Activate Your Breathing Power

To breathe is to live, but how can we breathe better to live better in our pursuit of Active Wellness? We know the use of a Kenko Air Purifier® can help improve indoor air quality in multiple ways, but there are ways to physically enhance our lung capacity.

Good breathing techniques may not only help our bodies get the oxygen needed but also keep our lungs healthy and strong. One particular exercise that helps the lungs intake oxygen is called diaphragmatic breathing.1 In layman’s terms, this type of exercise is called “belly breathing.” Follow these steps:

  1. Relax your shoulders and sit back or lie down.
  2. Place one hand on your belly and one on your chest.
  3. Inhale through your nose for two seconds, feeling the air move into your abdomen and feeling your stomach move out. Your stomach should move more than your chest does.
  4. Breathe out for two seconds through pursed lips while pressing on your abdomen.
  5. Repeat.

Another exercise helps keep our airways open longer, which helps reduce the “work” of breathing. It’s called pursed-lips breathing and helps improve the lung’s function of inhaling oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide.2 Pursed-lips breathing is simpler than diaphragmatic breathing and can be practiced at any time. Follow these steps:

  1. Inhale slowly through your nose.
  2. Purse your lips, as if pouting or about to blow on something.
  3. Breathe out as slowly as possible through pursed lips. This should take at least twice as long as it did to breathe in.
  4. Repeat.

To help increase lung capacity, the British Lung Foundation advises deep breathing in general. It’s believed that deep breathing can help clear mucous from the lungs, which allows more air to circulate.3 Simply inhale deeply through the nose, 5-10 times, then cough a couple of times and repeat.

In addition to breathing exercises, do the following for healthy lung maintenance:

  • Stop smoking, and avoid secondhand smoke or environmental irritants.
  • Eat foods rich in antioxidants. 
  • Exercise more frequently, which can help your lungs function properly. Swimming is especially helpful for increasing lung power.
  • Improve indoor air quality. We highly recommend our KenkoAir Purifier.

For the entire of month of September, you save significantly when you purchase the September Exclusive Pack (Item 4445) by receiving the KenkoAir Purifier® and HEPA replacement filter for the price of the KenkoAir Purifier. In addition, all KAP HEPA filter replacements (Item 1445) are 20% off.

1, 2 https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-increase-lung-capacity

3 https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323787#when-do-they-work

Lungs are Vital in Our Amazing Human Bodies

Breath gives life, so breathing is one of the most important things our respiratory systems accomplish. The most vital components of breathing are our lungs.

Here are some facts about our lungs1 that are notable:

  1. In humans, the right lung is larger than the left to accommodate the heart.
  2. Exhalation is just as important as inhalation. The air we breathe contains 21% oxygen, of which only 5% is used—the rest is exhaled.
  3. We think of our digestive systems as being in charge of waste disposal; however, 70% of waste is eliminated through our lungs in the form of up to 17.5 milliliters of water exhaled each hour!
  4. Children and women breathe at a higher rate than men.
  5. Lungs are the only organs in the human body that are capable of floating on water.
  6. A person inhales an average of 13 pints of air every minute!
  7. Imagine this: If we were to open up the lungs and lay them flat, they would be so large that they would cover an entire tennis court!

So many physical activities we do naturally are the work of our respiratory systems. For example, coughing, sneezing and yawning are ways to rid our lungs of unwanted substances that we unknowingly inhale. Yawning also helps us intake more oxygen, especially when the brain senses a shortage of needed air! 2

Similar to our digestive tracts, our lower respiratory tract is colonized by diverse groups of bacteria. On the other hand, unlike the bacteria in our digestive tracts, studies have shown that the flora or microbes in the respiratory tract do not cause disease.3

As we inhale and exhale, there’s a small amount of air, called residual volume, that always stays inside our lungs.4 Our amazing lungs keep at least 1,200 ml of air in the lungs at all times! Even after we do a good exhale, there’s always more that can be pushed out.

