Be Great Role Models for Heart Health

Have you thought about what the saying “Monkey see, monkey do” really means? When it comes to children, surrounding them with good role models is a fast way to ensure they develop good habits and behaviors. Children mimic the adults around them more easily than listening to requests or taking direction. When it comes to healthy heart habits, it’s a no brainer:  Whatever we do to be heart-healthy is more than likely what our children and grandchildren will copy. Be a good role model and get them on the Active Wellness track as early as possible.

Even though heredity is an important risk factor for heart disease, experts agree that healthy eating habits from an early age can lower the risk of developing cardiovascular issues, diabetes and other serious ailments later in life. American children and adolescents average more saturated fat in their diets than their counterparts in other developed nations.1

Although children and teens usually don’t show the symptoms of heart disease, the silent buildup of fatty deposits can start in childhood and can have a serious impact on their adult life. “The kinds of heart problems which relate to the problems adults have don’t really manifest themselves until [the children are] much older,” says Ronald Kanter, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics, division of pediatric cardiology, at Duke University. “But the seeds of those problems are sown in childhood and adolescence.”2

Fortunately, parents can influence their children’s behavior by encouraging healthy eating and regular aerobic exercise, as well as discouraging smoking. Dr. Kanter says he has noticed a gradual decline in the activity levels of the children and adolescents he treats and an increase in the prevalence of obesity. “It’s a clear epidemic,” he says. “There is now definite evidence that obesity is a risk factor for coronary events later in life.”3

We can help prevent obesity in our kids by encouraging them to be active in school and at home. Give them time to play outdoors each day. The United States Department of Agriculture’s guidelines recommend 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity for children most days of the week.4

To be good role models, we need to set time limits for TV watching, computer use (other than for work) and handheld computer games. On the other hand, we can set a good example by exercising regularly and making it a family routine—walking, biking, swimming, dancing to favorite music, etc. are all activities that are heart-healthy and also can bring us closer to our kids by sharing the gift of time. And to help them get some fruit and veggies into their diets, start them off early with Kenzen® Total Vegan Drink Mix—its chocolate flavor will make it an easy habit to develop!

There are a few days left to give the precious gift of heart health with the V-Day Promo Pack from Nikken! It contains one bottle of Kenzen® Bergisterol® capsules and one jar of Kenzen® Super Ciaga® powder, a dynamic duo for the heart. And, if you hurry, you will also receive the value-added Kenko® Heart Set, while supplies last. The V-Day Promo Pack is available through February 28th.

1 https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/heart/Pages/Heart-Disease.aspx#:~:text=According%20to%20the%20American%20Heart,including%20low%2Dfat%20dairy%20products.

2, 3, 4 https://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=prevention-of-heart-disease-starts-in-childhood-1-2073

When We Give We Also Receive

February 14th through 20th is known as Random Acts of Kindness Week. It is designated to bring awareness to the benefits of being kind, not only to others but also to ourselves.

Researchers have dedicated years to exploring the effects of giving and receiving. Research shows that when we do things for others, we do get repaid—not just through reciprocation, but as a result of the psychological benefits acts of benevolence produce in the giver.

Jamie Gruman, Ph.D., a Full Professor and Senior Research Fellow in the Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, notes a couple of studies that show the complementary effects of giving and receiving. In one, employees at a company in Spain were asked to either perform acts of kindness for colleagues, or asked to simply count the number of kind acts they received from coworkers. It turned out that the people who received acts of kindness became happier, demonstrating the value of benevolence for the receiver. Those who delivered the acts of kindness not only showed a similar trend towards being happier but also had an increase in life satisfaction and job satisfaction, with a notable decrease in depression. The givers benefited even more than the receivers did! The positive effects of being kind were contagious in that the beneficiaries of the acts of kindness ended up spontaneously paying it forward and doing extra nice things for other colleagues. The study concluded that when we give kindness to one, we spread kindness to many.1

In another study that took place in China, researchers asked participants to wait in the lobby of a university building because they hadn’t yet determined which room they’d be using for the study. When each participant arrived in the lobby, a female research assistant greeted them standing beside two cartons at the bottom of a flight of stairs. In one scenario, the assistant pretended to have trouble carrying the cartons up the stairs, dropped one, and asked the participants if they’d be willing to help her. In the other scenario, the assistant simply said that the first part of the study involved participants carrying a carton up the stairs. Afterwards, participants in both scenarios were asked to estimate the weight of the carton. The participants who acted out of kindness by helping the assistant carry the box up the stairs estimated its weight as lighter than those who simply carried the carton because they thought it was part of the study.2  Being kind clearly helped to lighten the load!

