Imagine Breathing in Refreshing Forest Air

The smell of nature in the air is so sweet! Did you know that this enticing smell is not only a sensory pleasure but actually an aspect of preventive health in Japanese medicine? Called Shinrin-Yoku, its literal translation is “forest bathing.” Though any kind of nature can enhance our health and happiness, there’s something special about being in a forest.

The Japanese Society of Forest Medicine, headed by Dr. Qing Li, promotes research on the therapeutic effects of forests on human health and educates people on the practice of forest bathing, which involves slowly walking through a forest, taking in the atmosphere through all your senses and enjoying the benefits.1 In 1982, Japan launched a national program to encourage forest bathing and by 2004, a formal study of the link between forests and human health had begun in Iiyama, a place known for its lush, green forests. Now, more than 2.5 million people walk those forest trails as a way to ease stress and enhance health.2

After years of study, Dr. Qing Li has found that spending time in a forest can help reduce stress, anxiety, depression and anger! The result is a boost to the immune system, improved cardiovascular and metabolic health and an increase in the feeling of overall well-being.3

In the western world, exercise is the primary solution for promoting cardiovascular, metabolic and mental health. When you are walking through a forest and inhaling that natural air, you’re not only getting moderate exercise but also hanging out with trees, which turns out to be an important part of preventive health. Dr. Qing Li discovered this when he was a stressed-out student and went on a week of forest camping. He returned feeling restored both physically and mentally, so much so that it inspired him to research forests and their benefits on human well-being.

Those of us who don’t have easy access to a forest and forest bathing, can have the next best thing. Since indoor air quality is often worse than outdoor air, how soothing would it be to have forest-like air in doors? How much would we benefit from breathing natural forest-like air in our own homes?

Say hello to the KenkoAir Purifier®. Its middle name is HEPA 13 and it can filter air particles so small that they’re not visible to the naked eye. Due to negative-ion technology, you receive filtered air that simulates what’s found in nature—nature as in forests and lakes. In other words, you’re getting as close to forest bathing as you can without actually hanging out with the trees.

In keeping with the Nikken pledge to be in harmony with nature, the KenkoAir Purifier operates ozone-free so it’s non-toxic. It has a reusable pre-filter which can be washed and the other filters can be replaced easily every six months. You breathe cleaner air and decrease your carbon footprint at the same time—a win-win situation you can enjoy year-round, as long as you remember to replace the filters on time. If you live somewhere that has especially dense air quality, replace the filters more often. Every time you see the red light is on, you’ll know your KenkoAir Purifier is cranking so your air gets cleaner.

Lately, even the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) is recommending the use of a HEPA air filter in homes. Don’t wait for visible signs of bad air to show up in your home. Mold, mildew, musty odors, dust and dander can all be addressed with good filtration. You don’t have to wait long to feel and smell the benefits from the KenkoAir Purifier.

From now through September 15, take advantage of our state-of-the-art filtration systems: all filters are 20% off. These are Active Wellness filters for the KenkoAir Purifier®, PiMag Waterfall®, PiMag® Sport Bottle and PiMag MicroJet® Showers (both hand held and wall mount models) and PiMag® mineral stones.

1, 2, 3 https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/why_forest_bathing_is_good_for_your_health

Break the Single-Use Plastic Habit

One of the most straightforward ways each one of us can decrease our carbon footprint is to break the single-use plastic habit. In this age of conveniences, take-out food and beverages as well as delivered items often come in plastic containers. Everywhere we go, we see people drinking water from single-use plastic bottles.

Single use plastic shopping bags are the biggest landfillers next to plastic bottles, but fortunately, they are slowly making their way out of the mainstream marketplace. Grocery stores have been encouraging customers to bring their own totes and only provide bags upon demand. Even so, we still need to be conscientious in choosing paper bags when we forget to bring our own re-usable totes.

Take the single-use plastic challenge for a day! Increase that to most of the week, then incrementally build up to a month. You will see it can be done and you will have made a personal contribution to the maintenance of our planet! The challenge is simple: Go through a regular day but refrain from touching any single-use plastic item, whether it’s a bag or a bottle. Keep track of your trash: you will see how much less there is when you use recyclable containers and bottles instead of plastic bags and bottles.

Another way to get rid of the single-use-plastic habit is to make your own “zero-waste kit.”1 The five recommended items to include in the kit are a re-usable water bottle, a cloth shoulder bag or tote, a metal straw, a re-usable coffee/tea cup and a set of travel utensils. Each of these five items is an alternative to a common single-use plastic item. You can take it with you when you travel, go on a hike, go on a shopping spree, and so on.

