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

 

Our Planet’s Most Important Living Plants are Tiny but Mighty

Marine scientists and ecologists consider the most important living plants to be the most important living organisms on the planet. The almighty single cell alga produces about 50% of the oxygen used on Earth and our lives essentially depend on it.1 Algae (plural for alga) paved the way for the evolution of other single-celled organisms as well as those with multiple and/or complex cells, known as eukaryotes.2

Algae come in many forms and have an interesting array of uses. Because algae are susceptible to environmental change, they are excellent indicators of water quality and a component of sampling programs. For example, an overgrowth of algae (known as algal blooms) can clog water intake pipes and filters. Once algal blooms die off, a substantial amount of dissolved oxygen is used by bacteria to break down the organic matter, depleting oxygen levels in their water habitat; this condition is known as hypoxia.3 In other words, aquatic ecosystems depend on algae to provide oxygen.

Aside from its formidable environmental impact, different types of algae—often known as seaweed—are sources of sustainable biofuel and found in common food items as well as cosmetics. Algae are also a source of active pharmaceutical compounds that can be used against drug-resistant bacterial strains, viruses and cancers.4 Different forms of algae have varying commercial value—less known but economically important are algae used for fertilizer, feed for farm animals and fish. As a soil-binding agent, algae is important in the healthy formation of soil to protect against natural processes such as erosion..5

Algae are an important source of nourishment in numerous cultures around the world. Most of us are aware of nori, Japanese seaweed used to prepare sushi. Chinese incorporate kelp into cold dishes that are served as appetizers or sides and into hot soups. Irish, Scottish, French, German, Norwegian and Swedish cuisines also use seaweed as a culinary ingredient in salads, as a topping or as a side to meat dishes.

Not only is algae considered by many consumers worldwide to be a low cost source of protein, but it also provides a number of important minerals such as iron, potassium, magnesium, calcium, manganese, and zinc. Algae also contain several healthy elements including carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and vitamins A, B, C, and E.6 It is a perfect food to incorporate into an Active Wellness lifestyle.

Some specific types of algae are known for their skin conditioning attributes, such as promoting blood circulation, providing moisture and regulating the sebaceous gland function. They activate cell renewal and the metabolism, while having an anti-inflammatory effect.7 Chlorophyll contributes to the oxygen supply of the skin because it is similar in composition to hemoglobin. Especially effective in skin care products, green algae have an amino acid content similar to human collagen.8

The True Elements® Marine Organic Skincare line is formulated with various combinations of seaweed extracts, namely Chondrus Crispus (red algae or Irish moss), Laminaria Digitata (brown algae, Oarweed, Irish seaweed or kelp), Ulva Lactuca (sea lettuce) and Crithmum maritimum L. (sea fennel). Containing minerals, trace elements and marine micronutrients, these seaweed extracts in the True Elements® Ecocert certified skincare line help to gently cleanse, tone, hydrate and prevent signs of premature aging.

1,2, 4 https://scripps.ucsd.edu/biblio/algae-worlds-most-important-plants-introduction

3 https://www.in.gov/idem/files/factsheet_owq_sw_algae_aquatic.pdf

5, 6 https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/what-is-the-economic-importance-of-algae.html

7, 8 https://www.mdpi.com/2079-9284/5/4/68/pdf

 

Don’t Take Water for Granted

When I was growing up in Taiwan, boiling water was an activity 365 days of the year. Every night, we would boil lots of water and fill glass bottles for cooling. By the next morning, the water would be ready either to refrigerate for drinking or left at room temperature for cooking. It would get reboiled for brewing tea or coffee as well as poured into ice trays to make ice cubes.