The benefits from being kind are actually rooted in science, not just in perception. Being kind boosts our levels of serotonin, the neurotransmitter that fuels our feelings of well-being. Similar to exercise, being kind releases endorphins and produces what is known as a “helper’s high.”3 Kindness also releases the hormone oxytocin, which in turn causes the release of the chemical nitric oxide, which expands the blood vessels and reduces blood pressure. Oxytocin is therefore known as a cardio-protective hormone.4 In this way, kindness actually strengthens the heart physically and emotionally—no wonder kind people are often described as having “big hearts.”

Oxytocin also helps reduce inflammation in the body, and even small acts of kindness can trigger its release. Preventing inflammation is one of the key ways to decrease the risk of many health issues, including diabetes, cancer, chronic pain, obesity and migraines.According to a study of adults aged 57-85, volunteering manifested the strongest association with lower levels of inflammation.5

If you don’t already perform random acts of kindness in your daily life, this is the perfect time to try it out. The results may surprise you in a completely positive way and help you achieve your Active Wellness goals! 

As we fast-approach Valentine’s Day, think about what you can do for those you care about, and consider giving them the precious gift of heart health with the V-Day Promo Pack from Nikken! It contains one bottle of Kenzen® Bergisterol® capsules and one jar of Kenzen® Super Ciaga® powder, a dynamic duo for the heart. And, if you hurry, you will also receive the value-added Kenko® Heart Set, while supplies last. The V-Day Promo Pack is available through February 28th.

1, 2 https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/dont-forget-the-basil/201806/being-kind-others-benefits-you

3, 4, 5 https://www.quietrev.com/6-science-backed-ways-being-kind-is-good-for-your-health/

Celebrate Your Heart and Your Love

Valentine’s Day is generally represented by a heart that signifies love and affection. But what about the physical heart which pumps to keep the body alive? Shouldn’t we celebrate the life-giving heart as well?

There are many things we can do to keep the heart healthy. Practicing Active Wellness means eating fewer fatty foods and more vegetables and fruit, exercising regularly and not smoking are the basics, but here are five related yet more specific tips for heart health:

  1. Eat healthy fats. In keeping away from fatty foods, we sometimes forget that we need healthy fats to function optimally. This means including healthy fats from nuts, seeds and olive oil. Eat healthy fats in moderation as they tend to be high in calories, but regular consumption can help maintain healthy levels of cholesterol. Avoid trans fats, as they are the ones that clog arteries. Read labels when purchasing ready-made food and rule of thumb is to avoid fast food outlets.
  2. Practice good dental hygiene. Develop the flossing habit and do it daily. Dental health is a good indication of overall health, including your heart, because those who have periodontal (gum) disease often have the same risk factors for heart disease. Studies show that bacteria in the mouth involved in the development of gum disease can move into the bloodstream and cause increased levels of C-reactive protein, a marker for inflammation in the blood vessels, which compound the risk of heart disease and stroke.1
  3. Sleep enough and sleep well. Those who don’t sleep enough may be at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease, regardless of age and other habits. One study of 3,000 adults older than 45 found those who slept fewer than six hours nightly were about twice as likely to have a stroke or heart attack as people who slept six to eight hours each night.2
  4. Don’t sit in one spot for a long time. Sitting in one place, whether it’s at a desk for work or on a long plane ride, increases the risk of blood clots known as deep vein thrombosis. Studies that have included 800,000 people show that there is an associated 147 percent increase in cardiovascular events and a 90 percent increase in death caused by those who sit the most.3 Get up and stretch or walk around every hour.
  5. Stay away from those who are smoking cigarettes. We all know we should not smoke, as it puts us at risk for heart disease; however, even breathing in secondhand smoke from other people’s cigarettes may be dangerous. Studies show that the risk of developing heart disease is about 25 to 30 percent higher for people who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or at work. Nonsmokers who have high blood pressure or high blood cholesterol have an even greater risk of developing heart disease when exposed to secondhand smoke. This is because chemicals emitted from cigarette smoke promote the development of plaque buildup in the artieries.4

To celebrate heart health and those you love this year, Nikken has a V-Day Promo Pack that is available the entire month of February! It contains one bottle of Kenzen® Bergisterol® capsules and one jar of Kenzen® SuperCiaga® powder, and while supplies last, a Kenko® Heart Set from Nikken to you. Taken together, Kenzen Bergisterol and Kenzen Super Ciaga are a dynamic duo that help maintain cardiovascular health*, support the immune system* and provide overall health benefits*.