The Active Wellness lifestyle is not only about our physical and mental health but also about the health of our planet. If everyone takes the single-use plastic challenge, the results would be astounding. Why wouldn’t every person want to contribute personally when 50% of plastic products are used for single-use purposes to the tune of 380 million tons a year?2 Since only 9% of plastic gets recycled globally, no wonder 10 million tons are found in our oceans worldwide.3

Governments are aware they need to legislate environmental regulations to help solve the problem of plastic waste. The U.S. Interior Department affirms that it will phase out the sale of single-use plastic products in national parks and other public lands by 2032.4 In Europe, wherever sustainable alternatives are easily available and affordable, single-use plastic products cannot be placed on the markets of EU Member States. This applies to cotton bud sticks, cutlery, plates, straws, stirrers, and sticks for balloons. It will also apply to cups, food and beverage containers made of expanded polystyrene, and on all products made of oxo-degradable plastic.5

We can be mindful and set our intentions to decreasing our carbon footprint. We have to start somewhere. At Nikken, we are committed to living in harmony with nature, and our water and air filters certainly were created with that in mind. From now through September 15, take advantage of our state-of-the-art filtration systems: all filters are 20% off. These include filters for the PiMag Waterfall®, PiMag® Sport Bottle and PiMag MicroJet® Showers (both hand held and wall mount models), PiMag® mineral stones and KenkoAir Purifier®.

1 https://rothys.com/blogs/the-loop/10-tips-to-reduce-plastic-use-be-eco-friendly?

2, 3 https://plasticoceans.org/the-facts/

4 https://www.cnbc.com/2022/06/08/us-to-ban-sale-of-single-use-plastic-on-public-lands-national-parks-by-2032

5 https://environment.ec.europa.eu/topics/plastics/single-use-plastics_en

You Can Have Your Antioxidants On-the-Go

One of the buzz words in the wellness industry is “inflammation.” The good news is that there is a way to fight inflammation, and they’re called antioxidants. Unlike bad habits and environmental elements that cause physical or mental stress from the outside, inflammation is internal and caused by an increase of free radicals produced inside the body.1

Antioxidants can help fight free radicals that are produced inside the body as well as those that the body is exposed to externally. Like pollution, UV exposure, cigarette smoke and excessive intake of alcohol, inflammation is the cause of many physical complaints. Antioxidants can prevent or slow damage to cells caused by unstable molecules that the body produces as a reaction to environmental and other pressures.2 These unstable molecules are known as free radicals, and antioxidants are sometimes called free-radical scavengers. If the body cannot process and remove free radicals efficiently, this can harm cells and cause them to misfire.

Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and cranberries are among the top fruit sources of antioxidants. Sweet potatoes, carrots, red and green peppers, kale, spinach, and broccoli all contain the antioxidant carotene. Red, orange, deep yellow and dark green leafy vegetables are ideal to eat daily for their antioxidant values as well as for their delicious flavors. Walnuts and pecans are some of the nuts with the highest antioxidant content.3 As a bonus, these fruit, nuts and vegetables are not only high in antioxidants but also in fiber, low in saturated fat and cholesterol and good sources of vitamins and minerals. When you add them regularly to the diet, you are tripling your potential health benefits.

Vitamins C and E and carotenoids are antioxidants that are known to help protect the cells from damage from free radicals. Other types of naturally-occurring antioxidants include flavonoids, tannins, phenols and lignans. Plant-based foods are the best sources for these types of antioxidants and are found not only in fruit, vegetables and nuts, but also in seeds, herbs, spices and even cocoa.4

In addition to eating the right foods, certain things can be done to help prevent cell damage and oxidative stress. All these behaviors are part of the Active Wellness Lifestyle:

•          Limit or eliminate certain foods from your diet, especially refined and processed foods, trans fats, artificial sweeteners and food with certain dyes and additives/preservatives.

•          Don’t smoke cigarettes. Don’t vape.

•          Consider switching to natural cleaners to limit exposure to chemicals.

•          Limit exposure to pesticides and use natural alternatives such as water mixed with vinegar and lemon oil/juice or herbs such rosemary and peppermint.

•          Use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.5

•          Exercise regularly but don’t overdo it. When you push your body over its limits, inflammation results and you are doing more harm than good.

