Immune health has been on the forefront of everyone’s mind, especially in the past year. People have tried to come up with a variety of ways to “boost” their immune system. But, is that really… More
Boost Your Mental and Physical Health Working Remotely
If there’s a silver lining to the past year, it’s the ability for most of us to work from the comfort of our own home. No commute, no business attire and no noisy coworkers! However, working remotely can come with unique challenges when it comes to mental and physical wellness: burnout, loneliness and uncomfortable working conditions. Here are some workplace wellness tips for the home to help keep you happy, healthy and productive1.
Establish a Daily Routine
It is so important to keep the ritual of your regular morning routine as if you were still leaving the house to go to work. Set your alarm for your regular waking time, shower and dress, make your breakfast and coffee, etc. Consider scheduling in a few minutes of meditation every morning before you sign into work. It’s a great way to start your day with a clear and focused mind! You can find many free guided meditations online or through your mobile app.
Create a Designated Office Space
Not everyone has the luxury of a private office space to work in. If possible, avoid working on your bed or couch. Aside from the back pain you’ll experience, it will be difficult to get into “working mode” in these spaces. Experts highly encourage you to find a dedicated space in your home with natural light, enough space for all your materials and an excellent desk chair! Did you know the average worker sits for approximately 10 hours a day?* Therefore, it’s extremely important to invest in a durable chair with a supportive back.
A separate working space also lets you disconnect at the end of the day. If your office is also the place where you sleep and watch television every night it will be difficult to differentiate work from relaxation.
Take a Break
Set limits on how long you sit and stare at your computer screen. You need breaks to stretch your body, eat your meals and decompress. Schedule at least 20 to 30 minutes of physical activity every day. Take a stroll around your neighborhood, do an online workout video or try some yoga moves.
Remember, just because you are at home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take a coffee or a lunch break. Avoid eating in front of your computer as much as possible. If needed, schedule your lunch breaks at a certain time every day, so your coworkers know that you are not reachable during that time.
Make it a point to stay connected and bond with your coworkers through Zoom lunches or virtual team Happy Hours. Send your best friend a text or give your mom a call – chances are she would love to hear from you! Smile and wave to people you see on your walks when strolling through your neighborhood on a break. We are social beings and we need to maintain that human connection!
Structure a Beginning and End to Your Day
Working from home makes it very easy to stay connected until the late hours of the day. To maintain mental wellness, it is important to set limits and end your work days as you normally would in a traditional office setting. Keep track of your hours to make sure you aren’t constantly working overtime.
Work smart with workspace wellness to help maintain your active wellness.
Congratulations, Class of 2021! Whether you finished school on-campus, remotely or hybrid, the end result is you did it! You achieved a monumental milestone and now the future is yours. You may wonder, what now? Should you join the workforce? Pursue higher learning? Well, if you’re looking to join the workforce, we recommend these tips to help you succeed1:
- Identify the key soft skills (power skills) you have and need. Examples include critical thinking, problem-solving, communication and learning agility. Learning agility is your most important skill, because it means you have the curiosity and motivation to continuously learn new skills throughout your career.
- Consider core technical skills you have that are likely to stay in high demand, such as digital literacy, data science and data analytics. And then build upon those skills.
- Focus on skills that are portable and that will be critical regardless of what field you enter. For example, the data analytics skills you developed in your marketing job may be just as valuable — or even more valuable — in e-commerce or product development.
- Keep a permanent, personal list of past and future learning. This will help you have better conversations about your skills in interviews and on the job.
- Discover, filter and apply your learning. Utilize low or no-cost technology. You can also use Twitter Lists for streams of topic-specific material from those you choose to follow and platforms like YouTube have many relevant talks and interviews.
Some new grads may find joining the workforce right away to be bad timing, too intimidating or be looking for an advantage to find their perfect position. For these reasons and more, higher education can be a worthwhile option. Here’s what you’ll need to excel2:
- Be an effective planner and initiative taker. You’ll need to be mentally ready for the marathon of graduate studies.