All of us at Nikken wish you and your loved ones a Happy Valentine’s Day this coming February 14! Get your V-Day Pack—it’s a gift for heart health!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

1, 2, 3, 4 https://health.clevelandclinic.org/5-things-to-do-every-day-to-keep-your-heart-healthy/

Do You Know Your Purpose?

The age-old question on the meaning of life may never be fully answered, but individually, each of us can find a purpose. Our purpose or where we find our meaning in life and living does not have to be earth-shattering. In other words, our life purpose doesn’t have to be heavy and burdensome. It can be in finding small pleasures. It can be in performing services and kindnesses, intentionally or whenever the opportunity arises. And, it is ongoing and changes as we inevitably transform through the various stages of life.

The search for meaning and purpose is tied to the quest for happiness. Every culture has its own path for this lifelong journey. The Japanese have clearly defined this journey as ikigai—a way to find purpose, joy and fulfillment in daily living.

Hector Garcia, co-author of Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life, explains ikigai as “the intersection of what you are good at and what you love doing.”1 Ikigai is seen as the convergence of four primary elements: your passion, your mission, your vocation, and your profession. Put another way, the four elements are what you love, what the world needs, what you are good at, and what you can get paid for. When these four elements are in balance, life is believed to have meaning, purpose and joy.2

Okinawans have the highest number of centenarians in the world, and their interpretation of ikigai translates to “the happiness of always being busy.”3 Their meaning of life is discovered through daily actions and to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances—to choose one’s own way.4

It also is rooted in the principle of ichariba chode, a local expression that translates to “treat everyone like a brother, even if you’ve never met them before.”5 This behavior of kindness toward one and all is found also in the Golden Rule as quoted by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount.

Living with Active Wellness certainly is one facet of pursuing ikigai. Staying active keeps us busy and helps keep stress at bay. Eating healthy foods in moderation and getting restful sleep are behaviors that help us to live well. Caring for ourselves and being strong enough to care for others is living to serve. We may do these things unconsciously, but when we become conscious of what we do on a daily basis, purpose and meaning unfold more clearly.  

At Nikken, Humans Being More training teaches that meaning is often found in our mission in life, in what we do to develop ourselves and to serve others. Humans Being More posits that our purpose in life is to be and become the very best version of ourselves. Purpose and meaning is thus found through doing and being.

The next Humans Being More training is on January 30, 2021 at 10 AM Eastern to 2 PM  Eastern. Your host will be Barb Satterwhite and the online class will be led by Jeff Isom, Chancellor of Nikken University. Simply go to the Nikken shopping cart and look under Training and Development to register.

1, 2 https://medium.com/thrive-global/ikigai-the-japanese-secret-to-a-long-and-happy-life-might-just-help-you-live-a-more-fulfilling-9871d01992b7

3, 4, 5 https://showmedamani.com/2020/05/20/book-review-ikigai-the-japanese-secret-to-a-long-and-happy-life/

Food and Related Trends for 2021

Around the globe, Covid-19 has changed lifestyles in many ways. One of the most important aspects of an Active Wellness lifestyle is what we eat. We are choosing our foods with more attention to reading labels, understanding what ingredients are in different foods, where they come from and which foods to avoid in order to help maintain Active Wellness and in many instances, simply to survive. There is a new understanding of what and how to eat and drink in order to have a positive effect on stamina, strength and immunity to help fight off threats to optimal health.

The International Food Information Council’s (IFIC) 2020 Food & Health Survey findings show that 54% of all consumers, and 63% of those 50 and older, care more about the healthfulness of their food and beverage choices in 2020 than they did in 2010.1

The same study shows that active dieting is growing. From 36% of the population dieting in 2018 to 38% in 2019 and 43% in 2020, active dieting will undoubtedly continue to trend as so much weight gain—the reported poundage from Covid-19 from being homebound and less active—will motivate people to lose it.

Working at home is bound to impact our behaviors. Snacking (or grazing throughout the day) has become prevalent. The IFIC survey showed that 26% of U.S. consumers snack several times a day, and another third snack at least once daily, while 38% say they replace meals with snacks (usually lunch) at least occasionally.