Residual volume actually helps keep smaller airways and air sacs (known as alveoli) open a little at all times, so that the next breath and the next and so on, comes easier. The tiny but powerful alveoli cover a surface that measures more than 1,076.4 sq. ft. or 100 sq.m. This large surface area is necessary to process the huge amounts of air involved in breathing and getting oxygen to our lungs.5 Alveoli are responsible for three overall processes6 involved in breathing:

  1. Ventilation: moving air in and out of the lungs
  2. Diffusion: oxygen-carbon dioxide exchange
  3. Perfusion: pumping blood through the lungs

When we take deep breaths in and exhale slowly, we are helping our lungs do their best work! It’s all part of Active Wellness and getting to know the intricacies of our remarkable bodies.

1 https://pulmonaryhypertensionnews.com/2017/12/20/8-fun-facts-lungs/

2, 3, 4 https://careplusvn.com/en/10-surprising-facts-about-the-respiratory-system

5, 6 https://www.healthline.com/health/alveoli-function#alveoli-function

Inhale Positive Energy, Exhale Stress

Did you know that our respiratory system works hard for us by taking in 20,000 breaths daily? Deep breaths are more efficient: they allow us to fully exchange incoming oxygen with outgoing carbon dioxide. They have also been shown to slow the heartbeat, lower or stabilize blood pressure and lower stress.1 That’s why it’s so important to make sure the air we breathe in is clean and energizing.

According to a two-year study led by researchers at Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City, Utah, outdoor air pollution is a major contributor to indoor air pollution, but HEPA filters in the home may significantly reduce fine-particulate matter in the air compared with non-HEPA air filters. They found over a 12-week period of time that HEPA filters reduced indoor particulates by 55% and outdoor pollutants coming inside by 23%.2

HEPA stands for “high efficiency particulate air” and the HEPA standard is defined by the United States Department of Energy. First developed in the 1940s, HEPA filters were used to trap potentially radioactive particles found in facilities containing nuclear materials. By the 1960s, HEPA filters expanded into the consumer market for air conditioners, vacuum cleaners and stand-alone air purifiers.3

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recommended air purifiers as an effective tool to combat viruses and smoke, noting that the airborne particles from smoke and respiratory aerosols that contain viruses are often in a similar size range, mostly between 0.1 and one micron. Authentic HEPA filters are able to trap particles of this size range effectively.4

HEPA filters are not all the same. Because these filters are designed to run 24/7, they can run up your energy costs. Therefore, an Energy Star qualification is recommended.5

Air filter construction is another consideration. If air can flow around the filter, it is less efficient. Some filters are labeled “HEPA-style” and these generally are not air-tight.

Nikken supports clean air every day with eco-friendly KenkoAir Purifier® and its HEPA replacement filters. To celebrate the global effort for “healthy air, healthy planet” Nikken is offering two specials for the entire month of September. You save significantly when you purchase the September Exclusive Pack (Item 4445) by receiving the KenkoAir Purifier® and HEPA replacement filter for the price of the KenkoAir Purifier. In addition, all KAP HEPA filter replacements (Item 1445) are 20% off.

Here are some specific benefits of the KenkoAir Purifier that go above and beyond a standard HEPA filter and that Nikken is proud to share:

• The KenkoAir Purifier® (KAP) houses an advanced, multiple-stage HEPA filtration system that actually exceeds the measured efficiency of capturing up to 99.97% of 0.3 micron particles in the air. (0.3 microns is approximately 3% of the diameter of a human hair6)

• The KAP operates ozone-free so it is non-toxic and environmentally-friendly.

• The advanced system is designed to generate negative-ions, similar to those found in natural environments, such as forests and lakes.

• Energy Star qualified, the KAP is 35% more efficient than standard models and saves at least 215 kilowatt-hours annually. Its power consumption is designated at 55 watts and covers 313 sq. ft./29 sq. m.

• Having a re-usable prefilter reduces the KAP’s carbon footprint.

• Replaceable filters extend the longevity of the KAP.

• In addition to environmentally-friendly active carbon and microfibers, even the body of the KAP is made of recyclable materials, such as polyurethane, polypropylene and ABS plastic.

