Active Recovery as Part of Active Wellness

How much exercise is the right amount to maintain optimum health? We can generalize and offer guidelines but only you personally can determine how much and how often. By the same token, how we recover from working out is also a personal choice.

There are two basic ways to recover from strenuous workouts: passively or actively. Passive recovery is resting completely and not exercising at all. Active recovery involves mild exercise; in other words, moving in a way that doesn’t stress the body or challenge those already-tired muscles. Active recovery focuses on completing a workout at a low intensity, but just high enough that it gets the blood moving and helps reduce residual fatigue in the muscle.

Active recovery may have several distinct advantages. Some believe that staying active helps prime your body’s metabolic pathways of recovery, while the psychological benefits of active recovery are apparent for people who feel better when exercising daily—movement is known to be a mood enhancer. And, many people find it easier to adhere to their diets on workout days.1 In these ways, active recovery helps the body to rest without coming to a full stop, while taking care of any self-imposed guilt for not exercising at all.

Active recovery helps mobilize the joints, which need to move through their range of motion to be lubricated. It also gets the blood flowing through the muscles, which helps bring them nutrients to build new muscle as well as helping to carry away waste products. One of the best activities towards recovering is swimming. One studyshowed that a swimming based recovery session enhanced following day exercise performance, possibly due to the hydrostatic properties of water.

Since swimming is the primary workout for many, here are some other forms of active recovery:

  • Massage. Research has proven that having a massage after exercise can speed up recovery time twice as fast as regular rest. This is due to the improved blood flow and nutrients to the body. When your bodily fluids are circulating readily, nutrients and oxygen are able to reach your muscles and other tissues. A post workout massage can unlock your muscles to help restore your original range of motion.3
  • Walking. The amount and pace of walking you do on off days should be based on your current fitness level.
  • Lighter Weight Lifting. Performing an exercise that made you particularly sore, but using a much lighter weight may be restorative. As a guide, use a weight at or below 30 percent of your usual weight, and perform one set shy of failure.4
  • Restorative Yoga. There are many types of yoga, with some forms being extremely strenuous. Restorative yoga, on the other hand, is a tried-and-true recovery activity that not only increases flexibility, but also teaches proper breathing techniques and body control. Its mild flow also promotes circulation to help repair broken-down muscle tissues.5

To help you stay motivated and consistent on an Active Wellness lifestyle, here are some tips:

  1. Eat healthy carbs a couple of hours before strenuous activities to keep your body warm and energetic. This also helps prevent fatigue.
  2. Set exercise / weight goals and write them down.
  3. Reward yourself periodically as you achieve your goals, but not with food, so you don’t associate pleasure only with edible treats.
  4. Wear the KenkoTherm DUK Tape which may help your muscles and joints stay warm and supported.
  5. Massage your tired muscles with the KenkoTouch® a device designed to help promote relaxation and relief.
  6. Support your back during and after a workout with the KenkoTherm® Back Belt that can be worn alone but is designed with a back pocket that holds the Kenko MagFlex® in place.

From September 10 through September 14, buy a KenkoTouch, KenkoTherm Back Belt and Kenko MagFlex in one order and receive two rolls of KenkoTherm DUK Tape for free. Offer applies to stand-alone orders that are called in.

1 https://www.builtlean.com/2013/01/21/active-recovery-workout-ideas/

2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19908172

3 http://www.freshtherapy.com.au/Corporate-Massage/the-benefits-of-massage-after-exercise/

4, 5 https://www.self.com/story/best-activities-for-active-recovery-day

Clean Water is a Necessity of Life

“While the planet Earth is primarily covered in water, only 2.5% of it is fresh, and only a portion of that is drinkable. In fact, many global agencies now say human kind is in a water crisis. The U.S. Department of State has already mentioned water risk as a threat to national security.”1

Let’s face it. Life is full of things we can’t control, but there are conscious decisions we can make and follow through on. Living with Active Wellness is within our personal control and drinking PiMag filtered water is a critical part of it.

Two of the Wellness Home Packs newly launched on August 1, the Water Packs address the maintenance of an Active Wellness lifestyle in the face of a global water crisis. Each Water Pack includes state-of-the art water filtration with the PiMag Waterfall® and extra filter, the PiMag® Sport Bottle and two extra filters (which also fit the old Sport Bottle) and your choice of a PiMag MicroJet® Shower and extra filter in either wall mount or hand held versions.