Since eating right is so important, summer might be a challenging time of the year, because many people go on vacation or are spending more time away from home, where it’s easy to prepare healthy meals. That’s when Kenzen® Super Ciaga® powder can become your primary weapon against any deficiency in natural antioxidant consumption. Formulated as a powder specifically to make it portable during traveling, Kenzen® Super Ciaga® is abundant with berries—blackberries, blueberries and raspberries—and the lesser known but super-antioxidants maqui berries and elderberries. You can take these deliciously combined antioxidants with you virtually anywhere you go and simply mix with water. Sweetened with organic monkfruit, one scoop of this “power powder” in a couple ounces of water or smoothie can give your immune system a much welcome boost! With Kenzen Super Ciaga powder, you can truly take your antioxidants on-the go!

Give the Summer Active Wellness Pack a try while it’s 20% off through September 30, and you can experience the amazing taste and convenience of Kenzen® Super Ciaga® powder. It’s a great beverage to share with friends that you meet on your summer travels!

1, 2 https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/301506#benefits

3, 4 https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/multimedia/antioxidants/sls-20076428#:~:text=Antioxidants%20are%20substances%20that%20may,to%20tobacco%20smoke%20or%20radiation.

5 https://www.skincancer.org/blog/ask-the-expert-does-a-high-spf-protect-my-skin-better/

You Can Have Filtered Alkaline Water On-the-Go

Seasoned travelers know that airports don’t allow liquids to be carried on board airplanes. In fact, most airports do not allow liquids to go past security checkpoints. We are left with the options of purchasing high-priced bottled water at kiosks near the departure gates or drinking from water fountains, if there are any.

The PiMag® Sport Bottle is a game changer. It is portable so you can take it backpacking, on a walk, on the metro, on a cruise and on the plane—you can take it just about anywhere! It has a replaceable, patented nano-fiber filter that helps reduce contaminants, alkalize potable water and is made of eco-friendly materials. As long as you replace the filter, this bottle just keeps on working. This means you can fill it with water from taps, drinking fountains and any source of potable water. It’s the ideal travel companion!

Here are just a few testimonials from avid PiMag® Sport Bottle users who are committed to not drinking bottled water that adds to plastic waste and landfills:

“The PiMag Sport Bottle has been my life saver whenever I leave my house and especially when I travel! It’s so convenient being able to fill my bottle with even tap water. It eases my mind to know that I’m drinking clean, chemical-free alkaline water that tastes amazing!” S. DiMuccio

“I love traveling with my PiMag® Sports Bottle so I can have great water on planes. They won’t let us take water on the plane so I use my PiMag® Sport Bottle to clean the bottled water they give us. Also, I feel safe drinking the water when I ‘Nikkenize’ the l water that comes from the tap!” H. Rapp

“I love my PiMag® Sport Bottle.  I just returned from traveling for two weeks and at no point did I need to buy or concern myself with great quality water.  The airports now have depots where you can fill up your water bottles with semi-filtered water, but then I have PiMag® water filtration ready to go in my hands and I am so grateful!  It helps me stay hydrated and healthy as I am traveling.” B. Bertucci

“My husband and I have traveled across the United States, around Europe, South America and Japan with our PiMag® Sport Bottles. A few years ago, I met with the Head of the Mexican Consulate in Raleigh, N.C. We had lunch and I had my PiMag® Sport Bottle. He was taking his family back to visit in Mexico and he wanted a water bottle for each person. I was happy to be able to assist in making his trip better. Everyone loves PIMag® Water on-the-go!” K. Sargent\

“Whether I’m on a short five-mile hike with a fellow firefighter to help a patient or traveling long distances on a plane, the PIMag® Sport Bottle is our families’ go to source for great water. It’s small and lightweight and will fit anywhere.” V. Rogers

The eco-friendly PiMag® Sport Bottle is such an easy way to make a personal commitment to planet Earth. In doing so, you’re also paying attention to self-care in the form of hydration and alkalinity. You’re also being a good role model for the younger generations.

This is the perfect time to begin or renew your commitment to staying hydrated while decreasing your carbon footprint. The Summer Active Wellness Pack is composed of three Nikken technologies that work to support walking, nutrition and hydration. It comes with one PiMag® Sport Bottle, one pair of energizing magnetic insoles (choose your size of Kenko mSteps® or Kenko mStrides®) and one Kenzen® Super Ciaga® Powder (for a superfruit antioxidant and immunity boost). You get the pack at 20% off from now through September 30.

