Get Close to Nature and Improve Your Outlook

According to the Journal of Exposure Analysis and Environmental Epidemiology as surveyed in 44 U.S. cities, Americans only spend 2% of their time outdoors, 6% in transit, and 92% of their time indoors.1 What this translates to is a severe distancing from nature—not just Mother Nature but our own natural selves.

Richard Ryan, author and professor of psychology at the University of Rochester says, “Nature is fuel for the soul. Often when we feel depleted we reach for a cup of coffee, but research suggests a better way to get energized is to connect with nature. Research has shown that people with a greater sense of vitality don’t just have more energy for things they want to do, they are also more resilient to physical illnesses. One of the pathways to health may be to spend more time in natural settings.”2

A series of five studies published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology showed that spending time outdoors is an integral aspect of Active Wellness. The five separate experiments involved 537 college students in actual and imagined contexts:

  1. Participants were led on a 15-minute walk through indoor hallways or along a tree-lined river path.
  2. Undergraduates viewed photos of buildings or landscapes.
  3. Students were required to imagine themselves in both active and sedentary situations, inside and outside, with and without others.
  4. Over a four-day period, participants had to track their moods and energy levels throughout the days with diary entries. Students were asked to record their exercise, social interactions, time spent outside and exposure to natural environments, including plants and windows.
  5. Same as four above, but participants had to record activities over a two-week period.

In all five studies, participants felt consistently more energetic when they spent time in natural settings or imagined themselves in nature. The findings concluded that being outside in nature makes people feel more alive and that only 20 minutes daily was enough to boost vitality levels significantly. 3

Studies also have shown five potential benefits of spending more time outdoors:4

  1. Your vitamin D levels will go up. Going outside in the sunlight a few times a week with arms and legs exposed for 10 to 15 minutes makes all the vitamin D needed.
  2. You will get more exercise. British researchers tracked 1,000 children via accelerometers that sense movement and noted that children were more than doubly active when outside.
  3. You will be happier. Light elevates moods and physical activity is proven to relax and cheer up people. Researchers at the University of Essex have noted that “green exercise” or activities taking place in nature, have added benefits, especially for mental health.
  4. Your concentration will improve. Researchers have reported that children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) seem to focus better after being outdoors.
  5. Recovery times may improve. University of Pittsburgh researchers reported that spinal surgery patients experienced less pain and stress and took fewer pain medications during their recoveries when they were exposed to natural light. Even the view out the window (trees instead of a wall) had an effect on recovery times.

Psychologists posit that nature affects us similarly to meditation.5 Thoughts slow down or ideally, our minds take a complete break. The result is inner stillness, renewed energy, a sense of well-being and clearer perceptions.

Nature is everywhere—why not reap the benefits? And if you need some extra reinforcement when venturing into nature, Nikken has an entire line of support wraps and an environmentally-friendly PiMag® Sport Bottle to help you stay hydrated.

 

1 https://mindfulminutes.com/10-steps-to-detox-your-mind/

2, 3 https://www.rochester.edu/news/show.php?id=3639

4 https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/a-prescription-for-better-health-go-alfresco

5 https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/out-the-darkness/201204/the-power-nature-ecotherapy-and-awakening

 

Support and Be Supported in Your Exercise Routine

For those of us who love spending time outdoors under the warmth of the sun, now is the time to go barefoot and ground ourselves naturally! It’s also time to take advantage of the weather to exercise and practice Active Wellness outside! Many water sports come to mind—swimming, kayaking, canoeing, surfing, paddleboarding and windsurfing to name a few. Some exercises that are done inside a gym or studio can now be performed comfortably outdoors: walking, biking, yoga, tai chi and chi gung.

According to the American Heart Association, being more active can help us lower our blood pressure, boost levels of good cholesterol, improve blood flow (circulation), keep weight under control and prevent bone loss that can lead to osteoporosis.1 At least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity is recommended for each week.2 This can be broken down to 30 minutes a day, five days a week. Since every minute of moderate to vigorous activity counts, adding two or three short walks a day would help reach that goal.

