. Onset of diabetes in children can lead to heart disease and kidney failure.1 And more obviously, children with obesity are more likely to become obese adults with numerous health challenges.
According to the American Dietetic Association (ADA), obesity threatens the health of today’s children to such an extent that they may, for the first time in U.S. history, have a shorter lifespan than their parents. This crisis has led to increasing interest in the prevention of obesity, starting with childhood. The ADA has compiled a lot of data about childhood obesity, based on ongoing studies and reports. The main areas of review are food and nutrients, eating behaviors, family interactions around food and meals and physical activity vs. sedentary behaviors.2
Since parents and caretakers are largely responsible for providing food for most young children, the “control” is in the adults’ hands. Here are some common sense guidelines:
- Be a good role model and eat healthy foods.
- Help children develop good nutritional habits by having healthy food available—lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, lean meats, poultry, fish, lentils and beans.
- “Out of sight, out of mind,” so don’t purchase beverages with extra sugar. Evidence strongly supports a correlation between obesity in children with a high intake of sweetened beverages.3 Also avoid the availability of snacks with high fat and high sodium.
- Have family meals together. Reports from the American Dietetic Association show evidence that increased frequency of family meals is associated with a higher consumption of nutritious foods and less of fried food and soft drinks.
- Encourage children to drink water throughout the day, and provide them with their individual PiMag® Sport Bottle. Children like taking ownership of something special and the PiMag® Sport Bottle will help them receive clean, filtered water. Teach them to fill the PiMag® Sport Bottle with tap water or wherever there is potable water. In doing so, your children will be learning to drink less chlorinated water and at the same time, reduce plastic waste from bottled water.
- Serve age-appropriate portions, and don’t expect children to “clean their plates” at every meal. On the other end of the spectrum, wait 15 minutes before serving seconds, so children can learn the feeling of fullness.
- Don’t watch TV during meals or snacks. Distracted eating is the opposite of mindful eating.
- Don’t use sweets as a reward. The definition of “treat” is really up to the parent, and when kids are taught to choose healthy foods from a very young age, it carries into adulthood.
Now let’s take the example dialogue mentioned above and change it up:
Parent: Finish your dinner and you can have a special treat.
Child: What’s the special treat?
Parent: We’re going to go for a bike ride together before it gets dark.
It’s never too early to start living Active Wellness. Examples of good treats that are 100 calories or less are a medium-sized apple or banana, a cup of blueberries, a cup of carrots, broccoli or bell peppers accompanied by a couple of tablespoons of hummus. A Kenzen Vital Balance® “milk shake” is also a healthy treat, and makes a wonderful breakfast or snack for the whole on-the-go family.
Lots of research is being conducted on pain, and no wonder! According to pain specialists at Johns Hopkins University, nearly 100 million Americans experience chronic pain, more than those who have diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined.1 To help find and improve treatments, researchers attempt to understand more about the underlying causes of pain.
Pain is actually a warning signal that something is wrong. The pain starts in receptor nerve cells located beneath the skin and in organs throughout the body. There are many different types of pain, but the most common stem from arthritis, spinal issues and headaches.
- Arthritis refers to more than 100 different conditions ranging from autoimmune disease to joint inflammation. Although there is no cure, there are treatment plans with short-term and long-term goals, dependent on the severity and type of arthritis.
- Back pain is so common that the National Institutes of Health contend that eight out of 10 people will have some sort of spinal issue in their lifetimes.
- Headaches vary, with migraines being one of the most debilitating types. They can be triggered by stress, fatigue and certain foods. Children can have headaches triggered by hormones, stress, medications, dehydration, depression and anxiety. Genetics can play a part in headaches.
Pain is the most common reason for people to seek medical care. It also is one of the reasons people frequently turn to complementary and integrative health approaches.2 Pain costs the United States an estimated $635 billion a year in terms of lost productivity and medical expenditures, with chronic pain being the leading cause of long-term disability in adults.3
Given the huge opioid crisis in the United States, many suffering from chronic pain are now dealing with limited access to prescriptions—alternatives to drugs are needed even more. These alternatives can range from outright tolerance (the grit your teeth school of pain management) to methodical breathing (similar to Lamaze techniques during childbirth) to yoga and meditation.
There also are a wide range of topical ointments, patches, orthopedic support systems and homeopathic formulations. For example, Nikken CM Complex Cream and Kenzen® Joint, both contain cetyl myristoleate, a naturally occurring compound that is believed to help ease joint discomfort. The soothing nature of the compound was discovered by National Institutes of Health researcher Dr. H.W. Diehl. The Nikken formulation is endorsed by Dr. Diehl’s estate.