Summer Walking: A Fun Way to Better Health

Summer means more daylight hours and warmer temperatures, which makes it a great season for walking outdoors. Walking is known to help release endorphins that elevate our mood and decrease stress levels. When done consistently and enough to increase heart rates, walking can even burn calories and help us lose weight. A heart-healthy exercise, walking is believed to lower the risk associated with high blood pressure, high LDL (bad) cholesterol, stroke and coronary heart disease.1  

Depending on where you live and how hot the summer days get, you can create a walking regimen. In climates that are very hot, it’s best to limit walking to early morning and evenings when temperatures are lower and tolerable. Frequent but short brisk walks are just as beneficial as longer walks. Both help to build stamina and strengthen the heart, so you don’t need to take one long, extended walk to meet your distance goals. You can split up the distance into a few short walks. If counting steps matters to you, then simply wear a pedometer.

Again, depending on where you live, there are many ways to incorporate a walking habit into your daily routine. You may:

•          walk part of the way to work or even all the way, if it isn’t that far.

•          walk on your lunch break.

•          take the stairs whenever possible, instead of using an elevator or escalator.

•          get the whole family involved and take a walk after the evening meal. Walking helps digestion!

•          find a walking buddy and set aside time together.

•          increase your walking time or distance with your dog(s).

If you haven’t been walking for some time, gradually build up time and distance. Even though walking is a gentle exercise, overdoing should be avoided. Be sure to:

•          dress comfortably in loose-fitting clothes.

•          dress in light colors if the sun is already up or hasn’t set yet.

•          watch out for traffic, depending on where you’re walking.

•          carry a water bottle with you and sip regularly. Remember, even if you aren’t sweating, you’re still losing water. Dehydration causes great discomfort and may even be dangerous.

•          wear a visor, sun hat or head covering you feel comfortable in.

•          wear shoes that are broken in and give good support. If you are hiking or going on uneven terrain, you may need sturdy boots instead of comfy shoes.

•          wear sunscreen everywhere your skin is exposed. You can get sunburned even when you cannot see the sun.

•          use walking sticks if you want to work out your arms.

•          use a walker if you are post-surgery or in recovery and have been sedentary for a stretch of time.

•          wear light ankle and wrist weights if you want extra conditioning or to build muscle mass. (Make sure you are in good shape already before adding weights.)

Walking is one of the easiest ways to incorporate daily exercise into an Active Wellness lifestyle. Get everyone in the household involved and see how fast communications improve between generations!

This entire summer and into the beginning of autumn, you can jumpstart your walking habit with the Summer Active Wellness Pack. It comes with one PiMag® Sport Bottle (to help you stay hydrated), one pair of energizing magnetic insoles (choose your size of Kenko mSteps® or mStrides®) and one Kenzen® Super Ciaga® Powder (for a superfruit antioxidant and immunity boost). You get the pack at 20% off from now through September 30.

1 https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/heart-matters-

Choosing Freedom Every Day

Freedom is an ideal that many of us consider in a global way and on certain holidays, we may take time to think about it in more profound ways. In North America, we celebrated Canada Day on July 1 and U.S. Independence Day on July 4.

Freedom can be a personal choice. One of the most inspiring examples of this freedom mindset—to choose freedom regardless of circumstances—may well be personified by Nelson Mandela. During 27 years of imprisonment under deplorable conditions, he managed to stay true to himself and keep his spirit intact. When freed and asked repeatedly how he managed not only to survive but to emerge stronger than ever, he quoted William Ernest Henley’s poem Invictus.1 The two key lines that Mandela immortalized with his personal story are: “I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.”

Humans Being More is the Nikken approach to being the “master of my fate” and “captain of my soul.” By working on our inner selves every day of our lives, we develop into who we are meant to be. Few of us will live heroic lives akin to that of Nelson Mandela, but many of us may live productive lives that positively impact others. “Being more” is an evolution and does not stop. It is embodying the words of Theodore Roethke in his poem The Waking: “I learn by going where I have to go.”2

Going where we have to go is similar to the Nike motto: “Just Do It.” Take the plunge. Don’t overthink it. Go with your gut. Over-analysis is paralysis. We’ve heard these exhortations to action over and over again, because actually doing something is what makes our choices happen, not just mulling them over. Our freedom mindset is what propels us forward and enables us to take action.

The freedom to do something of our choice (or not) is a gift. In contemporary societies, it’s common to feel obligated to attend certain functions, to be at the beck and call of family members and friends, to work unpredictably long hours—to surrender to the requirements of others. Much of this is a part of adulthood, but self-care is also needed for us to endure for the long haul. Taking time for ourselves each day—to exercise, read something of actual interest, pay attention to pets, or have a nice cup of tea—are part of the freedom mindset.

