Take Care of Your Body’s Largest Organ

We sometimes forget that skin is the body’s largest organ, and as such, it requires special care. Just as we exercise and eat right to improve heart health and our entire digestive system, we need to tend to the skin—it’s the protective layer that covers all the other precious organs and should not be taken for granted.

July is UV Safety Awareness Month and sun protection is a key factor in maintaining skin health. Both men and women are aware of wrinkling and other skin conditions that are part of aging; however, the most dangerous skin afflictions are various forms of cancer. In fact, more skin cancers are diagnosed in the United States each year than all other cancers combined.1

Most skin cancers are caused by too much sun exposure, specifically, exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. As the Earth’s ozone layer gradually becomes thinner—known as ozone depletion—the amount of UV radiation that reaches us increases, leading to a higher risk for skin cancer, eye cataracts, and genetic and immune system damage. 2 Ozone depletion is caused by the release of chemical compounds that contain gaseous chlorine or bromine from industry and other human activities, and to counteract these effects, the Montreal Protocol was signed into effect in 1987. To date, global cooperation has successfully helped to gradually eliminate the production and consumption of ozone depleting substances. 3

Other sources of UV radiation are man-made, for example, tanning beds and sun lamps. As the public becomes more educated about the dangers of UV ray exposure, spray tans have become more popular. Whether the chemicals in spray tans have long-term effects on the skin are being studied.

Sunburn and tanning are the short-term results of too much exposure to UV rays, and are signs of skin damage. Long-term exposure can cause early skin aging, wrinkles, loss of skin elasticity, dark patches, and pre-cancerous skin changes (such as dry, scaly, rough patches). Frequent sunburns in childhood may increase the risk for some types of skin cancer many years or even decades later. 4

Staying out of the sun entirely is unrealistic and deprives the body of its ability to manufacture vitamin D. Fortunately, there are a few easy precautions to take when enjoying the sun and protecting our skin at the same time:

  • Wear a hat. Not only will it help shield your skin and scalp from UV rays but it will also protect your hair from drying out.
  • Wear shade-protective or SPF rated clothing to help protect your skin from UV rays. Proper clothing may include long-sleeved shirts and pants. (There are even thin sleeves that are popular with golfers to slip over arms to protect against sun exposure.)
  • Wear sunglasses for eye protection.
  • Stay in the shade when the sun is most intense between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Remember that the sun can still damage your skin on cloudy days or in the winter.
  • Choose the right sunscreen. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) new regulations for sunscreen labeling recommend that your sunscreen have a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 and should protect against both UVA and UVB rays.5
  • Use the right amount of sunscreen. According to the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention, most people apply only 25-50 percent of the recommended amount of sunscreen. When out in the sun, it’s important to apply at least one ounce (a palmful) of sunscreen every two hours. Apply it more often if sweating or swimming, even if the sunscreen is waterproof. 6
  • When planning outdoor activities, information about how much sun protection is needed is available at the Environmental Protection Agency’s UV index, which measures the daily intensity of UV rays from the sun on a scale of 1–11. A low UV index requires minimal protection, whereas a high UV index requires maximum protection.7

Our True Elements® collection of organic skin care and hair care products is the perfect solution for long-term safe and healthy skin care.

1 https://www.cancer.org/cancer/skin-cancer/prevention-and-early-detection.html

2 https://www.britannica.com/science/ozone-depletion

3 https://www.epa.gov/ozone-layer-protection/international-actions-montreal-protocol-substances-deplete-ozone-layer

4 https://www.cancer.org/cancer/skin-cancer/prevention-and-early-detection/what-is-uv-radiation.html

5, 6 https://www.va.gov/QUALITYOFCARE/education/UV_Safety_Awareness_Month.asp

7 https://voice.ons.org/stories/raise-awareness-in-july-for-ultraviolet-safety-and-skin-cancer-risk

 

Active Aging is Part of Active Wellness

The beauty industry has inundated the marketplace with a slew of “anti-aging” products. But “anti” means against and is also more than skin deep. A more positive approach to aging is with grace, discipline and common sense.

In the United States, baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) are reshaping the population. The number of Americans aged 65 and older is projected to more than double from 46 million today to more than 98 million by 2060. That translates to nearly 24 percent of the population, a substantial increase from 15 percent today. 1

One of the key approaches to address the aging revolution is known as “active aging,” crystalized by the World Health Organization in 2002 by three pillars: participation, health, and security. The active aging policy has financial and economic aspects and affects both men and women as older adults are working longer. 2 As more people live to be centenarians, counteracting the onset of age-related degeneration becomes increasingly important.