• The KAP allows you to select manual or automatic operation, and you can clearly see the condition of the room air from the air quality display on the top of the unit.

To breathe is to live and the KenkoAir Purifier helps us on our path to Active Wellness.

1 https://www.uchealth.org/today/understanding-breathing-and-the-importance-of-taking-a-deep-breath/

2, 3, 6 https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/09/180925110030.htm

4 https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/what-hepa-filter-1

5 https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/why-hepa-air-purifiers-are-the-best-in-fighting-indoor-pollutants/2021/08/20/70aa6888-ec06-11eb-8950-d73b3e93ff7f_story.html

Breathe in Clean Air for Healthy Living and Active Wellness

The United Nations has declared the International Day of Clean Air to be September 7 this year. In support of the global effort for “healthy air, healthy planet,” the clean air initiative emphasizes the health aspects related to what we breathe in. The United Nations states, “This year’s focus is on prioritizing the need for healthy air for all, while keeping the conversation broad enough to encompass other critical issues such as climate change, human and planetary health as well as the Sustainable Development Goals.”1

Here are five main health benefits2 we can enjoy simply by breathing in clean air:

  1. Decreased Allergies and Asthma Symptoms: Clean indoor air can greatly improve the symptoms of allergies and asthma, thus increasing well-being and productivity.
  2. Cleaner Lungs: Clean air keeps lungs healthy and functioning optimally. Breathing in polluted air is similar to inhaling cigarette smoke.
  3. Improved Digestion: The respiratory system is important not only for healthy lungs but also for healthy digestion. Clean, fresh oxygen is needed in order for the muscles of the digestive tract to function as they should by breaking up food and moving it along in the digestive system.
  4. Improved Mood: Serotonin is a highly important neurotransmitter responsible, among other things, for regulating mood and anxiety. One of numerous factors that serotonin production and serotonin uptake in the brain are dependent upon is oxygen intake. Enzymes responsible for the production of serotonin can be impaired by low quality oxygen intake, leading to feelings of depression and anxiety.
  5. Longer Life Span: Breathing in clean air can also improve the immune system, which is one way our bodies build on for a long and healthy life.

We can’t always control outdoor air, but we can actively monitor our indoor air and keep it as fresh as possible. Here are five simple tips for keeping indoor air fresh and clean:

  1. Air purifiers can be an effective way to reduce harmful particles in the air. It can be helpful to have one in each room, especially bedrooms.
  2. Keep pets well groomed, especially if they are big shedders. Removing excess fur not only helps keep pet skin less irritated, but it also helps keep air cleaner.
  3. Take your shoes off before going inside. The dirt your shoes bring in can contain pesticides, pollen, fungi, bacteria and more undesirables.3
  4. Indoor houseplants can help improve air quality, according to a study published by the American Society for Horticultural Science. Several types of houseplants help filter out common volatile organic compounds from indoor air. For example, spider plants are effective at reducing benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide.4
  5. Rather than using chemically-based detergents and air fresheners, try using natural cleaning products and remember to open your windows at least part of the day.

Nikken supports clean air every day with eco-friendly KenkoAir Purifier® and its HEPA replacement filters. To celebrate the global effort for “healthy air, healthy planet” Nikken is offering two specials for the entire month of September. You save significantly when you purchase the September Exclusive Pack (Item 4445) by receiving the KenkoAir Purifier® and HEPA replacement filter for the price of the KenkoAir Purifier. In addition, all KAP HEPA filter replacements (Item 1445) are 20% off.

1 https://www.un.org/en/observances/clean-air-day

2 https://cascadeenviro.ca/5-important-health-benefits-of-clean-air/

3, 4 https://www.treehugger.com/ways-get-clean-air-without-chemicals-4864310

Loving Our Furry Family Members

We love our pets so much and our affection is reciprocated in ways that melt our hearts. In North America, the two most common pets are dogs and cats. Not only do those who live with pets receive that special love from their furry family members but cohabiting with them teaches children how to treat non-humans with kindness, care and respect. This in turn shows children how to treat living creatures, big and small, as part of planet Earth.