Being a couch potato can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. One study showed that adults who watch more than four hours of television a day had an 80% higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease.3 If you’re not naturally active or need some motivation to get started, here are a few ways to become more active:

• Seek out people who will help keep you motivated and accountable for your Active Wellness regimen. Many communities have local workout events for you to attend. There are also local hiking groups, Silver Sneakers classes, kayaking circles, and many others for you to join.

• Get a workout buddy who is at about the same physical shape you’re in. You can help each other stay on course and progress together. Make it a social time, not just an exercise time.

• Choose activities you enjoy. For example, if you hate running, don’t try to become a jogger. Zumba, Pilates or yoga might suit you better. Not everyone has the same sense of balance—if you have sensitive joints, swimming may be your best choice.

• Don’t limit yourself to just one exercise activity. Mix it up to keep from getting bored or burned out.

• Although many people like to get their exercise out of the way first thing in the morning, you should choose your own best time. If you’re not a morning person, getting up earlier to exercise will only demotivate you.

Nikken has the perfect exercise support products to help you achieve Active Wellness. KenkoTherm® Support Wraps help secure your muscles and joints, so you feel confident during strenuous activities. They provide added support when your muscles feel achy or strained. KenkoTherm® wraps are crafted of soft yet durable material that provide the ideal amount of stretch. KenkoTherm DUK® tape is 100% cotton with hypoallergenic adhesive and water–resistant. It comes in black and peach, and when you purchase a 6-pack, you receive 10% off.

1,2, 3 https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/fitness-basics/why-is-physical-activity-so-important-for-health-and-wellbeing

 

Are You at Risk for Type 2 Diabetes?

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), diabetes affects about 30.3 million Americans or about 9.4% of the U.S. population, and nearly one in four living with diabetes don’t know they have it.1 Additional statistics show that another 84 million Americans have prediabetes, a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.2 Since nine out of 10 adults with prediabetes don’t know they have it,3 they may not take precautions.

How do you know if you’re at risk? Just as with most diseases, if you have a family history of diabetes, you have a greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes. Other risk factors include being older than 45, being overweight or leading a sedentary lifestyle.4

Since diabetes can cause other health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, impaired sight and foot issues, taking adequate preventative measures is prudent. Delaying diabetes by even a few years may benefit your health.5 The NIDDK even has an annual Diabetes Alert Day to inform the public how diabetes can be prevented or delayed—tomorrow, March 26, 2019 is this year’s special day.

According to the Diabetes Prevention Research Group, there are some things you can do to lower your risk, which coincide with practicing Active Wellness:

  • If you are overweight, losing weight and keeping it off may help prevent or delay diabetes. The rule-of-thumb is to lose 5 to 7 percent of your starting weight. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, your goal would be to lose about 10 to 14 pounds. About 12% of diabetics are normal weight or thin—their insulin resistance may be caused by genetic factors, fat around their organs (known as visceral fat) or high cortisol levels resulting from stress.6
  • Exercise regularly. Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity five days a week. If you have not been active, talk with your health care professional about which activities are best. Start slowly to build up to your goal. For example, if you can only walk for five minutes at a time, you can start by taking mini-walks several times a day.
  • Eat healthy foods most of the time.Choose foods that are nutrient-dense and have a low glycemic load.7 You don’t have to memorize a list of foods if you stick largely to a Mediterranean diet with lots of green vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds, and low-sugar fruits like berries, kiwi, oranges, and melon. Eating in a healthy way not only helps heavier diabetics lose weight, but it also helps normal-weight diabetics control their blood sugar levels.
  • Drink water instead of sweetened beverages. Many people eat well but are not aware that drinking so-called healthy juices or energy boosters often results in unnecessary intakes of sugar.
  • Stay away from refined and processed foods as much as possible. Replace “white” foods such as rice, pasta, bread and cereals with whole grains that are high in fiber. The worst foods are those with added sugar, fried foods, foods with trans fat and processed meats. 8

Whether you need help maintaining or losing weight, Kenzen Vital Balance® Meal Replacement Mix contains no added sugar, has MCTs for your brain and organic pea protein that even vegans can enjoy. Take advantage of the current promotion where you receive three Chocolate KVB for the price of two.