- Have the maturity to rebound from disappointments. Graduate school is a whole different ballgame than college.
- Build up your stamina to complete long projects on your own, without much interaction or (potentially) direction.
- Do specific research on job placement for the programs you’re considering. It’s a competitive market out there!
- Finances matter. You’ll need to weigh the cost of graduate school against your future earning potential, and then figure out how much you can afford to spend on your degree.
Remember, no matter what you choose, this is an exciting time in your life—enjoy it!
Moms are awesome, but dads deserve a day to be recognized for all they do too! Did you ever wonder how Father’s Day began? It’s quite a story! It started with a young girl who had five siblings who were all being raised by their single father. Her name was Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington and this is her story1.
In May of 1909, Sonora Smart Dodd sat in church listening to a Mother’s Day sermon. She decided she wanted to designate a day for her dad, William Jackson Smart. Dodd’s mother had died in childbirth, and Dodd’s father, a Civil War veteran, had taken the responsibility of singlehandedly raising the newborn and his other five children.
The following year, Dodd wanted to celebrate Father’s Day on June 5th, her father’s birthday, and petitioned for the holiday to be recognized in her city. Needing more time to arrange the festivities, Spokane’s mayor pushed the date back by two weeks, and the first Father’s Day was celebrated on June 19, 1910, according to the Spokane Regional Convention and Visitor Bureau.
In 1916, President Wilson attended the Father’s Day celebration in Spokane and confirmed that he was working to make the holiday recognized at a national level. Congress initially resisted because they were worried about commercialization. It took 56 years before President Richard Nixon signed Father’s Day into law in 19722.
At the first Father’s Day celebration, young women handed out red roses to their fathers during a church service, and large baskets full of roses were passed around, with attendees encouraged to pin on a rose in honor of their fathers – red for the living and white in memory of the deceased.
One hundred and eleven years later, we still celebrate Father’s Day on the third Sunday of every June in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and other countries. It’s an anticipated day not just for fathers, but for stepfathers, uncles, grandpas and the other men who take on the role of fatherhood for children everywhere.
There’s nothing quite like the thrill of becoming a father. A whole new chapter of your life opens up filled with endless milestones to experience with your child: teaching your mini-me how to talk, walk, run and navigate life. To keep up with your little one for every new experience, you’ll want to be in your best health. In honor of Men’s Health Week (June 14th-June 20th), here are four tips to help be the healthiest dad you can be!1
1. Watch Your Weight
Most men relax their diets and exercise program once they get married and start a family. They gain weight, particularly during their partner’s pregnancy. But once the baby arrives, you have to be as active, mobile and quick as you can. Therefore, controlling your weight should be your top priority and something that will define your health status throughout your life.
2. Manage Your Stress
Working all day and keeping everything under control means you’re probably under more stress than you realize. There are lots of ways to minimize stress – staying active, exercising and communicating with your loved ones are just some of them. Find the methods that suit you the best, practice them daily, and you’ll be a calmer and better parent for the long-haul.
3. Schedule Regular Check Ups
All parents go into action mode the minute they see something is not right with their kids. As soon as they start coughing or feeling woozy, we take them to the doctor’s office and deal with the problem. However, it’s not just kids that need this sort of attention – it’s the dads as well. It’s essential to see your doctor for regular screenings and annual physicals. Your kiddos are counting on you!
4. Find the Balance
Providing for family often requires dads to work long hours. It can wear you out physically and emotionally. Avoiding burnout is a must if you want to enjoy fatherhood and life long-term, so you need to learn how to balance your work and your family more effectively than before. Talk to your employer, talk to your partner, and find a solution that works for both of you.
Remember, you’re doing it all for the sake of your children and a chance to spend more quality time with them. That’s why lots of men don’t really mind altering their habits and introducing positive changes to their lives in order to become healthier, happier and better fathers.
This year’s Father’s Day falls on June 20th, and we have the perfect gift to keep all dads healthier and happier. Receive the Men’s Nikken Watch as a gift with qualifying orders between June 1—June 30, 2021!* Speak to your Nikken Consultant for further details.