Since 1998, the pet population in the United States has almost doubled, with two thirds of the country being pet owners.1 Similar to humans, dogs and cats that sleep well, live a healthier lifestyle than those that don’t. Not only that, but a good night’s rest can help improve your dog’s memory and can even make your pooch smarter, according to a study published in a 2017 edition of Scientific Reports.2

Domestic dogs and cats sleep an average of 12-15 hours daily, with up to 20 sleep cycles, each lasting 15 minutes. In contrast, humans average four to five sleep cycles, each lasting 90 minutes. Cats and dogs reach REM less, so they need more sleep to obtain adequate rest.3

Humans spend a lot of time searching for the perfect mattress that provides us with ample support, good circulation and all-night comfort. The Kenko Naturest® Fit supports quality human sleep and the Kenko Sleep Pet Pad does the same for our furry friends. Both are made with magnetic, rubberthane and tourmaline technologies. Together, these technologies impart a gentle massaging effect that is activated by the sleeper’s natural movements. The breathable fabric helps with temperature control by allowing air circulation and helping your pet to maintain a comfortable level of body heat. And because we know well how much shedding and staining can occur with any pet, both the small and large Pet Pad have removable covers that are easy to launder.

Keeping our pets healthy and happy also makes it easier for us to live the Active Wellness lifestyle. Recent studies suggest having a pet can actually help reduce our blood pressure, alter the course of heart disease and decrease our stress levels.4 By taking good care of our pets, we are actually taking better care of ourselves! Astounding numbers show that this reciprocal relationship between humans and their pets is growing:

• According to the National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association from 2017-2020, there were approximately 95.6 million pet cats and 89.7 million pet dogs in the United States as of 2020.

• In Canada, there were about 8.1 million pet cats and 7.7 million pet dogs in 2020.5

Contrary to common belief, some cats and dogs live together happily, proving that interspecies “siblings” can love each other as much as we love them! It’s a win-win situation!

1 https://www.amazon.com/Pet-Nation-Affair-Changed-America/dp/0593083865

2 https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/the-importance-of-a-good-dog-bed/

3 spacecoastpetservices.com/2020/01/09/how-much-sleep-dogs-cats/#:~:text=Dogs%20and%20cats%20go%20through,lasting%20up%20to%2090%20minutes.

4 https://thezebra.org/2021/04/05/the-love-affair-with-our-pets/

5 https://www.statista.com/statistics/1015882/number-of-pet-cats-and-dogs-canada/

Get into the Zone with Foot Reflexology

Reflexology’s increasing popularity at present seems to derive from its reputation for dealing with stress and tension and in promoting relaxation. 

Reflexology, otherwise known as zone therapy, is a type of therapy that uses gentle pressure on specific points along your feet (and sometimes the hands or ears) to help ease stress and assist your body in working better.Because of the close interaction of mind and body, relaxing one will help unwind the other too. 

Many people confuse massage with reflexology, but it’s actually more comparable to acupressure. Reflexology connects spots on the outside of your body to the inside – different areas of the feet are linked to specific body parts, and putting pressure on one area of the foot can have an effect on the organ it corresponds with:

  • Tops of each toe = head/brain
  • Balls of your feet = heart, chest, and lungs
  • Arch of your foot = liver, pancreas, and kidney
  • Heels = lower back and gut system

Here’s how it works: A foot is divided into five zones that run from toe to heel: The big toe is zone 1, and the pinky toe is zone 5. The body is divided into 10 zones that run from head to foot. Zone 1 aligns with the left and right center of the body, and zone 5 aligns with the left and right sides of the body. When you place pressure on zone 1 in the foot, it can help relieve discomforts in the part of the body that’s linked to that area. Pretty cool, right?

The average benefits of reflexology include stress relief, relaxation and increased energy.

So, how exactly does reflexology provide all these benefits? One theory that dates back to the 19th century suggests that reflexology works by stimulating the nervous system. Pressing on areas of the feet in a calming way stimulates the nerves there, which sends a message to the central nervous system. This helps to relax the body and has positive effects on your breathing, blood flow, immune response and more.

