Bones and Joints Work Together

Walking, jumping, typing, wiggling our toes, bending, pointing, drawing, sitting, sleeping—what do these and virtually all activities have in common? They require our bones and joints to work together. The world acknowledged the importance of healthy joints with World Arthritis Day on October 12, and healthy bones will be the focus on World Spine Day on October 16 and World Osteoporosis Day on October 20.

Our bones and joints truly make great teammates. Did you know:1

  • The adult human body has 206 bones, with 26 of them in the foot and 54 of them in the hand, including the wrist.
  • The femur, or thighbone, is the longest and strongest bone of the human skeleton. In contrast, the smallest and lightest bone is located in the middle ear and called the stapes.
  • The hyoid is a V-shaped bone located at the base of the tongue. It’s the only bone in the human body that is not connected to another!
  • Bones are composed of calcium, phosphorus, sodium and other minerals, as well as the protein collagen. Making up the skeleton of the body, bones protect organs as well as produce red and white blood cells.
  • The place where two bones meet or connect are joints, which are formed by short bands of tough fibrous connective tissue known as ligaments.
  • Some joints move and others don’t. For example, joints in the skull do not move, while synovial joints do. Synovial joints are located mostly in our arms and legs.
  • Hip and shoulder joints are the most mobile and known as ball and socket joints. They enable our arms and legs to move in multiple directions.
  • Ellipsoidal joints allow our fingers to bend and stretch; hinge joints enable knees and elbows to move; gliding joints work in the ankles and wrists by gliding against each other.

The more we practice Active Wellness, the healthier our bones and joints are and the longer they’ll last. Consistent physical activity, a balanced diet and getting plenty of sleep will help us stay healthy and keep our bones and joints working together our entire lives.

1 https://www.bidmc.org/about-bidmc/wellness-insights/bones-and-joints/2018/08/fun-facts-about-bones-and-joints

Celebrate World Vegetarian Month This October!

October is World Vegetarian Month and there are many facts, historical and nutritional, that may be little known but of interest. By definition, a vegetarian is a person who decides to abstain from meat whether it be for health, religious, or moral reasons. The term “vegetarian” is believed to have come into existence in 1847, whereas prior to that, those who refrained from consuming meat were known as “Pythagorean.”1 There is no proof that the famous Greek mathematician and philosopher was vegetarian but many sources say he and his adherents followed a restrictive diet that did not include animal flesh.2

Some other historical figures who are known or purported to have been vegetarian include the esteemed artist and philosopher Leonardo da Vinci, feminist and author of Frankenstein Mary Shelley, the founding father of the United States Benjamin Franklin, and Indian activist and leader Mahatma Gandhi. Historians note that the Mahatma strayed from vegetarianism briefly but renewed his commitment when studying law in England, even though it required 10 to 12 miles of walking to find vegetarian restaurants!3

In North America, vegetarianism became a movement in 1850 and is attributed to William Alcott who helped start the American Vegetarian Society.4 He happens to be a relative of Little Women author Louisa May Alcott. In current times, many celebrities are known to be vegetarians and the movement is growing as scientists continue researching the the health benefits of plant-based living.

Globally, India has the highest percentage of vegetarians when compared to other countries, with roughly 30 percent of the population adhering to a plant-based lifestyle.5 Generally acknowledged by nutritionists and dieticians to be a healthy way of eating and even a way to sustain weight loss, it is important to know that some vegetarian foods can be high in calories and fat. For example, if you cut out meat but replace it with lots of cheese and nuts you could end up consuming the same number of calories or even more. On the other hand, eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, soy and moderate amounts of nuts can help you maintain a healthy weight.6

Here are some important nutrients to keep in mind when eating a vegetarian diet: 7

• Protein—Protein is important for maintaining healthy muscles, skin, bones, and organs. Ovolacto vegetarians may have an easier time getting enough protein but vegans should be sure to eat enough soy products, meat substitutes, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.

• Calcium—This mineral is important for building strong bones and teeth. Vegetarians who do not consume dairy products can find adequate calcium in leafy greens, broccoli, fortified soy milk, and fortified juices.

