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

Workspace Wellness

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.

Stay Social
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.

1https://www.corporatewellnessmagazine.com/article/promote-wellness-work

*WashingtonPost.com

Healthy Dads are Happy Dads!

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.

1 https://www.daddilife.com/how-to-be-a-healthier-dad-in-2019/

Do You Have Allergies?

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!

1, 2 https://www.aafa.org/allergy-facts

3 https://www.aafa.org/prevent-allergies/

4 https://www.aafa.org/insect-allergy/

How Do You Feel When You Breathe?

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!

1 https://www.aafa.org/asthma.aspx

2 https://www.aafa.org/asthma-prevention/

Women’s Health: Stay Strong and Healthy

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!

1, 3, 4  https://www.womenshealth.gov/healthy-eating/healthy-eating-and-women#6

2 https://www.womenshealth.gov/healthy-eating/food-allergies-and-sensitivities/lactose-intolerance

5 https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000584.htm

6 https://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/breastfeeding-special-circumstances/diet-and-micronutrients/maternal-diet.html#:~:text=An%20additional%20450%20to%20500,per%20day%20for%20moderately%20active

Mothers Are Special and Science Proves It

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?  

1,2,3,4  https://www.healthline.com/health-news/motherhood-the-good-bad-and-weird-050914#:~:text=The%20study%20showed%20that%2C%20despite,had%20more%20than%20four%20children

5 https://www.who.int/life-course/news/household-air-pollution/en/

6 https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-08/documents/weh_english_100-f-07-028_v2.pdf