Having a Wellness Home Water Pack is crucial to healthy living, no matter where you are—industrialized nations are no longer safe from pathogens and micro-plastics infiltrating the municipal water systems. The PiMag MicroJet® Shower Systems and the PiMag Waterfall® help you drink healthy and bathe healthy, but what happens when you leave home?

Nikken has improved the PiMag® Sport Bottle so it’s even easier to carry everywhere with you. The filter is not only smaller, but made with biogreen materials that contain EcoPure, which enables the filter to be completely broken down and nourish the soil when it is recycled.

With patent-pending nano-filtration, the improved PiMag® Sport Bottle has the only portable filter that combines nano-filtration, alkalization and declustering. This means that it helps filter out the tiniest potential contaminants while alkalizing the water and shrinking the size of the molecules for easier absorption. The bottle is still to be used only with potable, municipally treated water. Do not try to use it to filter water from streams, creeks, etc.

You’ll also find the improved replaceable flip top drinking spout to be easier to drink from. The new loop can attach to a hook, belt or backpack. We recently took this Sport Bottle to a video recording studio and every member of the crew checked it out and was impressed.

The Water Packs are an easy sell. Whoever is concerned about living well in an increasingly polluted world or wants to keep family and friends healthy and hydrated, will want a Water Pack. It’s really a matter of need, not want. It’s up to you to inform them and Share It.

Remember, if you successfully completed the Summer Dash, you qualify to purchase and/or sell any of the new Wellness Home Packs and receive free shipping for the entire month of August within the 48 contiguous states and Canada.

1 https://money.cnn.com/2014/04/24/news/water-gold-price/index.html

Summer Hair Care: Get the Chlorine Out

Most of us spend more time outdoors during the summer months, and hair takes a beating from being exposed to sun, wind and chlorine. Effective hair care requires a good shampoo and conditioner, but what about the water used to wash our hair?

Unfiltered water generally contains sediment, minerals and chemicals (such as chlorine) purported to clean the water system. None of these things is helpful in maintaining clean hair and a healthy scalp. What does make a huge difference is the PiMag MicroJet® Shower System. We normally think of water filters only in terms of clean drinking water, but the PiMag MicroJet Shower System effectively reduces chlorine exposure and makes shower water comparable in quality to filtered drinking water.

Year-round swimmers know what chlorine can do to hair. Depending on your natural hair color, ongoing chlorine exposure may transform it to various shades of yellow, green or blue while drying it out to the consistency of hay. Chlorine also tends to fade hair dye and highlights, increasing the cost of color maintenance. In a nutshell, the damage chlorine does to hair costs a lot of money to fix, and too much time if you decide to use the “grow it out and cut it off” method. It’s so much more cost-effective and practical to install the PiMag MicroJet® Shower System, which is far superior to other chlorine-reduction systems. Here’s how:

  • Most other chlorine-reduction shower filters trap part of the chlorine or add other chemicals to counteract it (fighting poison with poison, so to speak). The PiMag MicroJet uses a reduction/oxidation process to convert free-radical chlorine ions to neutral chlorides. In addition, Nikken Magnetic Technology helps condition water without salt or other chemical additives. The magnetic field assists in reducing clumping to reduce mineral buildup.
  • Even more effective filtration is achieved by patent-pending Air-Induction Technology, which injects air into the shower stream to create a higher air-to-water ratio. The result is a water stream that is less viscous and has less surface tension so it passes through the nozzle with decreased resistance, which helps maintain water pressure without requiring a higher flow rate.
    • The PiMag MicroJet® nozzle releases streams of microbubbles within the water flow, producing an effective cleansing action that penetrates surface buildup of dirt and helps moisturize skin and scalp so they feel fresh and soft.