Good for You and Sustainable for Nature
Sometimes it’s possible to make a good thing better. That’s what we’ve done with the KENZEN True Elements® range of skin care products. Not only have we upgraded the already advanced formulas, but we also have a higher level of organic certification and have changed our packaging to be more eco-friendly.
We’ve added ‘KENZEN’ to the brand – Kenzen means “healthy” in Japanese – we are tying together our nutritionals with our skin care. In fact, you’ll notice the new True elements® contains an even higher level of natural and organic ingredients – making it a great nutritional addition for your skin.
KENZEN True Elements® was always certified organic by EcoCert®, but now we’ve added COSMOS ORGANIC to our certifications. Adding this gold standard in international certification, COSMOS Organic means the True Elements® range must comply with even more stringent guidelines. Complying with COSMOS Organic certification ensures responsible usage of natural resources and responsibility towards biodiversity and eco-friendly production with high-quality natural and organic ingredients via processes that respect people and the environment.
We take our commitment to the environment and to natural organic skin care seriously.
Our KENZEN True Elements® formulations are formulated along the same ingredient guidelines as our nutritionals. That means no GMOS, pesticides, parabens, polyethylene glycol (PEG), silicone, dyes, aroma, controversial ingredients, gluten, alcohol or aluminum salts.
Because we respect the ocean and its precious inhabitants, the seaweeds used in KENZEN True Elements® are harvested by hand and by boat from the Iroise Sea in Brittany France, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. Just as it’s important to fish sustainably, it’s equally crucial to harvest seaweed and other marine plants respectfully. Harvesting by hand and boat helps to preserve resources and maintain a low carbon footprint. Another step towards our mission to be ‘in harmony with nature’ and sharing Active Wellness with the Global Wellness Community.
The first three new and improved products are: Moisturizing Face Cream (item 2044), Youth Activ Serum (item 2042) and brand new Revitalizing Serum (item 2062). The two serums are formulated to complement the Moisturizing Face Cream. To be applied on a clean face before applying the Moisturizing Face Cream, the Youth Activ Serum targets anti-aging and dark pigmentation spots. The Revitalizing Serum is formulated to energize dull, tired-looking skin with marine minerals . Both serums help decrease the appearance of fine lines and boost the hydration of the Moisturizing Face Cream. Depending on the needs of your skin, you can choose which serum best suits you; however, you can also use one in the morning and the other at night.
The key ingredients in these advanced formulas include three different types of seaweed extracts: Organic Chondrus, Organic Laminaria, Organic Ulva Lactuca and sea plant: Organic Sea Fennel. Along with High Molecular Weight Hyaluronic Acid, Low Molecular Weight Hyaluronic Acid, Organic Shea Butter and Marine Magnesium Concentrate. Take a look at the three new KENZEN True Elements® products in our Nikken shopping cart to read more about the features and benefits of each precious skin care product.
Nikken is committed to working in tandem with nature and Planet Earth, so KENZEN True Elements® are Good for You and Sustainable for Nature.
Allergies are irritating, but they can be managed, especially if you stick to an Active Wellness lifestyle. An allergy is when your immune system reacts to a foreign substance, called an allergen. It could be something you eat, inhale into your lungs, inject into your body or touch. Allergens can cause coughing, sneezing, hives, rashes, itchy eyes, a runny nose and a scratchy throat. Although there is no cure for allergies, you can manage them with prevention and treatment.
More than 50 million Americans experience various types of allergies each year.1 That’s why it’s important to know what you are allergic to and avoid those allergens as much as possible. Some allergens are easier to avoid than others—the main sources of allergens are drugs, food, insects, latex, mold, pets and pollen.2
Many people suffer from allergies but don’t know the causes. Because many allergies are irritants but not life-threatening, it’s common practice to take any number of over-the-counter allergy medications. If the medication helps stop the symptoms, then people simply keep taking them without knowing the root cause. The most common side effect to taking allergy medications is sleepiness, so over the years, new formulas have popped up that are “non-drowsy.” Most commonly used are antihistamines, cortisone ointments, decongestants and epinephrine—people with severe allergies carry “epi-pens” so they can self-inject epinephrine to counteract serious allergic reactions.