When I lived in Canada, I appreciated the cold water that came out of the faucets. No boiling was required and the running water tasted better than any bottled water I had ever had. Ironically, many indigenous populations—First Nations in Canada—now must boil water in order to decontaminate it for drinking, the same way residents of Flint, Michigan have had to for years now. Even in industrialized countries, contamination and water scarcity are more prevalent than we think. In areas of the arid Southwest in the United States, for example, populations are facing a threat to their drinking and irrigation water supply as rivers dry up..1

People often take their drinking water for granted, but when you’re traveling, the tap water may not be safe to drink. With diarrhea, giardia, hepatitis A, typhoid and cholera among the illnesses that can be transmitted with bad water, it pays to know which parts of the world guarantee clean, safe tap water, and where you should be sourcing bottled water instead.

The water you need to be most concerned about is water that might contain microorganisms that will make you sick, and in less developed countries, you are more apt to run into water that contains a variety of microorganisms you want to avoid.  To make untreated or badly treated water safe, boil for 60 seconds. Boiling in rolling water for one minute should kill 100% of pathogens. At high altitudes of 2,000 meters or 6, 562 feet, boil for three minutes.2

If the water is unsafe to drink, don’t brush your teeth with water from the tap. Check that natural bodies of water are safe before you swim, keep your mouth closed in the shower and don’t accept ice in your drinks. Remember that with canned beverages, such as soda and beer, the outside of the can may have been contaminated too if it was chilled in ice..3 Also, if you can’t drink the water, don’t eat the salad either. Only eat food which has been cooked or that has a peel, which you can remove. Salads are generally washed with local water when being prepared, so always ask if it has been purified if you’re unsure.4

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides guidelines for removal of some or all of the bacteria that may be present in drinking water. Boiling is ranked with a high effectiveness as is using a combination of filtration and disinfection. The recommendation is to use a 0.3 micron filter with NSF Standard 53 or 58 rated “cyst reduction/removal.”5

If you decide to purchase bottled water wherever you go, make sure it is sealed. In impoverished nations, bottles are often refilled with tap water, which is unsafe for drinking. Please remember to dispose of your plastic water bottles responsibly. Non-biodegradable items cause a huge problem throughout the world.

Nikken Water Packs help you access PiMag® water at home and on-the-go. Traveling with the PiMag® Sport Bottle with patent-pending nano-filtration technology and alkalization media is easy and convenient. It exceeds reduction standards for cyst, lead, bacteria and much more. Fill it with potable water wherever you are, and know that you are contributing to the well-being of the local ecology as you practice Active Wellness everywhere you go.

1 https://thewaterproject.org/water-scarcity/water_scarcity_in_us

2, 3, 4 https://www.mappingmegan.com/travelers-guide-to-safe-tap-water-countries-with-unsafe-drinking-water-can-i-drink-the-water-in/

5 https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/travel/backcountry_water_treatment.html

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/

 

Are You Going Green?

As we become more educated about how to help sustain planet Earth, our habits and even the language we use, evolve. Going “green” is being redefined as we learn about alternatives and possibilities.

The terms “green” or “sustainable” often refer to products, services or practices that allow for economic development while conserving for future generations.  A product is considered green if it has “less of an environmental impact or is less detrimental to human health than the traditional product equivalent.” 1

No product is 100% green, since everything we trash will eventually impact the environment in some way. According to Sustainable Earth, green products are:

  • Energy efficient, durable and often have low maintenance requirements.
  • Free of Ozone depleting chemicals, toxic compounds and don’t produce toxic by-products.
  • Often made of recycled materials or content or from renewable and sustainable sources.
  • Obtained from local manufacturers or resources.
  • Biodegradable or easily reused either in part or as a whole.

We each can contribute to sustainability in small ways. Most of us know about the 3Rs: REDUCE, RECYCLE, REUSE. Practicing the 3Rs means we are going green by decreasing wastefulness, minimizing the accumulation of consumables and sharing with our communities.