Here are some other Active Wellness hair care tips:

  • Once you have washed your hair, try rinsing it out with cold water. The cold temperature constricts hair cuticles and makes the strands smoother and more reflective. It also prevents dirt from accumulating on the scalp and helps strength hair. The cold water rinse may leave your hair looking glossier and shinier.
  • Before swimming, wet your hair with cold water so that it has already absorbed clean water and will then soak up less of the salt or chlorinated water. (Chlorine and salt water make hair frizzy.)
  • After swimming, if you stay out in the sun or delay going to the shower, coat your hair with True Elements® Conditioner, as it will help prevent damage.
  • Use True Elements® Shampoo and Conditioner regularly all year round and wash more frequently during summer months. They won’t strip hair of its natural oils or hurt the scalp’s protective barrier. Non-irritating to sensitive skin, True Elements® Hair Care does NOT contain commonly used chemical ingredients found in many name brands.
  • Bring True Elements® Shampoo and Conditioner with you to the gym, the pool, and the beach.
  • Drink lots of water. Dehydration has a direct impact on hair growth, and lack of hydration produces dry and brittle hair. It also may decrease the rate of growth.

From July 10 through July 16, get free ground shipping on the Hair & Skin Care Pack (item 18000) and the PiMag MicroJet® Shower System (Item 1466-hand held or 14662-wall mount) in Canada and the 48 contiguous states when you order them together. Orders must be called in to Distributor/Customer Services: US 800-669-8859, Canada 800-669-8890. Please note that the phone lines are inactive on Saturday and Sunday.

The ABCs of MCTs

No matter how much we weigh, each of us needs fat to maintain balance in our diets. Unfortunately, most of us are ingesting the wrong type of fats and far too much of it. MCTs, on the other hand, are a good source of fat that may also help reverse the effects of harmful fats.

MCT stands for medium-chain triglyceride. Triglycerides are the main constituents of natural fats and oils. High concentrations in the blood are indicators of a higher risk of stroke. In contrast, medium-chain triglycerides are composed of three fatty acids attached to a glycerol backbone. MCTs are sometimes used to counter the effects of high triglycerides in the blood.

The name refers to the way carbon atoms are arranged in their chemical structure. Typically, fats found in the diet are long-chain triglycerides (LCTs) with 20 or more carbon chains.1 MCTs range from six to 12 carbon chains.2 Due to their shorter chain length, MCTs travel straight from the gut to the liver and do not require bile to break them down. LCTs require the break down first. In the liver, fats are broken down to be either used as fuel or stored as body fat.

Since MCTs enter our cells without having to be broken down, our bodies use them as instant sources of energy that pass through the blood-brain barrier to fuel the brain cells.3 In addition, MCTs may help burn calories more effectively. In one study, the thermogenic effect of a high-calorie diet containing 40 percent fat as MCTs was compared to one containing the same level of LCTs. The thermic effect (calories wasted six hours after a meal) of the MCTs was almost twice as high as the LCTs. With MCTs, 120 calories were used, compared to 66 calories from LCTs over the six hours. A follow-up study demonstrated that MCT oil given over a six day period can increase diet-induced thermogenesis by 50 percent.4

In another study, researchers compared the effects of single meals of 400 calories composed entirely of MCTs or LCTs. The thermogenic effect of MCTs over six hours was 300 percent higher than the LCTs meal. Since the MCTs went directly to the liver, they had no effect on the blood fat level. However, the LCTs elevated blood fats by 68 percent. Researchers concluded that “long-term substitution of medium chain triglycerides for long chain triglycerides [MCT for LCT] would produce weight loss if energy intake remained constant.”5

Athletes sometimes use MCTs for nutritional support during training, to increase exercise performance, for decreasing body fat and increasing lean muscle mass, and for weight loss.6 During exercise, rising lactate levels can negatively impact exercise performance. MCTs may help reduce lactate buildup when taken before exercising and may also help us use more fat instead of carbs for energy.7

One small Chinese study of 40 people with diabetes found that those who consumed MCTs daily had significant reductions in body weight, waist circumference and insulin resistance, compared to those taking LCTs.8 Continuing studies are being done to see how MCTs may help us control blood sugar levels.

MCTs clearly provide numerous health benefits for an Active Wellness lifestyle, but how easy are they to access and consume? Look no further than Kenzen Vital Balance® Meal Replacement Mix. Read the labels for both Vanilla and Chocolate flavors and you will see that MCTs are the second ingredients for both flavors.

1, 2 https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-915/medium-chain-triglycerides-mcts

4, 5 https://www.sharecare.com/health/fats-nutrients-diet/mtcs-and-ltcs-utilized

3, 6, 7, 8 https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/mct-oil-benefits?utm_source=Sailthru%20Email&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=authoritynutrition&utm_content=2018-05-14

Plain and Simple: Conquer the Desire for Sugar

Just as with any harmful addiction, breaking the sugar habit can be difficult. But as more health research comes to light, it truly is necessary to reduce sugar consumption, if not eliminate it completely from our diets.