Here are 10 head-to-toe tips for Active Wellness and active aging:

  1. Keep challenging your brain. Learn a new language, sport or anything out of your comfort zone. Do puzzles and crosswords.
  2. Play and listen to music. Branch out and try a different instrument if you already play one and listen to something new.
  3. Did you know leafy greens also deliver lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that help the retina’s ability to break down harmful compounds from stressors such as sunlight, junk food and smoke? 3 Incorporate them into your daily diet together with carrots and other colorful fruits and vegetables.
  4. Use sunscreen on your face and all exposed areas of the body to protect from UV rays.
  5. Cut back on sugar. It contributes to wrinkles and dehydrated skin, as well as causing inflammation and pain. 4
  6. Hug people who welcome it. A University of North Caroline study found that those who got more frequent hugs had lower blood pressure and healthier resting heart rates compared to those who weren’t hugged often. Scientifically speaking, hugs trigger the release of feel-good hormones like oxytocin, while lowering stress hormones like cortisol. 5
  7. Muscles become less pliable after age 40, so performing a stretching routine daily helps the body remain flexible and more able to prevent injuries and even rebuild atrophied cells. 6 A supple spine is key to being limber, so include forward and backward bends.
  8. Sleep well. Not only does it help keep you alert, but it also affects your skin. One study showed that women who reported sleeping well were found to have fewer fine lines and more even pigmentation and skin elasticity compared with those who reported sleeping poorly.7
  9. Stand up straight. Aging often causes posture to suffer in the form of breathing problems, joint pain and walking difficulties. Research from the Mayo Clinic shows that proper body alignment can help prevent excess strain on joints, muscles and spine, and can also boost mood. 8
  10. Soak your feet regularly in warm water and Epsom salts. Sore feet lead to inflammation and pain. Comfortable feet help you stand tall, walk and exercise consistently. 

    Kenko Sleep Products, NikkenWellness nutritional supplements  and True Elements® Marine Organic Skin Care help take care of your Active Wellness needs every day.

     

    1 https://www.prb.org/aging-unitedstates-fact-sheet/

    2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28368781

    3, 4, 5, 7 Taylor, Marygrace, Your Total Body Anti-Aging Plan, Spry Living, March 2017.

    6, 8 https://bestlifeonline.com/anti-aging-tips-for-men/

     

Support and Be Supported in Your Exercise Routine

For those of us who love spending time outdoors under the warmth of the sun, now is the time to go barefoot and ground ourselves naturally! It’s also time to take advantage of the weather to exercise and practice Active Wellness outside! Many water sports come to mind—swimming, kayaking, canoeing, surfing, paddleboarding and windsurfing to name a few. Some exercises that are done inside a gym or studio can now be performed comfortably outdoors: walking, biking, yoga, tai chi and chi gung.

According to the American Heart Association, being more active can help us lower our blood pressure, boost levels of good cholesterol, improve blood flow (circulation), keep weight under control and prevent bone loss that can lead to osteoporosis.1 At least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity is recommended for each week.2 This can be broken down to 30 minutes a day, five days a week. Since every minute of moderate to vigorous activity counts, adding two or three short walks a day would help reach that goal.

Being a couch potato can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. One study showed that adults who watch more than four hours of television a day had an 80% higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease.3 If you’re not naturally active or need some motivation to get started, here are a few ways to become more active:

• Seek out people who will help keep you motivated and accountable for your Active Wellness regimen. Many communities have local workout events for you to attend. There are also local hiking groups, Silver Sneakers classes, kayaking circles, and many others for you to join.

• Get a workout buddy who is at about the same physical shape you’re in. You can help each other stay on course and progress together. Make it a social time, not just an exercise time.

• Choose activities you enjoy. For example, if you hate running, don’t try to become a jogger. Zumba, Pilates or yoga might suit you better. Not everyone has the same sense of balance—if you have sensitive joints, swimming may be your best choice.

• Don’t limit yourself to just one exercise activity. Mix it up to keep from getting bored or burned out.

• Although many people like to get their exercise out of the way first thing in the morning, you should choose your own best time. If you’re not a morning person, getting up earlier to exercise will only demotivate you.