An Active Wellness lifestyle may not be able to get rid of your allergies; however, being healthy can certainly bolster your overall immune system to help you cope with them. For example, with seasonal allergies from pollen or certain trees, sometimes the allergic reactions disappear. Whether this is your body’s way of adapting over the years or the result of healthy living can’t be proven, but it certainly might be helpful.
There are treatments without using medications. For example, people with airborne allergies may choose to wash out their noses daily with a nasal saline solution, plain water or by using a Neti pot. Others may choose to diffuse natural scents to help the nasal passages open.
With food allergies, avoiding the primary offenders generally takes care of any issues. The most common food allergies are to milk, egg, peanut, tree nut, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish.3 Food allergies are different from food intolerances. For example, you can be lactose-intolerant but not allergic to lactose—food intolerance does not involve the immune system. To determine any possible food allergies, track what you eat, when symptoms occur, and what seems to be helpful.
Insects that may cause allergies are generally divided into three groups: stinging, biting, and non-stinging/biting. Stinging insects such as bees, wasps, hornets and fire ants inject a toxic venom when they sting. Biting insects such as mosquitoes, bedbugs, fleas and certain flies may cause itchiness, swelling, rashes and/or pain.
One particularly unusual development that may result from a Lone Star tick bite is becoming allergic to meat. This is because a tick transfers alpha-gal, a sugar, into the person’s bloodstream. When the person’s immune system reacts to it, the meat allergy develops because alpha-gal is also found in beef, lamb and pork.4
Your indoor environment plays an important role in keeping allergens away. Dust mites and pet dander are common offenders that can be filtered out with a good air purifier. There are still a few days left in May to take advantage of the outstanding promotion for the KenkoAir Purifier® and get 30% off the regular price! Tell your friends about it and share the benefits with your family! To breathe is to live!
To breathe is to live! We take breathing for granted, but there are people who have trouble breathing. People with asthma sometimes have trouble catching their breath. Why does this happen? The good news is that there are ways to mitigate asthma.
People with asthma may be sensitive to things which may not bother other people. These things are known as “triggers.” Asthma causes swelling of the airways. This results in narrowing of the airways that carry air from the nose and mouth to the lungs. Allergens or irritating things entering the lungs trigger asthma symptoms, which may include trouble breathing, wheezing, coughing and tightness in the chest.
Asthma triggers vary from person to person. Some people react to only a few while others react to many. Most commonly, triggers come in the form of dust mites, pollen, molds, pet dander, smoke from cigarettes, smog, wood fires, charcoal grills, fumes and vapors from paint, gasoline, perfumes, deodorizers, dust, floating particles in the air and any number of chemicals.1
There is no cure for asthma, but it can be managed with medications, preventative measures and a healthy Active Wellness lifestyle. The key is to learn from past asthmatic episodes and to track them. In other words, if you know your asthma triggers, you can try to avoid them as much as possible, which will lower the risk of an attack.2 Some questions to help track triggers are:
- Was I making a bed or vacuuming?
- Was I near an animal?
- Was I near someone who was smoking a cigarette?
- Was I exercising vigorously?
- Was I extremely upset or happy?
- Was I exhausted?
You can see from the questions which triggers they represent. You then can acknowledge whether or not you’re triggered by dust, pet dander, smoke, exercise, extreme emotions, or fatigue. There are other triggers, but these are just examples of things to pay attention to.
People may feel asthma symptoms come on gradually. For example, warning signs include coughing, chest tightness and/or a feeling of tiredness unlike the usual fatigue. These symptoms occur as the lungs are narrowing slowly. People may also not even notice anything unusual before the airways are uncomfortably blocked. Experience will help determine whether or not an asthma attack is about to happen.