As working at home continues into 2021, the forecast is for snacking to continue. In addition, aging baby boomers embrace the snacking trend—as people age, their metabolism slows and the natural response is to eat less at each sitting. Snacking becomes a preferred option. For opposite reasons, children tend to snack because their metabolisms are so fast that they require frequent food intake. While snacks once were linked heavily to junk food, that thinking has changed. Now snacks provide nutritional boosts in busy days.2

The pandemic has intensified the search for immunity-strengthening foods and supplements. A GlobalData survey in June 2020 found that 80% of global consumers are understandably concerned about COVID-19, and 23% admit they’ve stockpiled more vitamins and supplements recently.3

Immune function ties with muscle health/strength as one of the benefits that health-motivated eaters seek from food, as noted by the IFIC data. Much more attention will be given to foods that contain Vitamin C and supplements to boost immunity. These health seekers cited their food-centered objectives as being immune function 40%, weight management 62%, energy 57%, digestive 46% and heart health 44%.4

OnePOll conducted a survey and found 74% of respondents found cooking to be a successful coping mechanism to deal with being homebound.5 Cooking at home will involve the increase in the purchase of fresh and raw ingredients. The trend is to purchase more plant-based proteins such as dry beans, lentils, tofu and ingredients for homemade veggie burgers. The survey found that 28% of Americans eat more proteins from plant sources vs. 2019, 24% eat more plant-based dairy, and 17% eat more plant-based meat alternatives. One of the primary forecasts for the coming years is the growth of the plant-based meat industry.6

Other top trends for 2021 include convenient coffee formats, driven by homebound consumers seeking concentrates, steeped, single-serve bags and edible coffee snacks. Functional products that promote concentration and relaxation also are expected to grow as more brands leverage the benefits of L-Theanine, fruits, botanicals and other natural ingredients.7 Along the same lines, consumers see food products as healthier when they’re free from artificial ingredients, non-GMO, plant-based and have shorter ingredient lists.8

Eating is one of the basic ways we care for ourselves. Changes in food consumption and preparation as well as in other daily activities have us thinking about how we define wellness. Many of the trends mentioned above have been part of the Nikken Active Wellness philosophy for years—transparent labeling practices, organic ingredients, plant-based formulas, immunity-boosting dietary supplements, safe weight-management products and an emphasis on self-care and educating others on the benefits of the Global Wellness Community.

1 https://www.forbes.com/sites/phillempert/2020/10/19/food-trends-2021-staying-healthy-in-a-post-covid-19-world/?sh=64e64744485b

2 https://www.foodbusinessnews.net/articles/13579-how-generations-affect-four-food-trends

3, 4, 5, 6  https://www.forbes.com/sites/phillempert/2020/10/19/food-trends-2021-staying-healthy-in-a-post-covid-19-world/?sh=64e64744485b

7 https://www.foodbusinessnews.net/articles/17282-comfort-and-health-drive-2021-trends-forecast

8 https://www.foodbusinessnews.net/articles/16471-covid-19s-impact-on-how-consumers-perceive-clean

Committing to Transformation and the Global Wellness Community

Now more than ever, Nikken is a company committed to a transformative purpose. This purpose is really a commitment to the growth of the Global Wellness Community by creating mass consciousness about self-reliance through Active Wellness, the need to live in harmony with nature, and how to take care of not only ourselves but also those in our respective societies.

Committing to transformation starts with each individual but with the community in mind. Although we make mental commitments, actual transformation begins in our hearts. In current times, this means having faith in the power of love and resilience, in staying calm during crisis after crisis, and in believing that we are bigger than what’s happening and that by helping each other, we will emerge stronger than before.

Transformation, like happiness, starts from the inside and moves outward as it expands. Before we can “think outside of the box” as we’ve been told so often, we have to start inside the box, sift through and retain the useful while getting rid of the useless, and then jump out and focus on the change we choose. Individual transformation is after all, a choice, not something that can be forced.

Corporate transformation is similar to individual transformation. Nikken has always been a pioneer in creating relevant products: alkaline water (PiMag® water), organic whole foods (Kenzen® nutritionals) and restful sleep (Kenko Sleep). We’ve never been “trendy” because our products are classic and based on real wellness needs. Because of this, sharing Nikken products has been a viable way to augment finances for decades. During these trying times, Nikken has proven to be a way to forge on when other sources of income might have been cut off. More people are ready to embrace the Global Wellness Community and what we offer.