Nikken has the perfect exercise support products to help you achieve Active Wellness. KenkoTherm® Support Wraps help secure your muscles and joints, so you feel confident during strenuous activities. They provide added support when your muscles feel achy or strained. KenkoTherm® wraps are crafted of soft yet durable material that provide the ideal amount of stretch. KenkoTherm DUK® tape is 100% cotton with hypoallergenic adhesive and water–resistant. It comes in black and peach, and when you purchase a 6-pack, you receive 10% off.

1,2, 3 https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/fitness-basics/why-is-physical-activity-so-important-for-health-and-wellbeing

 

Our Planet’s Most Important Living Plants are Tiny but Mighty

Marine scientists and ecologists consider the most important living plants to be the most important living organisms on the planet. The almighty single cell alga produces about 50% of the oxygen used on Earth and our lives essentially depend on it.1 Algae (plural for alga) paved the way for the evolution of other single-celled organisms as well as those with multiple and/or complex cells, known as eukaryotes.2

Algae come in many forms and have an interesting array of uses. Because algae are susceptible to environmental change, they are excellent indicators of water quality and a component of sampling programs. For example, an overgrowth of algae (known as algal blooms) can clog water intake pipes and filters. Once algal blooms die off, a substantial amount of dissolved oxygen is used by bacteria to break down the organic matter, depleting oxygen levels in their water habitat; this condition is known as hypoxia.3 In other words, aquatic ecosystems depend on algae to provide oxygen.

Aside from its formidable environmental impact, different types of algae—often known as seaweed—are sources of sustainable biofuel and found in common food items as well as cosmetics. Algae are also a source of active pharmaceutical compounds that can be used against drug-resistant bacterial strains, viruses and cancers.4 Different forms of algae have varying commercial value—less known but economically important are algae used for fertilizer, feed for farm animals and fish. As a soil-binding agent, algae is important in the healthy formation of soil to protect against natural processes such as erosion..5

Algae are an important source of nourishment in numerous cultures around the world. Most of us are aware of nori, Japanese seaweed used to prepare sushi. Chinese incorporate kelp into cold dishes that are served as appetizers or sides and into hot soups. Irish, Scottish, French, German, Norwegian and Swedish cuisines also use seaweed as a culinary ingredient in salads, as a topping or as a side to meat dishes.

Not only is algae considered by many consumers worldwide to be a low cost source of protein, but it also provides a number of important minerals such as iron, potassium, magnesium, calcium, manganese, and zinc. Algae also contain several healthy elements including carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and vitamins A, B, C, and E.6 It is a perfect food to incorporate into an Active Wellness lifestyle.

Some specific types of algae are known for their skin conditioning attributes, such as promoting blood circulation, providing moisture and regulating the sebaceous gland function. They activate cell renewal and the metabolism, while having an anti-inflammatory effect.7 Chlorophyll contributes to the oxygen supply of the skin because it is similar in composition to hemoglobin. Especially effective in skin care products, green algae have an amino acid content similar to human collagen.8

The True Elements® Marine Organic Skincare line is formulated with various combinations of seaweed extracts, namely Chondrus Crispus (red algae or Irish moss), Laminaria Digitata (brown algae, Oarweed, Irish seaweed or kelp), Ulva Lactuca (sea lettuce) and Crithmum maritimum L. (sea fennel). Containing minerals, trace elements and marine micronutrients, these seaweed extracts in the True Elements® Ecocert certified skincare line help to gently cleanse, tone, hydrate and prevent signs of premature aging.

1,2, 4 https://scripps.ucsd.edu/biblio/algae-worlds-most-important-plants-introduction

3 https://www.in.gov/idem/files/factsheet_owq_sw_algae_aquatic.pdf

5, 6 https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/what-is-the-economic-importance-of-algae.html

7, 8 https://www.mdpi.com/2079-9284/5/4/68/pdf

 

Relax, Renew and Regenerate this Spring Season!

In North America the official start of spring this year is on March 20. Even as the spring season is physically a time of rebirth and renewal, it’s also a challenging time for both the body and the mind.

Noted psychiatrist and substance abuse specialist Dr. McCance-Katz points out that researchers have discovered a greater incidence of depression and anxiety in the spring months. As it turns out, lengthening daylight may discombobulate people’s chemical regulatory system. “There are these different neurotransmitters that have been implicated in mood disorders,” she says. “It could be that people also have imbalances in serotonin, in melatonin, that are affected by day length and can also affect mood.”1 These imbalances are also suspected to cause that general feeling of lethargy, commonly referred to as spring fever.