• Vitamin B12—The body uses this vitamin to produce red blood cells and it is mostly found in animal products. Vegans must include a B12 supplement, consume enriched cereals, or drink fortified soy milk.

• Iron—Iron is a crucial component of red blood cells and lack of iron can lead to anemia, or iron deficiency. Dried beans and peas, whole grains, leafy green vegetables, and dried fruit are good sources of iron. Be sure to combine the above foods with foods high in vitamin C (oranges, strawberries, hot peppers) because vitamin C aids in iron absorption.

• Zinc—This mineral is an essential component of enzymes and formation of proteins. Good sources of zinc include whole grains, soy products, nuts, and wheat germ.

Kenzen Nutrition is composed of a complete program based on organic ingredients. At Nikken, our goal is to help the Global Wellness Community fill the nutritional gaps in any daily diet. Founded on a whole-food philosophy, our organic-based solutions help bring your daily food regimen closer to nature and make it easy to practice Active Wellness.

1, 4 https://nationaltoday.com/vegetarian-month/

2, 3, 5 https://www.britannica.com/list/8-of-historys-most-famous-vegetarians

6 https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/get-the-facts-about-vegetarian-diets

7 https://www.depts.ttu.edu/hospitality/pdf/SmartChoices2011_Veg.pdf

Technologies That Augment Natural Energies

Our guest blogger Dave Balzer is a Technology Consultant and International Advisor in Product Development, Design Engineering, Prototype, Manufacturing, and Regulatory compliance of new devices. He has worked with Nikken on many projects over the past three decades. Since 2012, he has guided his own medical device company that produces specialized diagnostic kits.

All of the Nikken technologies take their cue from the natural world. Whether it is magnetic energy, warming energy, or negative ions, Nikken has keenly observed nature and created ways to support the benefits that it offers.

Nothing could be more natural than magnetism. In fact, the earth itself is a giant dipole magnet that imparts its flux energy to every living creature on the planet. This flux energy forms a shield over the globe known as the magnetosphere. The magnetosphere protects the surface of the planet from being irradiated with harmful solar energy. In essence, the shield itself acts as a filter, which permits biocompatible light energy to pass through. Without the protection offered by the earth’s magnetic flux, life as we know it would be destroyed. 

Many animals are able to sense the earth’s magnetic field. This is true for birds, insects, plants and even humans. All of the creatures sensitive to the earth’s magnetic energy possess a protein known as a cryptochrome. It is this molecule that reacts to magnetic energy. Unfortunately, NASA has reported that the earth’s magnetic field is weakening and even developing irregularities. Nikken has chosen to utilize permanent dipole magnets in many of its products as a way of buttressing and supporting the degradation of the earth’s natural magnetic energy.

The energy from the sun that reaches the surface of the planet is made up by visible, ultraviolet and infrared light. The visible wavelengths of light are the ones humans can detect with their eyes. They comprise 40% of the light energy reaching the earth’s surface. Ultraviolet light cannot be seen by mammals and makes up 7% of the total. This leaves infrared light energy representing 53% or the majority of the sun’s energy that reaches the earth’s surface. Infrared light is fundamentally important to human life. Tissues and cells found in the body are in tune with infrared energy. They absorb, utilize and even emit infrared energy.

Nikken produces several products that incorporate special ceramic reflective fibers. These fibers have the ability to absorb light energy and reflect it back to the user as infrared energy. In doing so, Nikken is able to support and balance the natural warming energy found in the environment.

Negative ions are all around us. Nature provides them in abundance in forests and near waterfalls. They are a key component to inducing the feeling of wellness and relaxation that is experienced during a nature walk. It is ironic to understand that negative ions have a positive impact on wellness while positive ions have the opposite effect. Appliances, electronics and other fixtures of city dwelling emit positive ions and can cause feelings of fatigue and depression. Consequently, the environment needs to be buttressed with new sources of negative ions in order to counteract the ill effects of the positive ones. Nikken offers an advanced air filtration system known as the KenkoAir Purifier® that utilizes negative ion technology.

Some examples of Nikken magnetic products with patented DynaFlux® technology are the insoles (Kenko mSteps® and mStrides®) and the KenkoTouch® handheld massage system. Ceramic reflective fibers are found throughout the Kenko Sleep system, including the Kenko Naturest® Fit, comforters and pillows. 