To help break the coffee and tea with sugar and cream habit, Kenzen Ten4® Energy Drink Mix is the perfect pick-me-up. It’s made with organic matcha green tea and New Zealand kiwi, and naturally sweetened with stevia extract and organic brown rice solids.

Spring Packs with 20% discount are available through the end of this month!

1, 2, 3 https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/communication-programs/ndep/partner-community-organization-information/diabetes-alert-day

4, 5 https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/preventing-type-2-diabetes

6 https://www.geisinger.org/health-and-wellness/wellness-articles/2018/03/05/21/59/yes-thin-people-can-get-type-2-diabetes

7 https://foodrevolution.org/blog/how-to-eat-to-prevent-diabetes/

8 https://www.helpguide.org/articles/diets/the-diabetes-diet.htm/

Relax, Renew and Regenerate this Spring Season!

In North America the official start of spring this year is on March 20. Even as the spring season is physically a time of rebirth and renewal, it’s also a challenging time for both the body and the mind.

Noted psychiatrist and substance abuse specialist Dr. McCance-Katz points out that researchers have discovered a greater incidence of depression and anxiety in the spring months. As it turns out, lengthening daylight may discombobulate people’s chemical regulatory system. “There are these different neurotransmitters that have been implicated in mood disorders,” she says. “It could be that people also have imbalances in serotonin, in melatonin, that are affected by day length and can also affect mood.”1 These imbalances are also suspected to cause that general feeling of lethargy, commonly referred to as spring fever.

In fact, “the suicide rate goes up in the spring.”2 Not only are taxes due, final exams take place in many universities and secondary schools, certain sports resume intense practice and stress levels increase during the season for filing taxes. Spring presents specific challenges, so here are a few tips for combating the basic three:

  1. As much as you look forward to the warmer spring weather, you also have to cope with the accompanying winds and sporadic rain, which can wreak havoc on the skin. Your skin may get dehydrated, itchy and red. Be particularly gentle while cleansing and conscientiously hydrate throughout the day and especially at night, because skin cells renew best during rest. Antioxidant-rich vitamins E, A and C are particularly helpful in regenerating the skin. 3
  2. Spring fever begone! Use your diet to help obtain that extra boost you need. Eat seasonal foods. They are fresher and therefore have higher nutritional value. 4 To make sure you aren’t eating or drinking anything that may cause inflammation (pesticides, artificial coloring, chemical preservatives), stay with organic fruits and vegetables.
  3. Stress can virtually be a killer, so exercise both physical and mental health care. Make sure to incorporate exercise into your busy spring days, as physical activity is a known stress reliever. Massage is also a way to practice Active Wellness as the muscles are coaxed into relaxation for sense of overall well-being.

Nikken can help you combat the three basic challenges of spring, so you can relax, renew and regenerate. KenkoTouch®  takes the “ouch” out of expensive massage sessions with a convenient hand-held device that is designed with patented DynaFlux® magnetic technology. Kenzen Ten4® Energy Drink Mix gives you 80 mg of natural caffeine from superior quality matcha green tea powder to supercharge your body and to keep your mind alert.  Since it is so important to keep skin moisturized during the spring season, we recommend using True Elements® Youthful Face Cream, (link to shopping cart) as it may help all skin types replenish moisture.

To help you with Active Wellness in the spring season, we’re offering you a special Spring Pack, available exclusively from March 18 through March 31. You’ll receive one KenkoTouch with two Kenzen Ten4® and two True Elements® Youthful Face Cream, all at a 20% discount:  US Spring Pack SKU 4410 US$319 / CN Spring Pack SKU 4411 CN$424.

1 https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2014/12/03/the-google-misery-index-the-times-of-year-were-most-depressed-anxious-and-stressed/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.1b1a48c48b1f

2 http://www.mharockland.org/springtime-challenge/

3 https://www.hl-labs.com/pro-info/springtime-challenges-for-our-skin.html

4 https://www.earthbalancenatural.com/lifestyle/6-tips-springtime-stress-relief/

 

Why Network Marketing?

“Network marketing has come of age. It’s undeniable that it has become a way to entrepreneurship and independence for millions of people.” Stephen Covey (author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People)

Simply put, network marketing is “a business model in which a distributor network is needed to build the business. Usually, such businesses are also multilevel in nature in that payouts occur at more than one level.”1 The major advantage that network marketing enjoys over direct selling is the benefit of earning commissions on your downline’s sales activity. The chart below illustrates a simple network with four “downline” distributors.