Choosing freedom does not mean shirking responsibilities or feeling entitled to things we did not work for. When someone has never had to work for something desired, entitlement sets in. This entitlement inevitably leads to discontent because there is no association with value. We naturally gravitate towards gratitude when we know the value of something and experience the effort of obtaining it. What do we have in each day that we are grateful for? We cannot feel free if we focus on what we don’t have. We can, however, focus on how to obtain what we want. Being able to choose what we want and to go after it, is also a type of freedom we sometimes take for granted.

Especially during uncertain times, we create our own lack of freedom by adhering to preconceived notions of who we should be or what we’re capable of doing. Then something happens to remind us that change is the only constant, and we can choose to go with the flow or swim against it, but inertia is not an option. Best of all, we find out that we are capable of so much more than we give ourselves credit for. When we use our freedom mindset, we surprise ourselves—in such good ways!

Whatever we choose to use our freedom mindset to accomplish—whether it’s to become debt-free, learn a new language, or to spend more time with our children and grandchildren—we can only rely on our own defined intentions to make it happen.

Successful entrepreneurs have the freedom mindset. They do not want to be bound by 9-5 limitations, they do not like the security of staying in a box, and they enjoy taking creative risks. In entrepreneur speak, they say that success is reached through a series of failures. In the freedom mindset, failure does not exist—failure is only a stepping stone to success.

Nikken wishes everyone a joyful summer filled with new experiences found with your freedom mindset! From July 1 through September 30, get the Summer Active Wellness Starter Pack that gives you access to three technologies: PiMag® alkaline water with patented nano-fiber filtration, organic antioxidant nutrition and patented DynaFlux®magnetics. You get one each of the PiMag® Sport Bottle, Kenzen® Super Ciaga® Powder and your choice of one pair of Kenko mStrides® or Kenko mSteps® at 20% off the total price.

1https://www.inmatesurvival.com/how-did-nelson-mandela-survive-27-years-in-prison/

2 https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/43333/the-waking-56d2220f25315

Post-Graduation is One of the Most Stimulating Times of Life

Transitioning from high school or university life to the work world can be daunting or exciting, depending on each graduate’s personal outlook on life. Personal growth, professional development and real world experience are all part of the transition.

Every graduate will deal with this major life transition in different ways. And, depending on the graduate’s mindset and individual characteristics, a “nine-to five” job may simply not be the best use of time. Others may even have job offers lined up and fall into a first out-of-school work opportunity with little effort.

New graduates are fortunate to live at a time when there are side hustles and other options to choose from. Side hustles are usually part-time or temporary situations, but in some cases, can lead to bigger jobs or full-time careers. Some graduates may already have experience with side hustles as they worked through school.

•          Dog walking is a perfect part-time job for someone who loves the outdoors and of course, dogs. People book dog walkers per walk and by the amount of time spent. There are dog walkers who specialize in senior dogs and special needs dogs as well as those who are strong enough to walk athletic dogs.

•          Those who love pets in general can become pet sitters. During the summer months when many people travel, pet sitters are highest in demand. People who love their pets as family members are often willing to pay to have them cared for in the comfort of their own homes when they go on vacation, travel for work or simply need to be away from home.

•          Graduates who are proficient on social media can make quite a bit of money when they become “influencers.” Whether it’s on TikTok, YouTube, podcasts, vlogs (video blogs) or any other platform, the more followers amassed, the more money advertisers are willing to pay. Influencers generally have specific expertise, and sometimes in surprising areas, such as makeup techniques, creating arts and crafts out of junkyard findings, and so many ways to cook or combine unexpected herbs and spices. Some young people develop entire musical or artistic careers by performing on their social media platforms and being found.

•          Graduates who feel fulfilled when they are of service can become helpers for senior citizens. This can involve driving the elderly to their appointments or anywhere they need to go. It can be about running errands, such as buying groceries or accompanying them for some outdoor time at a park.

•          On the other end of the age spectrum, graduates can help new and working parents with babysitting or nannying. Some parents will require licensed caretakers but networking with friends and families can produce lucrative childcare leads that are mutually beneficial.

•          There are websites and apps that pay people to test their functionality. There are websites that pay people to take tests and/or surveys.

•          Work as an online tutor or if willing, as an in-person tutor. Tutors generally specialize in particular age groups and subject matter. Tutors for high school math and elementary school reading are often in high demand. There are also tutors who specialize in college entrance exams.

•          Network marketing has been a source of income for many students and graduates. It’s not only a way to make money but also a way to stay in touch with old friends and make new ones. At Nikken, there’s a whole new generation of entrepreneurs who have decided to forgo corporate life to be their own bosses.