Just to be on the safe side, you can work on reducing the usage of chemical detergents and artificial deodorizers in the home. You can also get rid of old carpeting, vacuum often, and keep pet hair cleaned up as much as possible. Perhaps the one most important thing to do is to use an air purifier.
Since asthma is one of America’s most common and costly illnesses, using a good air purifier is a good preventative measure to help even the healthiest of us breathe clean air. Why not take advantage of the outstanding May promotion for the KenkoAir Purifier® and get 30% off the regular price? Your lungs will appreciate it!
National Women’s Health Week starts on Mother’s Day annually. This year it started on May 9 and continues through May 16, 2021. This yearly observance is led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health. The goal is to empower women to make their health a priority and to provide steps to take to improve their health.
The basics of women’s health are the same as those for men—eat healthy foods, get adequate amounts of exercise for your age and current state of health, get plenty of restful sleep, refrain from smoking and only drink alcohol in moderation. Nevertheless, there are certain aspects of Active Wellness that are specific to women.
Women have some unique nutritional needs, for example, needing more of certain vitamins and minerals during pregnancy or after menopause. Calcium, iron and folic acid are particularly important for women from puberty onward.1 Since women’s bones are more prone to becoming brittle, especially in their senior years, consuming enough calcium and retaining it in the body is an important aspect of women’s health starting from youth—this helps create healthful eating habits early on.
Lactose is the natural sugar found in milk and foods made with milk. Between 30 million and 50 million Americans are lactose-intolerant, meaning have trouble digesting foods with lactose in them.2 Although this is common, lactose intolerance raises a woman’s risk of health issues related to osteoporosis. Women who are lactose intolerant should take special care to obtain enough non-dairy calcium in their diets or through supplementation.
Women are more prone to iron deficiency, the cause of anemia.3 Like eating calcium-rich foods to maintain healthy bones for a lifetime, eating iron-rich foods supports Active Wellness. Taking iron supplements may be helpful but may have the undesired side effects of constipation.
On average, adult women need between 1,600 and 2,400 calories a day.4 Women who are more physically active may need more calories than those who are more sedentary, as muscles hasten metabolism. The basis of how many calories you personally can consume without weight gain depends on your age, height, current weight, and activity level.
Pregnant women require different nutritional needs than during other stages of their lives. For most normal-weight pregnant women, the estimated number of calories needed is about 1,800 calories per day during the first trimester, about 2,200 calories per day during the second trimester and about 2,400 calories per day during the third trimester.5 Pregnant women should also drink plenty of fluids, avoid drinks with caffeine and sugar, and take a prenatal vitamin.
An additional 450 to 500 calories per day is recommended for well-nourished breastfeeding mothers, compared with the amount they were consuming before pregnancy. The number of additional calories needed for an individual breastfeeding woman is also affected by her age, body mass index, activity level, and extent of breastfeeding (exclusively breastfeeding versus breastfeeding and formula feeding).6
Although Women’s Health Week ends on May 16, all of May is Asthma and Allergy Awareness month. Why not take advantage of the outstanding May promotion for the KenkoAir Purifier® and get 30% off the regular price? Take a deep breath and embrace your inner power—now is the best time to get healthier and stronger!
Mother’s Day in North America lands on May 9th this year, and other than honoring moms (which should be done every day of the year) we may reflect upon how motherhood changes women. There is actually a burgeoning science behind mothers’ health as differentiated from those who have not given birth.
As with everything in life, there’s an upside and a downside. Fortunately, motherhood appears to confer many striking pluses, a reward for all those labor pains and beyond!
• According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), women who have children are less likely to develop breast cancer. Being pregnant apparently reduces exposure to certain hormones that are linked to breast cancer—a direct result of not menstruating during pregnancy.
• The risk for breast cancer is further reduced if the mother breastfeeds, as the process the breast cells go through to produce milk, may prevent them from becoming cancerous.1
• A large 2009 study2 showed that mothers who breastfed for at least 12 months in their lifetime had a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes than those who had never breastfed.