The philosophy behind our product line has not changed, because its relevance remains. How Nikken has transformed is by staying at the forefront of emergent technologies, phasing out products that prove unwanted by consumers, and offering partnerships with those interested in actively expanding our Global Wellness Community. The social aspect of sharing Nikken products, technology and a self-motivated way to earn money may prove especially attractive to those who are comfortable being part of the gig economy.

By the same token, we are not pioneers in making face masks or household cleaners. Yet during such unusual times, we’re offering re-usable face masks, hand sanitizers and a non-toxic Surface Cleaner simply to help our growing Global Wellness Community cope with the environment. (link to https://nikkenactivewellness.com/2020/06/25/create-a-wellness-home/) It’s a way Nikken to show our ongoing commitment to the Global Wellness Community.

As we approach 2021, we hope the lessons of 2020 help us all to positively transform to be stronger and more confident members of the world.

Keep Your Family Safe One Meal at a Time

During this holiday season, many people have chosen not to have large gatherings, as advised by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Some have opted to cook large meals for their respective group members (families and friends that would otherwise come together) and either have the food picked up or delivered.

No matter when you’re preparing food or for whom, it’s prudent to follow the five keys to safer food as delineated by the World Health Organization (WHO): Keep clean, separate raw from cooked, cook thoroughly, keep food at safe temperatures and use safe water and raw materials.1

Keeping clean is straightforward. Anyone preparing food should have washed hands, cleaned with warm water and soap. All fruit and vegetables should be rinsed with the peel and rind on before cutting or paring.

Separating raw food from cooked food helps prevent cross-contamination, which is how bacteria can be spread to food and throughout the kitchen, leading to a food-borne illness.2

  • Separate raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs from other foods in your grocery shopping cart, grocery bags and in your refrigerator.
  • Use one cutting board for fresh produce and a separate one for raw meat, poultry and seafood.
  • Never place cooked food on a plate that previously held raw meat, poultry, seafood or eggs.

Cooking thoroughly is part of food safety—when cooked food reaches a high enough internal temperature, harmful bacteria that may cause illness are killed. You may choose to use a food thermometer with large roasts or turkeys; otherwise, the more cooked the meat, the safer you tend to be.

Keeping food at safe temperatures involves the defrosting, cooking and storing of leftovers. For example, cooking in a microwave oven can leave cold spots where bacteria can survive. Microwaved food needs to be checked to make sure it’s evenly cooked throughout. Reheating food in a microwave also requires vigilance: some plastic containers release toxic chemicals upon heating and should not be used to reheat food. If thawing food in a microwave, a microwave may leave warm spots where microorganisms can grow, so cook the food promptly after defrosting.3

Always use safe water and raw materials when preparing food. When in doubt about the water, boil it.4 Raw materials are what you choose to cook. Select fresh and wholesome foods as well as foods processed for safety, such as pasteurized milk. Do not use food beyond its expiry date, and throw away smashed, swollen or oxidized cans.

There are special precautions to take when preparing food for children, since food is a common choking hazard. Many children do not chew their food well so they try to swallow it whole. Foods that are the most dangerous are round and hard. Cut food into pieces no larger than one half-inch, so if your child swallows the food whole, it won’t get stuck in the throat.5

Enjoy the holiday season, practice Active Wellness and stay safe!

1, 3 https://www.who.int/foodsafety/publications/consumer/manual_keys.pdf

2, 4 https://www.fightbac.org/food-safety-basics/the-core-four-practices/?gclid=Cj0KCQiAk53-BRD0ARIsAJuNhptcVVp5Cl6O8F7H9AGehTXJFI6OYFqS-FEItRlzKPQ-9CAzg24yA-caAuw0EALw_wcB

5 https://www.nationwidechildrens.org/family-resources-education/health-wellness-and-safety-resources/education-store/choking-hazard-safety

How Are You Celebrating the Holidays?

The year 2020 will go down in history as the beginning of a major change in lifestyles everywhere in the world. Even after Covid-19 is under control, the focus on health and wellness will remain as a higher priority than ever before. Aside from the fear and havoc that the virus has wreaked, it has also highlighted the importance of eating properly, maintaining an efficient immune system and sacrificing a modicum of individual comfort for the greater good.