Screen Shot 2019-02-21 at 2.41.49 PM

Network marketing generally appeals to those who do not want to be tied down to a nine-to-five grind. Creative thinkers and free spirits who are committed to living the lifestyle of their choice often succeed as network marketers. Counter-intuitively, shy and introverted personalities often end up as the most successful network marketers. In fact, anyone who is determined and perseveres is a potentially successful network marketer.

The majority of new businesses are known to fail within the first 12 months.2 This can be due to massive start–up costs, lack of support and miscalculations but network marketing continues to produce success stories of people who build a business around an existing career or family needs with a minimal investment.3

What should a good network marketing company provide?

  • The opportunity to earn an income. This can be a part-time or full-time endeavor. The more products you retail, the more you earn. Best of all, it doesn’t matter what your background is in, as long as you believe in what you’re sharing.
  • Residual income. This is an ongoing source of income (also known as passive income) based on repeat sales generated not only by yourself but also by those you sponsor or recruit into your group. The larger your organization, the more potential for earning residual income.
  • Flexibility. Since you’re the boss, you dictate your hours and work site. You also get to decide whom you want to work with, as you choose the people you sponsor.
  • Amazing products. Network marketing companies are renowned for introducing state-of-the-art products in a variety of industries, especially nutrition and cosmetics. These generally end up in high demand, spawning knock-offs by many, so take care to choose a company that is a pioneer in its field, not a copycat with cheaper formulations.
  • A fulfilling life. This is huge, because unlike traditional business models that may reap financial benefits, successful network marketing depends on helping others succeed. Without helping others succeed, a network marketer is at best a good retailer or salesperson. Virtually every successful network marketer is fulfilled by having helped hundreds or even thousands of people live a better life.
  • Self-transformation. Successful network marketing requires stepping out of your comfort zone. You need to motivate and inspire others. You need to capitalize on your strengths, recognize your weaknesses and develop into a better version of yourself. Conveniently, a good network marketing company has many mentors who are more than willing to help you develop into a mentor yourself.

Nikken is a network marketing company that is celebrating 30 years in North America in April. Our Active Wellness products have helped millions of people globally to live a healthy, balanced lifestyle based on the 5 Pillars of Health®, and our exceptional Humans Being More training program sets industry standards for self-development.

1 https://www.entrepreneur.com/encyclopedia/network-marketing

2, 3 http://www.rktassell.com/why-network-marketing/

 

Start Active Wellness Early in Life for Heart’s Sake

Many of the conditions and behaviors that put people at risk for heart disease are appearing at younger ages. Choosing to be sedentary during downtime and eating unhealthy fast food are common pitfalls.

Children who are overweight or have a family history of heart disease or of high cholesterol, high blood pressure and type 1 or type 2 diabetes run the highest risk of having heart issues.1 Genetic predisposition aside, anyone can develop heart disease, so as parents, it’s our responsibility to role model an Active Wellness lifestyle. Telling a child or teenager to eat vegetables and exercise regularly is ineffective if we personally don’t follow through with those behaviors.

By starting heart-healthy habits from childhood, kids can reduce the chance they will ever need to worry about cardiovascular disease. In terms of exercise, the American Heart Association recommends that children:

  • Three to five years old should be physically active and have plenty of opportunities to move throughout the day.2
  • Six to 17 years old should get at least 60 minutes per day of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity, mostly aerobic.3
  • Include vigorous-intensity activity on at least three days per week.4
  • Include muscle- and bone-strengthening (weight-bearing) activities on at least three days per week.5

Here are 10 tips for helping children develop heart-healthy habits:

  • Personally exercise more and find ways to be active as a family. Only one out of five adults meets the physical activity guidelines of getting 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity activity..6
  • Physical activity should be fun for children and adolescents. Encourage kids to try new activities in order to discover the ones they like and will pursue into adulthood. You may have a budding gymnast or yogini in the family!
  • In general, reduce time in front of the TV. Look into video games that incorporate movement, such as dance, indoor cycling or virtual sports (golf, tennis, etc.).
  • Give your kids active toys and games. Try bikes, skateboards, roller skates, scooters, jump ropes, balls and trampolines.
  • Take advantage of community facilities near you: pools, recreation centers, bike paths and parks.
  • Prepare simple meals together. Even children can help wash, chop and peel vegetables to assemble a salad. And because they helped make it, they’re more likely to eat it.
  • Experiment with spices to help cut down on salt. High sodium diets are often the cause of high blood pressure. Since we are creatures of habit, children who eat natural foods cooked with very little salt have fewer salt cravings as they grow up. Don’t assume children won’t eat beneficial flavor enhancers such as garlic, onions, mustard and vinegar.
  • Serve fruit for dessert. There’s plenty of natural sugar in fruit. Many Asian and Mediterranean diets rely on fruit for dessert. Children who grow up without eating sugary desserts tend to have this good habit carry over into adulthood.
  • Never smoke in front of your children. More than 37 million U.S. adults are current smokers, and thousands of young people start smoking each day. If you are a smoker, quitting will send a big message to your children never to start. Smoking damages the blood vessels and can cause heart disease.7
  • Do not serve sodas. Kenzen Super Ciaga® (link to shopping cart) is a superior soda replacement when added to seltzer or PiMag® water.

Even if you didn’t inherit heart-healthy habits, start now. Nikken has nutritional supplements that may help you with Active Wellness for the rest of your life. Kenzen® Omega Green + DHA (link to shopping cart) helps provide vegan omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids while Kenzen® Bergisterol  helps support cardiovascular health and cholesterol levels within the normal range.

* 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, 5, 7 https://www.cdc.gov/features/heartmonth/index.html

2, 3, 4. 6 https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/fitness-basics/aha-recs-for-physical-activity-in-adults

The Perfect Valentine is From Your Heart

February 14 is Valentine’s Day in North America and many other countries around the world. It’s a day of romance and proclamations of love. Approximately 150 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged every year, making it the second most popular card-sending holiday after Christmas.1

Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages, although written declarations didn’t appear until after 1400. The oldest known valentine that still exists today was a poem by the Duke of Orleans to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London. It’s now part of the manuscript collection of the British Library in London, England.2

Here are some interesting ways various countries celebrate Valentine’s Day:

  • In the Philippines, it’s a day for mass weddings where hundreds and even thousands get married in union. These huge events are sometimes sponsored by the government as a public service.3
  • Bulgarians celebrate St. Trijon Zarezan day on February 14. Known as Winemakers Day, couples toast their love with a glass or two of wine from local vineyards.4
  • In both Japan and South Korea, women give men gifts on Valentine’s Day. Men return the gesture on White Day, giving women gifts that are white as a sign of pure love.5
  • Marriage proposals take place quite often between February 12 and 14 in the “village of love” in St. Valentin, France. The village decks their houses in roses and covers trees with love note.6
  • In Ghana, February 14 is National Chocolate Day. As one of the world’s largest cocoa producing countries, the day is meant to boost tourism with chocolate themed menus, exhibitions and talks.7
  • North Americans often give jewelry, flowers and chocolate to their loved ones on Valentine’s Day.

Look no further for the perfect Valentine that comes from your heart. Nikken has created the unique Kenko Heart Set and Valentine’s Day is the ideal time to declare your love! The pendant and earrings can be worn with jeans as well as with an elegant gown . The pendant is stainless steel on one side and gold-plated on the other. Symbolizing the Heart of Nikken, the pendant is engineered with an 800-gauss neodymium magnet. The Kenko Heart earrings are gold-plated and feature 600-gauss neodymium magnets.

The pendant fits perfectly with either the stainless steel or gold-plated Perfect Link II necklace,  which features 800-gauss neodymium magnets throughout their 18-inch lengths. Nickel-free and non-corrosive, these finely crafted necklaces are polished to a glossy finish and look perfect both day and night, with casual or formal wear.

1, 2 https://www.history.com/topics/valentines-day/history-of-valentines-day-2

 

3, 4, 5, 6, 7 https://www.scoopwhoop.com/How-Countries-Celebrate-Valentines-Day/#.9nii56exv