Activate Your Breathing Power

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Inhale Positive Energy, Exhale Stress

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

• Replaceable filters extend the longevity of the KAP.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Breathe in Clean Air for Healthy Living and Active Wellness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Loving Our Furry Family Members

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do You Have Allergies?

Allergies are irritating, but they can be managed, especially if you stick to an Active Wellness lifestyle. An allergy is when your immune system reacts to a foreign substance, called an allergen. It could be something you eat, inhale into your lungs, inject into your body or touch. Allergens can cause coughing, sneezing, hives, rashes, itchy eyes, a runny nose and a scratchy throat. Although there is no cure for allergies, you can manage them with prevention and treatment.

More than 50 million Americans experience various types of allergies each year.1 That’s why it’s important to know what you are allergic to and avoid those allergens as much as possible. Some allergens are easier to avoid than others—the main sources of allergens are drugs, food, insects, latex, mold, pets and pollen.2

Many people suffer from allergies but don’t know the causes. Because many allergies are irritants but not life-threatening, it’s common practice to take any number of over-the-counter allergy medications. If the medication helps stop the symptoms, then people simply keep taking them without knowing the root cause. The most common side effect to taking allergy medications is sleepiness, so over the years, new formulas have popped up that are “non-drowsy.” Most commonly used are antihistamines, cortisone ointments, decongestants and epinephrine—people with severe allergies carry “epi-pens” so they can self-inject epinephrine to counteract serious allergic reactions.

An Active Wellness lifestyle may not be able to get rid of your allergies; however, being healthy can certainly bolster your overall immune system to help you cope with them. For example, with seasonal allergies from pollen or certain trees, sometimes the allergic reactions disappear. Whether this is your body’s way of adapting over the years or the result of healthy living can’t be proven, but it certainly might be helpful.

There are treatments without using medications. For example, people with airborne allergies may choose to wash out their noses daily with a nasal saline solution, plain water or by using a Neti pot. Others may choose to diffuse natural scents to help the nasal passages open.

With food allergies, avoiding the primary offenders generally takes care of any issues. The most common food allergies are to milk, egg, peanut, tree nut, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish.3 Food allergies are different from food intolerances. For example, you can be lactose-intolerant but not allergic to lactose—food intolerance does not involve the immune system. To determine any possible food allergies, track what you eat, when symptoms occur, and what seems to be helpful.

Insects that may cause allergies are generally divided into three groups: stinging, biting, and non-stinging/biting. Stinging insects such as bees, wasps, hornets and fire ants inject a toxic venom when they sting. Biting insects such as mosquitoes, bedbugs, fleas and certain flies may cause itchiness, swelling, rashes and/or pain.

One particularly unusual development that may result from a Lone Star tick bite is becoming allergic to meat. This is because a tick transfers alpha-gal, a sugar, into the person’s bloodstream. When the person’s immune system reacts to it, the meat allergy develops because alpha-gal is also found in beef, lamb and pork.4

Your indoor environment plays an important role in keeping allergens away. Dust mites and pet dander are common offenders that can be filtered out with a good air purifier. There are still a few days left in May to take advantage of the outstanding promotion for the KenkoAir Purifier® and get 30% off the regular price! Tell your friends about it and share the benefits with your family! To breathe is to live!

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

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

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

Mothers Are Special and Science Proves It

Mother’s Day in North America lands on May 9th this year, and other than honoring moms (which should be done every day of the year) we may reflect upon how motherhood changes women. There is actually a burgeoning science behind mothers’ health as differentiated from those who have not given birth.

As with everything in life, there’s an upside and a downside. Fortunately, motherhood appears to confer many striking pluses, a reward for all those labor pains and beyond!

• According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), women who have children are less likely to develop breast cancer. Being pregnant apparently reduces exposure to certain hormones that are linked to breast cancer—a direct result of not menstruating during pregnancy.

• The risk for breast cancer is further reduced if the mother breastfeeds, as the process the breast cells go through to produce milk, may prevent them from becoming cancerous.1

• A large 2009 study2 showed that mothers who breastfed for at least 12 months in their lifetime had a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes than those who had never breastfed.