If you can’t find a reflexologist near you, try a DIY session! Here’s what you need to know about how to use a foot reflexology chart2.

  • Any foot reflexology chart will have the major reflex areas marked (usually with bold colors).
  • You’ll find the names of the different organs/body parts that correspond to each reflex area labeled. It should be easy to locate which is which.
  • To recreate a mini reflexology session at home, use a small amount of lotion to massage your feet. Apply pressure with the ball of your thumb, holding for 5 to 10 seconds. 
  • If you don’t know where to start, try your heel and move on from there, applying steady, even pressure with your thumb.
  • Before your first DIY foot reflexology session, familiarize yourself with the basic areas on a foot reflexology chart.

KenkoInsoles are Nikken’s founding product, derived from research into the effects of magnetic fields, with an added reflexological component inspired by the reflexology practices in Japan and the pebbles on the floor of the traditional baths.  See the current special offer on the Kenko mSteps, with raised nodules for a gently massaging sensation as you walk, and Kenko mStrides, a high density insole with magnetic technology, available until 31st August 2021.

Disclaimer: Any new pain symptom or medical condition should be discussed with your doctor before receiving reflexology treatments.

1 https://www.webmd.com/balance/what-is-reflexology

2 https://greatist.com/live/foot-reflexology-chart#when-to-avoid

The Circulatory System: An amazing circuit that keeps our bodies going…

Proper circulation is key for maintaining optimal health. It ensures that blood and oxygen continuously flow throughout the body, allowing every organ to function properly. It helps to heal wounds faster, it keeps the brain sharp, it keeps the heart healthy and it even gives the complexion a natural glow.1  Therefore, it’s vital to look after our circulatory system as part of our active wellness.

Top tips for circulatory health include exercising for 30 minutes a day, most days of the week as well as maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle. Here are 7 further tips that are easy to incorporate in your daily routine!

1. Get More Omegas… Omega-3 fatty acids help improve blood flow in the body and are an excellent source for heart health. Omegas can be found in certain types of fish such as mackerel.  For those who are vegetarian or vegan, kale also contains a small amount of omega-3 fatty acid. There are many natural supplements that contain Omega-3.

2. Sip Smarter… Drink black or green tea. A 2001 study, published in the journal Circulation, found that black tea improves blood vessel health. The antioxidants in these teas help to increase the width of the blood vessels. This enables the body to pump blood more easily.

3. Quit Smoking… So, this one isn’t easy. But, it’s absolutely necessary! Nicotine causes the blood vessels to constrict or narrow, which limits the amount of blood that flows to the organs. Over time, the constant constriction results in blood vessels that become stiff and less elastic. Constricted blood vessels decrease the amount of oxygen and nutrients the body cells receive.

4. Get Iron-Strong… If you don’t have enough red blood cells to circulate oxygen throughout your body, then you’re considered anemic. Women are especially susceptible to becoming anemic, especially if they are pregnant. Consuming an iron-rich diet such as spinach, legumes and red meat (in moderation) can greatly help you increase your red blood cells.

5. Compression for Comfort… Compression socks are a staple of any runner, but they should be in every household regardless of athletic ability.  That’s because these special socks reduce swelling in the legs. If you keep your legs elevated when you wear them, it will put pressure on the feet to help blood vessels push blood through the upper body and up to the heart.

6. Brush Your Body… If you’ve never heard of dry brushing before, you are seriously missing out on a relaxing and stimulating way to increase your blood flow! Before taking a shower or bath, use a soft-bristle brush and gently brush your skin in long, upward strokes. Start at your feet, and then move to your legs, thighs, stomach and arms. It not only feels amazing, it will help increase your circulation instantly.

7. Ease into Exercise… Sitting too much and for too long can be detrimental to your body. Your circulation system is no exception. Any type of movement is good, including a gentle walk, but experts say a good high-impact activity is jogging/running, and a good low-impact activity is yoga. Movements that involve bending, stretching and twisting help to compress and decompress a person’s veins, which may help improve circulation.2

Whether in doors, taking a gentle stroll outside or for more active exercise, Nikken’s Kenko mSteps and Kenko mStrides insoles can help energize your feet! 