In fact, “the suicide rate goes up in the spring.”2 Not only are taxes due, final exams take place in many universities and secondary schools, certain sports resume intense practice and stress levels increase during the season for filing taxes. Spring presents specific challenges, so here are a few tips for combating the basic three:

  1. As much as you look forward to the warmer spring weather, you also have to cope with the accompanying winds and sporadic rain, which can wreak havoc on the skin. Your skin may get dehydrated, itchy and red. Be particularly gentle while cleansing and conscientiously hydrate throughout the day and especially at night, because skin cells renew best during rest. Antioxidant-rich vitamins E, A and C are particularly helpful in regenerating the skin. 3
  2. Spring fever begone! Use your diet to help obtain that extra boost you need. Eat seasonal foods. They are fresher and therefore have higher nutritional value. 4 To make sure you aren’t eating or drinking anything that may cause inflammation (pesticides, artificial coloring, chemical preservatives), stay with organic fruits and vegetables.
  3. Stress can virtually be a killer, so exercise both physical and mental health care. Make sure to incorporate exercise into your busy spring days, as physical activity is a known stress reliever. Massage is also a way to practice Active Wellness as the muscles are coaxed into relaxation for sense of overall well-being.

Nikken can help you combat the three basic challenges of spring, so you can relax, renew and regenerate. KenkoTouch®  takes the “ouch” out of expensive massage sessions with a convenient hand-held device that is designed with patented DynaFlux® magnetic technology. Kenzen Ten4® Energy Drink Mix gives you 80 mg of natural caffeine from superior quality matcha green tea powder to supercharge your body and to keep your mind alert.  Since it is so important to keep skin moisturized during the spring season, we recommend using True Elements® Youthful Face Cream, (link to shopping cart) as it may help all skin types replenish moisture.

To help you with Active Wellness in the spring season, we’re offering you a special Spring Pack, available exclusively from March 18 through March 31. You’ll receive one KenkoTouch with two Kenzen Ten4® and two True Elements® Youthful Face Cream, all at a 20% discount:  US Spring Pack SKU 4410 US$319 / CN Spring Pack SKU 4411 CN$424.

1 https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2014/12/03/the-google-misery-index-the-times-of-year-were-most-depressed-anxious-and-stressed/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.1b1a48c48b1f

2 http://www.mharockland.org/springtime-challenge/

3 https://www.hl-labs.com/pro-info/springtime-challenges-for-our-skin.html

4 https://www.earthbalancenatural.com/lifestyle/6-tips-springtime-stress-relief/

 

The Perfect Valentine is From Your Heart

February 14 is Valentine’s Day in North America and many other countries around the world. It’s a day of romance and proclamations of love. Approximately 150 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged every year, making it the second most popular card-sending holiday after Christmas.1

Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages, although written declarations didn’t appear until after 1400. The oldest known valentine that still exists today was a poem by the Duke of Orleans to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London. It’s now part of the manuscript collection of the British Library in London, England.2

Here are some interesting ways various countries celebrate Valentine’s Day:

  • In the Philippines, it’s a day for mass weddings where hundreds and even thousands get married in union. These huge events are sometimes sponsored by the government as a public service.3
  • Bulgarians celebrate St. Trijon Zarezan day on February 14. Known as Winemakers Day, couples toast their love with a glass or two of wine from local vineyards.4
  • In both Japan and South Korea, women give men gifts on Valentine’s Day. Men return the gesture on White Day, giving women gifts that are white as a sign of pure love.5
  • Marriage proposals take place quite often between February 12 and 14 in the “village of love” in St. Valentin, France. The village decks their houses in roses and covers trees with love note.6
  • In Ghana, February 14 is National Chocolate Day. As one of the world’s largest cocoa producing countries, the day is meant to boost tourism with chocolate themed menus, exhibitions and talks.7
  • North Americans often give jewelry, flowers and chocolate to their loved ones on Valentine’s Day.

Look no further for the perfect Valentine that comes from your heart. Nikken has created the unique Kenko Heart Set and Valentine’s Day is the ideal time to declare your love! The pendant and earrings can be worn with jeans as well as with an elegant gown . The pendant is stainless steel on one side and gold-plated on the other. Symbolizing the Heart of Nikken, the pendant is engineered with an 800-gauss neodymium magnet. The Kenko Heart earrings are gold-plated and feature 600-gauss neodymium magnets.

The pendant fits perfectly with either the stainless steel or gold-plated Perfect Link II necklace,  which features 800-gauss neodymium magnets throughout their 18-inch lengths. Nickel-free and non-corrosive, these finely crafted necklaces are polished to a glossy finish and look perfect both day and night, with casual or formal wear.