No matter what choices graduates make, this is truly an exhilarating time, full of possibilities and decisions. To make sure the transition is not overwhelming, here are some tips for graduates to succeed in their new lives:

•          Manage time. Be punctual to interviews, meetings, appointments and dates! It shows character and respectfulness. Do not procrastinate: do what you can do today.

•          Manage personal finances. Even if you win the lottery, always spend less than you have and put some away. Even if you don’t need it, you may be able to help someone who does. Learn how to create a monthly budget and adopt the green way of reduce, recycle and reuse.

•          Shy or outgoing? Both types can cultivate effective communication skills. Say what you mean and mean what you say. It will help in every relationship, personal or professional, through an entire lifetime. Be yourself and avoid pretense. Communicate in a way that errs on the side of kindness.

•          Be quiet for a little bit of time every day. Some call it meditation, but being quiet with yourself doesn’t have to be a time of deep meaning. It can be time to breathe deeply and give yourself a time out. Being quiet with yourself means no phones or electronic devices, no TV, no virtual assistants.

•          Maintain good health. Having so much going on at this time of life, it’s common for graduates to forget to eat regular meals, exercise daily, drink lots of water and get enough sleep. Developing Active Wellness habits will keep you functioning at high energy levels with an active immune system.

If you’re looking for a great gift for the graduates in your life, today is the last day to take advantage of the huge 30% off sale on all sizes of the Kenko Naturest® Fit mattress topper! Since the Fit is portable, it’s easy to roll it up and take it on vacation or when traveling.

Congratulations to all the graduates of the class of 2022 from Nikken! We welcome you to our Global Wellness Community!

Be Active All Summer, Have Fun and Stay Safe

Every year, we look forward to warm weather so we can bask in the sunshine and spend more time outdoors. We thaw out, revel in picnics and embrace the bounty Nature has to offer!

Here are a few tips for summertime Active Wellness that will keep you healthy while you enjoy fun and games, vacations and get-togethers.

•          When hiking or in woodsy areas, use insect repellent and wear long-sleeved shirts and full-length trousers to prevent mosquito bites and ticks.

•          Use sunscreen with at least SPF 15 for UV protection and don’t forget to reapply eery two hours, especially after swimming or sweating. Apply sunscreen first and then insect repellent.1

•          Wear wide-brimmed hats.

•          Whatever activity you pursue, both indoors or outdoors, stay hydrated by drinking water frequently.

•          The more active you are, the more important it is to get restful sleep. Aim for at least seven hours each night.2

•          As you attend celebrations throughout the summer, remember that alcohol is dehydrating, especially under the sun. So, monitor your intake and always drink plenty of plain water.

•          Go barefoot when you can! Whether it’s at the beach or on grass, take advantage of the warm weather and get grounded naturally.

•          Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing that is loose-fitting. This helps sweat evaporate more quickly to keep you cooler.

•          Do strenuous exercises in the morning or evening to avoid the hottest times of the day. When outdoors, try to find shady areas.

•          If you’re going on vacation, plan an active one. Include family members in camping, hiking, swimming, etc. Include bike rides or walking tours when visiting cities.

•          Try to get at least 150 minutes of physical activity in weekly.3 If you can’t make it outdoors, do it at home or at a gym. Yoga, Pilates, dancing, Zumba—it all counts.

•          Summer fruit and vegetables are delicious and beneficial, especially if you’ve had a hard winter. Check out what your local farmers’ markets are offering and enjoy seasonal produce at its freshest!

•          When enjoying outdoor meals, remember to wash hands, utensils, containers and work surfaces before handling food to prevent bacteria from spreading.

•          Wash fruit and vegetables before cutting or peeling to help remove bacteria that may be on the rind or skin.

•          Throw out leftover food if it’s been sitting out for more than two hours. If it’s hotter than 90°F or 32°C, throw it out after one hour.5

Have a wonderful summer and remember, Nikken is celebrating fathers the entire month of June. You still can purchase the Father’s Day Pack through June 30. It targets the immune system and gut health with one bottle of Kenzen® Immunity and one bottle of Kenzen Lactoferrin® 2.0. You also receive a bonus bottle of Kenzen® Mega Daily 4 for men at no cost, an added retail value of $53 US / $65 CA.

You also have through June 30 to take advantage of the huge 30% off sale on all sizes of the Kenko Naturest® Fit mattress topper! Don’t miss this chance to upgrade your sleep in every room! Since the Fit is portable, you can even take it with you on your vacations or other travels!