Research continues to show that sugar reduction is among the top product claims sought after by consumers. A recent survey conducted by the International Food Information Council (IFIC) shows that:

  • 48% of consumers say they are eliminating certain foods and beverages from their diets.1
  • 25% are using low-calorie sweeteners instead of sugar.2
  • 22% are switching from caloric beverages to low- and no-calorie options.3

Many consumers have a mixed opinion about low – and no-calorie sweeteners, but 63% now believe that these sweeteners help them reduce sugar consumption.4

Our previous blogs discussed healthy natural sweeteners The Healthiest Natural Sweetener vs. the unhealthy artificial sweeteners.

The increased focus on sugar consumption in relation to health has led to new regulatory guidelines in markets globally. In the United States, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has implemented changes to labeling added sugars and dietary fibers on Nutrition Facts to make it more clear to consumers. Nikken began the transition to the new labeling requirements as early as last year. Below is an example of the differences in labeling.

Revised Nutrition Facts (Blog).png

Here are some tips for reducing sugar consumption in pursuit of Active Wellness:

  1. Eliminate sodas and other sugary beverages.
  2. Need a sugar fix? Eat a piece of fruit or a sweet vegetable, such as a carrot or beet.
  3. Frozen berries, grapes, cherries and bananas are delicious as sorbets when blended.
  4. Are you a coffee or tea drinker? Try to drink it “straight” or only with a little creamer—without any sweeteners. Lemon in tea is a flavorful replacement and you can train your taste buds to appreciate tangy over sweet.
  5. Be careful with “alternative” sweeteners, such as honey and molasses. They are still forms of sugar, high in calories and have limited nutritional value. Instead, choose no-calorie natural sweeteners such as monkfruit and stevia.
  6. Do you want something sweet without empty calories? Have a “milk shake” made with Kenzen Vital Balance® mixed with the milk of your choice: coconut, soy, almond, cashew or regular!
  7. Drink more water. A recent survey in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics found that people who drank just 1% more water daily cut sugar intake by one to four teaspoons.5
  8. Read labels. Packaged food contains lots of hidden sugar, so eat fresh food whenever possible. For example, instead of packaged oatmeal, buy oatmeal that requires cooking. The packaged oatmeal frequently has little to no fiber and instead contains added sugar and artificial flavoring.

Sugar is a bad habit, but the good news is, we can beat it!

1, 2, 3, 4 http://www.foodinsightorg/2017-food-and-health-survey

5 https://www.womansday.com/health-fitness/nutrition/g2480/low-sugar-diet/

Elderberry: Our BFF

You hear about antioxidant this and antioxidant that. You know antioxidants are good. But why are they good and how do they work? Relative to antioxidants, you hear a lot about free radicals. Here’s why:

Antioxidants are natural substances that may slow or even prevent damage to the body’s cells. Our bodies contain natural antioxidants in the form of vitamins, minerals and hormones. Our immune system uses these natural antioxidants to fight “threats” such as pollutants, toxins, radiation and UV light. Importantly, antioxidants fight and work to reverse the damage caused by free radicals that wreak havoc in our bodies and are the leading cause of premature aging.1

Free radicals are bad cells that are unstable and reactive. They enter our bodies as we breathe in polluted air and cigarette smoke; they creep in from unclean water; they’re generated when we’re under prolonged stress or suffering from illness; they even come in the form of unhealthy diets. Every metabolic reaction that involves oxygen has the potential to generate free radicals and if nothing is done, inflammation and arterial wall damage are the end results.2

Even though our bodies contain natural antioxidants, we obviously need more support to maintain Active Wellness in our increasingly polluted world. That’s where the elderberry can play a starring role.