The three major holidays that are celebrated in December in North America are Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa. Each revolves around family and shared beliefs, gift-giving and community spirit. This year, with Thanksgiving acting almost like a rehearsal for December holidays, gatherings are likely to be small and limited. Many people will be completely alone—although this is true every year, there is more focus now on finding joy and gratitude no matter what our situation.

Kim Eisenberg, LCSW and lead therapist at a trauma recovery program, explains that creating a meaningful experience is possible even during disappointment. She says, “It is important to accept reality as it is…Once we’re able to do that, we can simultaneously start to look at the ways we can still find meaning, purpose, joy and connection. We are lifted up and out of our own pain and suffering when we do things that are helpful to others. So, even if you’re physically isolated, that might look like volunteering to teach a class or host a group online. Look for ways to reach out to others and support causes and communities that you care about to provide some offset to the loneliness and isolation.”1

Social distancing, sheltering in place, and the wearing of cloth face coverings are the new norm in a world with COVID-19—therefore, gifts that align with these “new norms” may be extremely thoughtful and useful. If recent economic changes have affected your friends and family, find out what types of things they may need (such as household essentials) and come up with gift ideas based on their most important needs.2

Online shopping, if not already your chosen form of purchasing, will rise to the top this year. No need to brave the crowds when a few clicks can have your gifts drop shipped to the recipients. This has been the Nikken way for many years, and during December, there’s the Holiday Catalog to help with gift ideas.

Nikken products help give comfort throughout the year in so many ways—from filling in nutritional gaps to promoting an active lifestyle tailored to individual needs. We are here to support you through our Global Wellness Community. Whatever you celebrate, please do it safely to keep you and your loved ones healthy. We wish you a December full of Active Wellness and joy.

1 https://www.sharp.com/health-news/the-possibility-of-happy-holidays-during-a-pandemic.cfm

2 https://www.solvhealth.com/blog/covid-takes-on-holiday-traditions

Sleep Better to Work and Feel Better

What a difference a good night’s sleep can make! We work better, feel better and consciously or not, we treat people better when we’re well rested. In fact, the importance of sleep continues to be a hot topic. Nikken has been advocating for restful sleep with the help of advanced magnetic technology way before it became one of the primary focuses of Active Wellness practitioners!

Just how important is sleep for Active Wellness and overall health? In a 2018 study, Mayo Clinic scientists found that sleep deprivation increases the likelihood of age-related memory loss.1 This follows a 2017 study that linked poor sleep to higher levels of other biological markers associated with age-related brain conditions.2 Another 2018 study even determined that one sleepless night alone can be damaging, leaving behind harmful protein debris in your brain.3

The National Sleep Foundation’s (NSF) annual Sleep in America® poll shows Americans feel sleepy on average three times a week, with 62% trying to “shake it off” as their primary response. Those who feel sleepy five to seven days a week report especially high rates of irritability (52 percent), headaches (40 percent), and feeling unwell (34 percent). The Sleep in America poll found when people feel sleepy, more Americans say it’s generally because they’re not sleeping well enough (55 percent) as opposed to not having enough time to sleep (44 percent).4

To help achieve restful sleep, The National Sleep Foundation advises us to focus on maximizing comfort and minimizing distractions:

•            Use a high-performance mattress and pillow, such as the KenkoNaturest® Custom Pillow. This helps with comfort and the support of the spine to avoid achy muscles and joints.

•            Choose quality sheets and blankets. Again, this is to help with comfort and maintenance of suitable temperatures throughout the night. The Kenko® Dream Comforter is ideal to snuggle under during cool nights.

•            Avoid light disruptions. Excess light exposure can throw off sleep and circadian rhythm. Use blackout curtains or a comfortable sleep mask, such as the Kenko PowerSleep Mask, to block out light.

•            Keep noise to a minimum. If you can’t eliminate nearby sources of noise, consider drowning them out with a fan or white noise machine. Earplugs or headphones are another option to block abrasive sounds when you want to sleep.

•            Make sure the room temperature is not too hot or cold by using heaters, fans and air conditioning as necessary. Researchers have found that sleeping in a cooler environment of around 65 degrees Fahrenheit is conducive to restful sleep.5

From November 1 through December 31,2020, the discounted Nikken “Cozy Winter” Packs not only help you to reap the health benefits of a good night’s sleep but also to expand your Global Wellness Community when you share it with others.