1, 3 https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/infographic/healthy-summer.htm

2 https://www.gundersenhealth.org/health-wellness/eat/8-tips-to-stay-healthy-this-summer/

4, 5 https://www.cancer.org/latest-news/how-to-have-a-happy-healthy-summer.html

Fatherhood Then and Now

As we adapt our lifestyles to environmental challenges and our evolving communities, there is one notable area which is changing and heartwarming for everyone involved: fatherhood.

Generations ago, fathers played the roles of protectors and breadwinners for the family. They were guardians who fought off enemies and the scourge of natural disasters. Mothers played the roles of nurturers and educators and were often children’s sole source of emotional support and physical affection.

As women entered the work force—jumping from 33% to 60% between 1948 and 20011—men’s roles in parenting adjusted accordingly to share in the duties of the primary caretaker. The effects of these changing roles are being studied and have already shown some positive effects not only on fathers but also on their children. Historically, research on child development has focused more on the sensitivity of mothers to fulfilling their children’s needs. However, in the last 20 to 30 years, research has increasingly focused on fathers. This is due to the growing role modern day fathers play in caregiving.

A study conducted by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) found that fathers tended to be more involved in caregiving when they worked fewer hours than other fathers, had high self- esteem, lower levels of depression and hostility, and coped well with the major tasks of adulthood. In general terms, those fathers lived with co-parenting mothers who worked more hours outside the home than other mothers.2

Other research on the role of fathers suggests that the influence of father love on children’s development is as great as the influence of a mother’s love. Fatherly love helps children develop a sense of their place in the world, which helps their social, emotional and cognitive development and functioning. Moreover, children who receive more love from their fathers are less likely to struggle with behavioral or substance abuse problems.3

Fatherhood has become more complex as fathers take on more caregiving. Three areas of fatherhood that anthropologists and behaviorists have reported notable changes in are:

1. Commendation: Fathers of the past took on the role of disciplinarian and were sparse in their compliments. Modern fathers use positive re-enforcement to sustain outstanding performance in their children.4

2. Accessibility: Children have the freedom to talk to their fathers more than it was possible in the past. Now fathers communicate freely with their children. Very few topics are off-limits with the modern father. 5

3. Emotional Availability: In the past, fathers were mainly involved in protecting their children from physical harm. Now fathers want to be part of every little detail of their children’s well-being, from mental to physical health. 6

In the 1970s, attachment theory was the focus of child development studies, focusing on the first years of children’s lives and their bond with their mothers. Michael Lamb, a forerunner of fatherhood research and still continuing with studies at the University of Cambridge in the U.K., explains, “That went along with the assumption that the bond with the mother was the only [primary] relationship kids could form.”7 However, Lamb and a small number of other researchers were all coming to the same conclusion: Babies can form as strong an attachment to their dads as to their moms. From that seed has grown an intriguing but limited body of evidence stating that not only are men built to care for children, but that being an involved dad impacts kids’ physiologies, psychologies and outcomes for the rest of their lives.8

It wasn’t until the turn of this century that researchers discovered the fascinating detail that men’s bodies transform when they become fathers. Oxytocin—the “love hormone”— has been known to play a role in a mother’s initial bonding with her child after birth. Recently, researchers have observed that the same spike in oxytocin occurs when fathers hold and play with their newborns. The new fathers also register an increase in prolactin—a hormone best known for helping women produce breastmilk. Its purpose, it turns out, is greater than that.9

University of Notre Dame anthropologist Lee Gettler explains that the presence of prolactin goes back hundreds of millions of years to our animal ancestors—before mammals existed (even before breastfeeding existed). Over the past decade, Gettler’s research has come to some conclusions about the hormone’s function in modern-day dads. “Fathers with higher prolactin play with their babies in ways that are beneficial for their babies’ learning and exploration, and the fathers also seem to be more responsive and sensitive to infant cries,” he says. In other words, this ancient hormone plays some role in increasing dads’ desire to be close.10

In the book Do Fathers Matter?, science journalist Paul Raeburn summarizes findings from a 2007 Swedish study: “Children whose fathers played with them, read to them, took them on outings and helped care for them had fewer behavioral problems in the early school years, and less likelihood of delinquency or criminal behavior as adolescents.” When you talk to involved dads, you quickly discover that the positive effects of becoming one aren’t just for the children. Fathers’ own ideas of manhood expand during the transition, as do their abilities to form rewarding human connections. Having an involved dad has been associated with fewer cognitive delays, better school readiness, a decrease in tantrums and aggressive behavior, and lower rates of depression.11

Happy Father’s Day from Nikken! On June 19 this year, Nikken is celebrating fathers and men’s health with a self-care pack that empowers men with Active Wellness. Our Father’s Day Pack, available June 1 through June 30, targets the immune system and gut health with one bottle of Kenzen® Immunity and one bottle of Kenzen Lactoferrin® 2.0. You also receive a bonus bottle of Kenzen® Mega Daily 4 for men at no cost, an added retail value of $53 US / $65 CA.