1, 2 https://www.history.com/topics/valentines-day/history-of-valentines-day-2

 

3, 4, 5, 6, 7 https://www.scoopwhoop.com/How-Countries-Celebrate-Valentines-Day/#.9nii56exv

 

Creating Good Habits for Health, Longevity and Happiness

The successful pursuit of Active Wellness revolves around the creation of good lifestyle habits, which goes hand-in-hand with self-development. Active Wellness encompasses mind, body and spirit and according to an article in Medical News1, Japanese people—and Japanese women, especially—have a wonderful system resulting in good health, longevity and happiness. As it happens, many Nikken products are based on the Japanese approach to health and prosperity. Here’s how:

  1. Japanese people drink a lot of green tea, commonly believed to be one of the healthiest beverages and renowned for its antioxidants, nutrients and many other benefits. Green tea leaves contain bioactive compounds and phytonutrients, such as flavonoids and catechins. Green tea also contains caffeine and the amino acid L–theanine, two compounds that are believed to help improve brain function. Kenzen Ten4® Energy Drink Mix  is made with superior-quality organic matcha green tea powder.
  2. Japanese people eat fermented foods, an ancient practice with plenty of health benefits. A popular food in Japan is natto, made by fermenting soybeans. Fermentation is a process that preserves food while creating beneficial enzymes, B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids and probiotics. Kombucha, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt, tempeh, pickles and miso soup are all examples of fermented consumables. Fermented foods add good bacteria to the gut, helping digestion. Kenzen Clarity  is formulated with an organic fermented blend that helps support mental focus and sharpness.*
  3. Walking is a meditative practice in Japan. It’s a way people discover different parts of the country and become surrounded by nature. Instead of walking specifically to get somewhere, a walking meditation involves thinking about each step, focusing on the movement of the feet and how the body shifts when going forward. For those who find it impossible to sit still and empty the mind in meditation, walking as a practice could be a good way to focus and de-stress. Walking mindfully with Kenko mStrides® takes your meditative practice to another level!
  4. Many Japanese practice martial arts, such as Aikido and Karate. Both emphasize a natural way of self-defense that aims to promote self-confidence and self-respect as well as the combined disciplines of the body and mind. Martial arts provide a total body workout that makes use of every muscle, thereby helping to improve stamina, flexibility, endurance and strength.
  5. Japanese begin soaking in hot spring baths as youngsters. Known as balneotherapy, bathing in hot springs is believed to boost circulation, reduce stress and promote restful sleep. The heat helps relax tense muscles and hydrate the skin.
  6. Japanese exhibit an intense respect for nature. Children are taught to live in harmony with nature and to respect it. Going into the wilderness on days off is a common way for city dwellers to decompress from hard work. Even though Japanese women work some of the longest hours in the world, they somehow live the longest, and frequent trips back to nature help them stay grounded. For those who can’t access nature regularly, why not try the KenkoGround  as a way to reconnect even when indoors?
  7. Japanese women attend group activities regularly throughout their lives and into old age. The byproduct of this fun habit is not only having many friends but also keeping the brain functioning. Since a lack of social activity is correlated to mental aging, Japanese have a great system for keeping their minds intact. In fact, group activities even extend to exercising together. Not surprisingly, women make up the majority of network marketers, comfortable in conducting and participating regularly in groups with mentors and new “students.”
  8. The Japanese attitude towards work results in high productivity. Although work is just as stressful as anywhere else in the world, the prevalent attitude is that no matter how difficult the job is, it has a larger purpose and is worthy of the struggle. Each hardworking individual is contributing to the greater good, and this belief produces an inclusive feeling of belonging. This is an evolved way of thinking, which comes with self-development started early in life. Nikken leaders who qualify for Team Kaizen embody this positive attitude.
  9. Being conscious of what makes you happy and feeling fulfilled is another aspect of self-development. Japanese are taught as children to be in touch with their feelings and to identify what is called “ikigai”— “iki” means life and “gai” means worth. It connotes what brings joy into each life—any variety of work, family, friends or hobbies.

Active Wellness and self-development are the ideal ways to achieve the 5 Pillars of Health®. Learn how to become a Human Being More with HBM Silver Training!

*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 https://medical-news.org/10-reasons-japanese-women-stay-slim-dont-look-old/2321/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Ads&utm_campaign=10-reasons-japanese-women-stay-slim-and-dont-look-old