1 D. Carvalho et al. Association of Excessive Daytime Sleepiness with Longitudinal Β-Amyloid Accumulation in Elderly Persons Without Dementia JAMA Neurology. Vol. 75, June 2018. doi: 10.1001/jamaneurol.2018.0049.
https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaneurology/article-abstract/2674279

2 Sprecher KE et al. Poor sleep is associated with CSF biomarkers of amyloid pathology in cognitively normal adults. Neurology. 2017 Aug 1; 89(5): 445-453.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5539733/

3 Shokri-Kojori E et al. Β-Amyloid accumulation in the human brain after one night of sleep deprivation. PNAS April 24, 2018. 115 (17) 4483-4488;
http://www.pnas.org/content/115/17/4483

4 https://www.sleepfoundation.org/press-release/nsfs-2020-sleep-america-poll-shows-alarming-sleepiness-and-low-action

5 https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/healthy-sleep-tips

Breathe Deeply and Other Tips for Respiratory Health

Just like any other important organ in our bodies, the lungs age over time and lose some of their efficiency. The lungs can become less flexible and lose strength. The overall effect is that breathing becomes more difficult.

Our breath literally gives life, so keeping our ability to breathe easily is critical to Active Wellness and a high-quality lifestyle. Here are some key behaviors to help keep our lungs functioning properly:

•            Never smoke. If you do, find a way to stop. Seek the help of a professional if necessary. According to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, more than 10 times as many U.S. citizens have died prematurely from cigarette smoking than have died in all the wars fought by the U.S. during its history. In addition, smoking causes about 90 percent of all lung cancer deaths in men and women.1 Smoking also causes the lungs to age more rapidly. The good news is, according to the American Lung Association, within just 12 hours of quitting smoking, carbon monoxide levels in the blood drops to normal, and within a few months, lung function begins to improve. Within a year, the risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker’s.2

•            Exercise regularly. We think about exercise in terms of maintaining a comfortable weight, keeping muscle tone and optimizing cardiovascular health. The truth is, regular exercise is key to the health of our lungs. Just as the heart beats faster during exercise, the lungs work harder, too. The body requires more oxygen during exercise, and the lungs increase their activity level to deliver that necessary oxygen while expelling additional carbon dioxide. Breathing increases from about 15 times a minute to approximately 40 to 60 times a minute, giving the lungs a real workout.3 Try to do something active for 30 minutes daily to lighten the load on the lungs and to help increase the efficiency of oxygen transportation and metabolism.4Strengthening the lungs with regular exercise helps improve immunity and resist aging.

•            Avoid exposure to pollutants. Stay away from smokers to avoid breathing in secondhand smoke. Keep your windows rolled up when in heavy traffic to avoid breathing in exhaust fumes.

•            When driving, avoid idling the car for long periods of time (a minute is a very long time when idling, so keep it to 10 seconds or less) to help prevent noxious air. Many newer car models automatically turn the ignition off when idling for more than a few seconds.

•            The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that indoor pollution is typically worse than outdoor. To help decrease indoor pollutants, open windows to keep air circulating, ban smoking indoors, keep dust to a minimum, use natural cleaners such as Kenzen® Surface Cleaner as much as possible, avoid synthetic air fresheners and make sure exhaust hoods and other ventilation methods are adequate.

•            Wash your hands frequently. Keeping hands clean is the easiest way to help prevent lung infections.

•            Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water and eat lots of fruits and vegetables, because they contain nutrients that help boost the immune system.

•            Cover your coughs to help stop the spread of germs. Get plenty of rest, eat well and keep stress levels under control to overcome any viral or bacterial infections.5

•            When working where there are known pollutants, wear a mask, such as the Kenzen® Face Mask. Avoid breathing in toxic fumes from chemicals, solvents, paints, excessive amounts of dusk, fumes, smoke, gas, vapors or mists.6

•            Breathe deeply. Most of us take shallow breaths from the chest area, but this only utilizes a small portion of our lungs. On the other hand, deep breathing helps clear the lungs and allows for full oxygen intake and expulsion of carbon dioxide. Be conscious of your breath and it is noticeable that deep breathing feels invigorating as well as relaxing.

1, 2, 3 healthline.com/health/understanding-idiopathic-pulmonary-fibrosis/ways-to-keep-your-lungs-healthy-and-whole#4.-Prevent-infections

4, 5, 6 https://www.lung.ca/lung-health/prevent-lung-disease