1, 2, 3 https://www.apa.org/pi/families/resources/changing-father

4, 5, 6 https://guardian.ng/life/life-features/fatherhood-in-the-past-and-fatherhood-today-what-changed/

7, 8, 9, 10, 11 https://www.todaysparent.com/family/parenting/the-science-of-how-fatherhood-transforms-you/

Mental Health is Part of Men’s Health, Too

Now more than ever, mental health is in the news. Perhaps triggered by the pandemic, more people are openly discussing issues such as depression, anxiety, phobias and eating disorders. Men, even more than women, often suffer in silence and it has a lot to do with the different ways boys and girls are brought up.

One of the most significant social stereotypes is that boys are in some way stronger or tougher than girls.1 Yet little girls grow up to be women who have to be tough enough to go through childbirth. This stereotype of masculine strength creates boys who grow into men who suppress their feelings. In other words, it has been engrained in them that feeling vulnerable is a sign of weakness and discussing their anxiety or depression is “unmanly.” Men need to be freed of the stigma attached to their feelings of imperfection, loneliness and helplessness—because all these so-called negative thoughts are part of being human and living through the various stages of life, regardless of gender. Simply feeling able to confide in a therapist, friend or any trusted person is a big step towards mental health.

Research supports the fact that men who cannot speak openly about their emotions may be less likely to recognize mental health issues.2 And, if they don’t recognize they are going through some kind of crisis, they are not going to seek help. Instead, they commonly turn to coping mechanisms such as drinking alcohol to excess, doing drugs or acting overly aggressive. Some other mental health symptoms in men include unexplained anger, irritability, frustration, trouble concentrating, persistent feelings of worry, engaging in high-risk activities, unusual behavior that impedes daily functions and thoughts of suicide.3

In fact, in England, the suicide rate is three times higher in men than in women.4 In North America, the rate is four times higher with men than women.5 Those contemplating suicide often believe no one feels the way they do. “You are not alone”— This statement alone can help someone who is suffering through a mental health crisis, because the knowledge that a specific feeling is not unique, makes it somewhat more acceptable as part of society at large.

Risk factors for mental health issues with men include social isolation, substance abuse, unemployment, military-related trauma, genetic predisposition, mood disorders and health challenges specific to aging in those 85 and older.6

In their 2018 report, the World Health Organization emphasized that cultural stigma surrounding mental health was one of the chief obstacles to people admitting that they were struggling and seeking help, and this was especially pronounced in men.7 Because so many men have been brought up to think of mental health as not concrete, the subject has become known by various media as a “silent epidemic” and a “sleeper issue that has crept into the minds of millions.”8

The fact that men’s mental health is trending in the news gives hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel. New fathers and mothers can lead the way by treating boys and girls more equitably, by nurturing and encouraging both genders to articulate both thoughts and feelings, and to be generous and kind to as many as possible. It’s never too early to guide a child into living as an active participant in the Global Wellness Community.

Since June 19 is Father’s Day and June is Men’s Health Awareness month, Nikken is celebrating fathers and men’s health with a self-care pack that empowers men with Active Wellness. Our Father’s Day Pack, available June 1 through June 30, targets the immune system and gut health with one bottle of Kenzen® Immunity and one bottle of Kenzen Lactoferrin® 2.0. You also receive a bonus bottle of Kenzen® Mega Daily 4 for men at no cost, an added retail value of $53 US / $65 CA.

1 https://raisedgood.com/little-boys-more-fragile/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=little-boys-more-fragile&fbclid=IwAR0QajpmC_g1RJI1n-pOegAmQP5sbvMM6vt1tIwmACwZGedn_pxJwa6QYps&fs=e&s=cl

2, 3 https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/m/men-and-mental-health#:~:text=While%20there%20isn’t%20a,rather%20than%20talking%20about%20it.

4 https://www.healthline.com/health/mens-health/mental-health-care-for-men#symptoms

5, 6 https://www.mhanational.org/infographic-mental-health-men

7, 8 https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/mens-mental-health-man-up-is-not-the-answer