*Terms and Conditions apply.

  1. https://www.henryford.com/blog/2020/10/how-to-boost-circulation
  2. https://niveinclinic.com/why-good-blood-circulation-is-vital-to-your-health/

Over Four Decades of Active Wellness – The History of Nikken magnets…

Magnets have been used successfully for centuries all over the world. Naturally produced magnets are called Lodestones and were used in ancient China, Japan, India, Egypt and Greece to help people enjoy better health. 

Nikken have been researching and developing magnetic technologies since 1975 with the launch of the first Magnetic Insoles – KenkoInsoles®. Nikken’s founder, Mr. Isamu Masuda began his wellness revolution with a brilliant thought: “If people feel better after walking on pebbles, why not create a way to experience this effect all day long?”

Drawing inspiration from the combined research into the positive effects of magnetic fields and massage inspired by the reflexology practices and the pebbles on the floors of the traditional Japanese hot baths – he combined a textured surface with magnetic technology and this is how the Magsteps® (later called KenkoInsoles®) were created.

Since then, Nikken’s research teams have continued the process of research and found that the more complex the magnetic fields, the more effective they are on the body. As a consequence, a number of further developments designed and adapted for different applications are now available.

Kenko mSteps® – a gentle massage in your shoe!

Raised nodules on the surface of mSteps are designed to provide a very gentle massaging sensation on the soles of the feet. Walking, standing or sitting, these nodules will stimulate and invigorate your feet.

Patented DynaFlux® Magnetic Technology acts like a magnetic field generator inside the shoes. This happens when magnets are placed in a way called ‘polar opposites’ – as you walk, the components of the magnets move, changing position to produce a dynamic field of energy.

mSteps are available in two sizes: Small 5-9 (20213) and Large 7-12 (20214).  The insoles can be trimmed if needed to fit perfectly in your shoes.

The Kenko mStrides® – great for active activity!

Kenko mStrides have the same patented DynaFlux® Magnetic Technology as the Kenko mSteps but without the massaging nodules.

They are thicker to provide more cushion and flexibility, ideal for use in soft athletic shoes such as trainers and hiking boots, etc.

Kenko mStrides are also available in two sizes: Small 5-9 (20201) and Large 7-12 (20211), these insoles can also be trimmed if needed to fit perfectly in your shoes.

Whichever insoles you choose this summer, you can comfortably walk your way to Active Wellness!

Walk your way to Wellness – 6 Benefits of Walking

In the age of CrossFit, hot yoga, Pilates studios and Soul Cycle classes, walking can seem like a tame alternative. However, nothing could be further from the truth! Walking is convenient, free, doesn’t require any special equipment or gym, and it can be done anywhere—even right outside your front door! Here are six reasons to make walking a lifetime commitment towards your Active Wellness.1

  1. Keep your heart pumping
    If you’re looking for a way to prolong the health of your ticker, walking only 30 minutes/5 times a week can reduce your risk of coronary heart disease by 19 percent! Contrary to the public health recommendation you need 10,000 steps daily to see results, 7,500 steps is also an ideal daily goal with comparable benefits.2
  2. Walk faster, live longer
    According to a 2016 study conducted by the Mayo Clinic, walking briskly (approximately 3 miles per hour) can increase your lifespan between 15 to 20 years. As with any exercise, the individual physical benefits gained from walking depends on three things: duration, intensity and frequency. Put simply: walk often, walk fast and walk long. The goal is to walk fast enough to raise your heart rate — even if just for a short burst.
  3. Leave stress behind
    There’s something about getting out for a walk that just melts the stress and tension away. Whatever has you frazzled, overthinking, tired, frustrated or furious, seems to dissipate with a brisk walk. Studies have even proven daily 20-minute walks (especially outside) have been linked to significantly lower levels of stress hormones, such as cortisol.
  4. Lose weight, feel great
    According to Harvard Health Medical School, walking can burn anywhere from 120–178 calories in 30 minutes. It’s also been proven to help you lose weight in an important area: the belly. This is a significant finding because women with a waist measurement of more than 35 inches (and men of more than 40 inches) are considered to have abdominal obesity, which is considered a health risk.3
  5. A brighter mental outlook
    Multiple studies have shown that regular physical activity can help increase the release of the ‘feel-good’ hormones such as serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. A single walking session can reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. It’s also important to make a human connection when you’re feeling isolated, and chances are you will come across other people on your walk. Waving or exchanging a simple smile with others can uplift your mental state instantly.
  6. Stronger bones and joints
    It’s a fact of life as we get older our bone density decreases and our joint tissue breaks down. Repetitive, high impact movements such as running and aerobics can place stress on bones and joints. Walking is a fantastic exercise for the young and old, because it doesn’t involve jumping or landing on hard surfaces. A regular walking routine can also increase bone density and size.