• The hippocampus, a part of the brain responsible for spatial memory and learning, actually increases in size during pregnancy and motherhood. This led Canadian researchers to believe that the mother’s brain might actually grow with each child.3
• An Australian study, conducted in 2012 in a small rural town over more than 16 years, showed that despite a mild increase in the risk of being overweight, having diabetes or hypertension, mothers still had longer lifespans. Those with more than four children had an even lower risk of death—these effects are not fully understood but other studies in Israel and Norway showed similar results! 4
Do you know any mother who doesn’t worry about her children or how the environment affects them? Ironically, the World Health Organization (WHO) has isolated a specific environmental risk that puts mothers and other women most at risk: exposure to household air pollution. This is particularly true for women in low- and middle-income countries—the result of using polluting fuels for cooking, heating and lighting.5 The truth is that even in high-income nations, indoor air pollution is a challenge, resulting not from fuel usage but from mold, mildew, dander, air conditioning, central heating and chemical detergents and artificial deodorizers.
Air pollution affects women more than men. Chronic health conditions such as high blood pressure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and asthma are more common in women over 50 compared to men in the same age group—these conditions are directly related to breathing in polluted air. Fine particles and ozone are recognized as the most harmful air pollutants.6
To exercise caution, never use outdoor products indoors, including pesticides and cleaning agents, in the form of powders, gels, liquids, or sprays—powerful chemicals used in the garden or outside the house to clean surfaces and kill pests. After using these products, always wash your hands and any other parts of your body or clothing that might have been exposed to them.
May is not only the month we honor mothers. It’s also Asthma and Allergy Awareness month. Why not take advantage of the outstanding May promotion for the KenkoAir Purifier® and get 30% off the regular price? Why not celebrate mom with the gift of clean air and Active Wellness?
There’s no question that a good night’s sleep can brighten our days and is an integral part of Active Wellness! Why is sleep so important? Why does it affect us so much? Here are seven bodily actions that take place to help understand the importance of sleep:1
- Your brain processes your day while you sleep, sorting and storing information. This process is particularly important for creating long term memories, as your brain consolidates all the information it’s picked up during the day and files it away for later use.
- Hormones flood your body during sleep. The pineal gland releases melatonin, which controls sleep patterns. Levels increase at night time, making you feel sleepy. The pituitary gland releases growth hormone, which helps the body to grow and repair itself.
- Your sympathetic nervous system needs rest. When deprived of sleep, activity increases in the sympathetic nervous system, which is accompanied by an increase in blood pressure. Scientists studying coronary disease are investigating whether decreased sleep may increase the risk of heart disease.
- Cortisol levels are lowered. Known as the stress hormone, cortisol decreases during the first few hours of sleep before rising to peak soon after you wake up. This helps you feel alert and energetic when you awaken.
- Your muscles are paralyzed. While asleep, you cycle through periods of non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREM) and rapid eye movement sleep (REM). The most vivid dreams occur during REM. During this stage, your muscles are temporarily paralyzed, so you can’t move.
- Anti-Diuretic Hormone (ADH) helps you not have to get up and use the bathroom. It is released by the brain under a circadian rhythm which switches off the need to urinate as often overnight as during waking hours.
- Your immune system releases cytokines, which are small proteins that help the body fight inflammation, infection and trauma. Without enough sleep, your immune system might not be able to function at its best.
To help get quality sleep consistently, Nikken has an entire Sleep System that encloses you in a coccoon of magnetism. The latest addition is the Kenko Naturest® Fit, a thin mattress topper with elasticized skirts on four sides, so that it fits easily over the mattress, under a fitted sheet. Made with Nikken Sleep Technology, it has 800 gauss magnets, reflective fibers and rubberthane to help achieve sweet dreams while feeling relaxed and massaged! Alone or as part of a Sleep Pack, it may well change your waking hours as much as your sleeping ones! (The Kenko Naturest® Fit is available for pre-orders. We expect it to be in our warehouses near the end of May.)