The elderberry is generally traced back to Hippocrates, the Greek known as the “father of medicine.” He described it as his “medicine chest” for its wide variety of health benefits. Over the centuries, elderberry has been used to treat colds, flu, fever, burns, cuts and more than 70 other maladies. 3

In the year 2007, the US Department of Agriculture looked at the oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) or overall antioxidant capability of various berries. That is, which berries were the most effective at attacking damaging free radicals? Elderberry had higher ORAC values than blackberry, blueberry, cranberry, raspberry and strawberry, which also are relatively high in antioxidants.4

With such a high ORAC, it’s no wonder that elderberries are known as excellent immune system boosters. Your local drugstore in the US, Canada and Europe are likely to have an array of elderberry syrups or tablets. Numerous studies have demonstrated that elderberry extract is highly effective in mitigating flu-like symptoms and shortening the duration of colds.5

Research published in the Journal of Nutrition show that elderberry extract helps expedite the process of clearing excess sugar from the bloodstream and into muscles and the liver, thereby helping to maintain normal levels of blood sugar.6 Studies also show that Sambucus (the scientific name for elderberry) has natural diuretic and laxative effects, which helps the body decrease fluid retention and constipation.7

Kenzen Super Ciaga® contains a mighty medley of berries with the powerful maqui berry having the highest ORAC value at 27,600 per 100g serving of fresh fruit. Elderberry, which is an excellent source of vitamins A, B and C, provides substantial support with an ORAC value of 14,500 per 100g serving of fresh fruit. Blueberry, blackberry and raspberry add to the overall ORAC value as well as enhancing flavor with their natural sweetness. Kenzen Super Ciaga® is a delicious way to ingest some powerful antioxidants!

In the next three months, the Nikken Facebook page will be posting the 10 winning Kenzen Super Ciaga® recipes from our contest. Check it out and why not do a little experimentation of your own—Kenzen Super Ciaga® tastes like a treat and acts like bodyguard!

1, 2 http://www.blackelderberry.info/understanding-antioxidants/

3 http://www.blackelderberry.info/elderberry-history/

4 http://www.blackelderberry.info/sources-of-antioxidants-and-orac/

5, 6, 7 https://draxe.com/elderberry/

 

The Horror of the World’s Plastic Footprint

The discerning mind understands the importance of drinking filtered water and commits to using a good filtration system. Unfortunately, the success of the bottled water industry continues to grow, even with the knowledge that plastic bottles are a huge potential health hazard. As reported in the Japan Times earlier this month, the world’s leading brands of bottled water have been contaminated with tiny plastic particles that are likely seeping in during the packaging process.1

There’s also the matter of conscience. Every one of us can choose to contribute to the preservation of our environment or expedite its demise. As recently as earlier this month, the Ocean Cleanup Foundation—with researchers at institutions in New Zealand, the United States, Britain, France, Germany and Denmark—published in the journal Scientific Reports, that 79,000 tons of plastic debris, in the form of 1.8 trillion pieces, now occupy an area three times the size of France in the Pacific Ocean between California and Hawaii.2 It’s known as the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch.”

According to the Ocean Cleanup Foundation researchers, the plastic is coming largely from Pacific countries, but they also believe that some of the debris comes from elsewhere, moved by ocean currents. Based on prior examinations dating back to the 1970s, the study finds that the plastic in the patch is growing, as more flows in than out. 2

Plastic pollution is so far-reaching that even the pristine Artic has been infiltrated. A study published in 2017 in the journal Science Advances, estimates that 300 billion pieces of tiny plastic are suspended in Arctic waters, with even more on the seafloor. 3 Because the population in the Arctic is so small, it is unlikely that it directly contributed to so much waste. Instead, researchers believe the aged and weathered state of the plastic waste suggests that it has been traveling the seas for decades, breaking down along the way. The study was led by Andrés Cózar of the University of Cádiz in Spain, together with researchers from universities in Denmark, France, Japan, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Environmental engineer Jenna Jambeck at the University of Georgia conducted a study on plastic waste processes in 2015 and found that humans were filling the oceans with an estimated eight million tons of plastic annually. Projections are that this will increase 22 percent by 2025.4 In addition, the study found that much of the plastic was sinking and damaging the lower depths of the ocean as well as the seafloor. As the plastic footprint enlarges, the future of our planet diminishes.

For Active Wellness and for the planet, quit the bottled water habit. You have until the end of this month to benefit from the PiMag® Waterfall sale, indisputably an amazing deal for PiMag® water technology.

1 https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/03/16/business/top-bottled-water-brands-contaminated-plastic-particles-report/#.Wr0YvrT83zI

2 https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-22939-w

3 http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/3/4/e1600582.full

4 https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/02/12/humans-are-putting-8-million-metric-tons-of-plastic-in-the-oceans-annually/