Health practitioners who practice pain management contend that expectations are key to whether patients become overly dependent on prescription pain relievers. Expectations of pain relief can range from total painlessness to taking the edge off. Search and Rescue USA states that of 64,000 drug overdose deaths in 2016, 40% involved a prescription opioid.4 The higher the expectation, the more drugs are involved.
A concrete example of varying expectations can be witnessed with the changing trends in childbirth. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, women had no choice but to tolerate the pain of childbirth. By the 1940s and 1950s, many giving birth were completely “knocked out” or “put under” because childbirth was considered a medical procedure. By the 1960s and 1970s, the pendulum swung in the other direction and the natural childbirth movement began. By the 1980s, epidural anesthesia became common; as a result, many opted to stay awake but without feeling acute labor pains and Cesarean sections increased.5 By the 1990s, there was a swing back to birthing without drugs. With each decade, mothers and their families had a different set of expectations and pain was managed accordingly.
Whatever types of pain we may experience and whichever treatments we seek largely depend on our expectations. Barring life-threatening diseases that require extreme forms of pain management, an Active Wellness lifestyle can help enhance any other way of relieving pain.
KenkoTherm® Support Wraps help strained or achy muscles and joints function more smoothly. The strong yet stretchable wraps have warming ceramic reflective fibers that help provide a sense of confidence while they support movement. KenkoTherm DUK® Tape is made with 100% cotton tape and hypoallergenic. You can cut it to the size you want to obtain the support right where you need it. It’s water-resistant and lasts all day to help ease muscle and joint discomfort.
September is National Cholesterol Education Month in the United States, so it’s an appropriate time of year to get updated with the facts. Research is ongoing in this particular area related to heart health, especially since high cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
High cholesterol usually doesn’t have any symptoms. As a result, many people do not know that their cholesterol levels are too high. However, doctors can do a simple blood test to check your cholesterol—it’s called a lipoprotein profile and can measure your total cholesterol levels, including LDL (low-density lipoprotein, or “bad” cholesterol), HDL (high-density lipoprotein, or “good” cholesterol), and triglycerides. The National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) recommends that adults aged 20 years or older have their cholesterol checked every five years.
In the United States, more than one-fifth (20%) of youth aged 12–19 years have at least one abnormal lipid level.1 Risk increases for children two or older through their teen years if they are overweight, have a family history of high cholesterol, or a family history of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, or certain chronic conditions, such as kidney disease, inflammatory diseases, congenital heart disease, and childhood cancer survivorship.2
High cholesterol can be controlled through lifestyle changes but if practicing Active Wellness is not enough, physicians frequently prescribe medications known as statins. Side effects vary depending upon the individual.
Lowering cholesterol naturally takes discipline and commitment. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention focus on improving the diet to combat high cholesterol:
- Limit foods high in saturated fat. Saturated fats come from animal products (such as cheese, fatty meats, and dairy desserts) and tropical oils. Foods that are higher in saturated fat may be high in cholesterol.
- Choose foods that are low in saturated fat, trans fat, sodium (salt), and added sugars, such as lean meats, seafood, fat-free or low-fat milk, cheese, and yogurt, whole grains, and fruits and vegetables.
- Eat foods naturally high in fiber, such as oatmeal and beans (black, pinto, kidney, lima, and others) and unsaturated fats, which can be found in avocado, vegetable oils like olive oil and nuts. These foods may help prevent and manage high levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides while increasing high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels.
When it comes to naturally lowering cholesterol, the partner to a healthy diet is exercise. The Surgeon General recommends two hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, such as brisk walking or bicycling, every week—or one hour and 15 minutes of vigorous activity. Children and adolescents should get one hour or more of physical activity every day.3
Another alternative to statins that may work well with an Active Wellness lifestyle is taking a nutritional supplement made with bergamot fruit. The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) has published various studies and multiple clinical trials with bergamot. To summarize their findings, bergamot has been found to contain a variety of phytochemicals—otherwise known as biologically active compounds—that are known to be beneficial in helping to reduce total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol in patients with levels that are higher than what is widely considered by researchers and physicians to be within a healthy range.4 Bergamot therefore continues to be studied as an alternative to statins which are known to have a variety of uncomfortable side effects.
Now in capsule form, Kenzen Bergisterol® 60 is a unique organic formulation made with Citrus bergamia Risso, an exclusive strain of the bergamot fruit and blended with vitamin C in the form of organic amla, colloquially known as Indian Gooseberry,
a known source of polyphenols and bioflavonoids.