Walking requires comfortable, supportive footwear. If you can’t find the right amount of support, consider investing in a good pair of walking shoes and even a pair of insoles.

1 https://medium.com/wellness-decoded/the-health-benefits-of-walking-32877ff8d0f5

2 https://www.discovermagazine.com/health/why-walking-might-be-one-of-the-best-exercises-for-health

3 https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/walking-for-weight-loss#TOC_TITLE_HDR_4

5 Tips for Balancing Your Immune System

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 possible? It’s actually a common misconception that the more active our immune system is, the healthier we will be. The fact is, when it comes to our immune system, more is not necessarily better. While we don’t want an underactive immune system, an overactive immune system can cause problems, too. So, what we really want to achieve is a balanced immune system1. Here are five tips on how to get it!

 

1. Keep those vitamin D levels up!

Many people have low vitamin D levels, and studies show our levels drop in the fall and winter months (in the Northern hemisphere) when we begin to spend less time in the sun. This is bad news for our immune system. If our vitamin D blood levels fall rapidly – as often happens when the weather gets colder and our time in the sun decreases – our innate immunity suffers. So, to maintain optimal blood levels of vitamin D we need to get daily, moderate sun exposure and/or take a vitamin D supplement.

 

2. Sleep like a baby

For years, science has linked a good night’s sleep (6-8 consecutive hours) to a healthier immune system. That’s because during this regular time of rest, our immune system promotes a healthy inflammatory response. Stress hormones fall to the lowest levels at night, allowing our bodies to undo the physical stress exerted during the day. One of the best ways to improve the quality of sleep is to improve “sleep hygiene.” Create the right ambience in your bedroom by making it cool, dark, and quiet. You can even light some candles, take a bath, meditate, or just sit quietly. Sweet dreams!

 

3. Say sayonara to stress

Easier said than done, but it’s so important because stress takes a significant toll on our immune system. Physical, mental and emotional stress, especially when it’s ongoing, can impair our immune system’s ability do its job. Mindfulness-based activities like meditation, deep breathing and yoga are excellent tools for managing stress. Don’t forget exercise! It not only keeps us healthy, but it strengthens our immune system. Just 30 minutes a day of moderate activity is all it takes.

 

4. Feast on fermented foods

You may be thinking, “Fermented foods? What the heck is that?” Fermented foods consist of sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt, kefir and kombucha. Eating them is great for our immune system because 80 percent of the immune system is found in our gastrointestinal tract.  If these foods aren’t appealing to you, you can get the same benefits by taking probiotic supplements. Ingesting probiotics (friendly bacteria and yeasts) is an effective way to improve digestion and support immune health.

5. Add mushrooms to your diet

Did you know there are a few species of mushroom that contain some of the most powerful immune boosting compounds in nature? It’s true! Mushrooms such as shiitake, cordyceps, reishi, and maitake can reduce the negative stresses on our bodies. Not a fan of mushrooms? Consider adding a mushroom supplement to your diet such as the Kenzen® Immunity. It contains a combination of 14 different mushrooms, including rare varieties not available in conventional mushroom products.

Incorporating the active wellness tips described above to your lifestyle now will help you feel better and more balanced long-term.

1 https://www.objectivewellness.com/journal/posts/how-to-boost-your-immune-system-its-all-about-balance