• The hippocampus, a part of the brain responsible for spatial memory and learning, actually increases in size during pregnancy and motherhood. This led Canadian researchers to believe that the mother’s brain might actually grow with each child.3

• An Australian study, conducted in 2012 in a small rural town over more than 16 years, showed that despite a mild increase in the risk of being overweight, having diabetes or hypertension, mothers still had longer lifespans. Those with more than four children had an even lower risk of death—these effects are not fully understood but other studies in Israel and Norway showed similar results! 4

Do you know any mother who doesn’t worry about her children or how the environment affects them? Ironically, the World Health Organization (WHO) has isolated a specific environmental risk that puts mothers and other women most at risk: exposure to household air pollution. This is particularly true for women in low- and middle-income countries—the result of using polluting fuels for cooking, heating and lighting.5 The truth is that even in high-income nations, indoor air pollution is a challenge, resulting not from fuel usage but from mold, mildew, dander, air conditioning, central heating and chemical detergents and artificial deodorizers.

Air pollution affects women more than men. Chronic health conditions such as high blood pressure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and asthma are more common in women over 50 compared to men in the same age group—these conditions are directly related to breathing in polluted air. Fine particles and ozone are recognized as the most harmful air pollutants.6

To exercise caution, never use outdoor products indoors, including pesticides and cleaning agents, in the form of powders, gels, liquids, or sprays—powerful chemicals used in the garden or outside the house to clean surfaces and kill pests. After using these products, always wash your hands and any other parts of your body or clothing that might have been exposed to them.

May is not only the month we honor mothers. It’s also Asthma and Allergy Awareness month. Why not take advantage of the outstanding May promotion for the KenkoAir Purifier® and get 30% off the regular price? Why not celebrate mom with the gift of clean air and Active Wellness?  

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

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

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

Sleep Your Way to Better Health

There’s no question that a good night’s sleep can brighten our days and is an integral part of Active Wellness! Why is sleep so important? Why does it affect us so much? Here are seven bodily actions that take place to help understand the importance of sleep:1

  1. Your brain processes your day while you sleep, sorting and storing information. This process is particularly important for creating long term memories, as your brain consolidates all the information it’s picked up during the day and files it away for later use.
  2. Hormones flood your body during sleep. The pineal gland releases melatonin, which controls sleep patterns. Levels increase at night time, making you feel sleepy. The pituitary gland releases growth hormone, which helps the body to grow and repair itself.
  3. Your sympathetic nervous system needs rest. When deprived of sleep, activity increases in the sympathetic nervous system, which is accompanied by an increase in blood pressure. Scientists studying coronary disease are investigating whether decreased sleep may increase the risk of heart disease.
  4. Cortisol levels are lowered. Known as the stress hormone, cortisol decreases during the first few hours of sleep before rising to peak soon after you wake up. This helps you feel alert and energetic when you awaken.
  5. Your muscles are paralyzed. While asleep, you cycle through periods of non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREM) and rapid eye movement sleep (REM). The most vivid dreams occur during REM. During this stage, your muscles are temporarily paralyzed, so you can’t move.
  6. Anti-Diuretic Hormone (ADH) helps you not have to get up and use the bathroom. It is released by the brain under a circadian rhythm which switches off the need to urinate as often overnight as during waking hours.
  7. Your immune system releases cytokines, which are small proteins that help the body fight inflammation, infection and trauma. Without enough sleep, your immune system might not be able to function at its best.

To help get quality sleep consistently, Nikken has an entire Sleep System that encloses you in a coccoon of magnetism. The latest addition is the Kenko Naturest® Fit, a thin mattress topper with elasticized skirts on four sides, so that it fits easily over the mattress, under a fitted sheet. Made with Nikken Sleep Technology, it has 800 gauss magnets, reflective fibers and rubberthane to help achieve sweet dreams while feeling relaxed and massaged! Alone or as part of a Sleep Pack, it may well change your waking hours as much as your sleeping ones! (The Kenko Naturest® Fit is available for pre-orders. We expect it to be in our warehouses near the end of May.)

1 https://www.health.qld.gov.au/news-events/news/7-amazing-things-that-happen-to-your-body-while-you-sleep