Aspects of going green are in lock-step with practicing Active Wellness: walking more and eating organic.2 Typically, informed consumers eat organic to avoid pesticides and other chemicals used in traditional forms of farming. But eating organic is much more than that, because how crops are grown impact the environment on a massive scale. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has implanted the National Organic Program, which indicates whether an agricultural product was produced in such a way that integrates biological, cultural and mechanical processes to conserve biodiversity and foster cycling of natural resources. In general, this means synthetic fertilizer, irradiation or genetic engineering practices will not be used.3

Other ways of going green include using energy saving light bulbs, improving house insulation, installing solar panels, driving hybrid cars, eating less beef, composting and using less plastic. We can purchase from bulk bins, carry water bottles and limit packaging to glass, metal and paper, as these materials can be more easily recycled, reused or biodegraded.4 And, we can pay attention to ingredient lists, so we commit to buying products that are more naturally sourced.

Businesses can lead the way and change consumer behavior by producing more green products and helping to educate the masses. Nikken Consultants can spread the word about our company’s commitment to going green. The PiMag® Sport Bottle and PiMag Waterfall®  are eco-friendly and many Kenzen® nutritional products are certified organic. In addition, True Elements® Marine Organic skincare products are certified by EcoCert.

 

1,3 http://www.isustainableearth.com/green-products/what-is-a-green-product

2 https://ssir.org/articles/entry/cultivating_the_green_consumer#

4 https://www.treehugger.com/green-home/how-identify-truly-green-products.html

Keep Alert as We Transition to Daylight Saving Time

Daylight Saving Time (DST) starts on March 10 in most of the United States, parts of Canada and some areas of Mexico. In the European countries that adopt DST, many will make the transition on March 31 this year. Many countries around the world have chosen not to have DST in 2019. When DST is not observed, it is called standard time, normal time or winter time.

Although changing to DST only involves an hour’s difference (losing an hour in the spring and gaining one in the fall), there can be a wide range of responses. Some of us don’t feel a difference at all, while others may experience a few days of fatigue from a change in sleep patterns due to having to reset our 24-hour natural cycle known as “circadian rhythm.”1 Internally generated, our circadian rhythm may be influenced by the environment, behavior and medications.2

In general, losing an hour in the spring is more difficult to adjust to than gaining an hour in the fall.3 It is similar to airplane travel; traveling east we lose time and may experience difficulty falling asleep at the “earlier” time. Going west, we may fall asleep easily at the “later” hour but have a difficult time waking.

If you have the foresight to plan ahead for losing that hour of sleep, you can go to bed 15 to 20 minutes earlier than usual for a few nights leading up to the time change. This may help your brain and body make the transition more smoothly.4 You can also expose yourself to sunlight as early in the morning as you can. This tells your internal clock that it’s time to get moving. If sunlight is unavailable where you live, use bright lights to simulate natural light to enhance mental and physical alertness.5

For some people, it can take as long as a week for their circadian and sleep rhythms to adjust to the time change. Regular exercise at the same time daily may help you get back on track, as well as going to bed and rising on a schedule. 6

In more extreme cases, the time change is linked to changes in health, diet and even the tendency to get into an accident. Sleep expert Chris Winter, M.D. explains, “Our bodies function on an internal schedule, from hormone release to body temperature to cognition—sleep is linked to them all. Your body receives signals from hormones, like ghrelin and leptin.”7 Dr. Winter further explains that these two hormones are related to cravings for food and feelings of being full, but are also “intimately associated with sleep, which is part of why when we’re not sleeping well, we tend to overeat.”8

Research published in 2009 showed the Monday after switching to DST saw a 5.7% jump in workplace injuries and nearly 68% more workdays lost to injuries, meaning they were more severe. 9 These conclusions were reached by analyzing U.S. Department of Labor and Mine Safety and Health Administration injury data from 1983 to 2006.

To prepare for an easy transition into DST, sleep a little earlier on the days before and wake a little earlier as well. Expose yourself to natural light (or simulated natural light) as early as possible upon waking. Eat a healthy breakfast to notify your body the day has begun.

To help block out light for better sleep, wear the Kenko PowerSleep Mask with patented DynaFlux® magnetic technology. Place the KenkoGround on top of your Kenko Naturest® Mattress Topper and sleep with some part of your skin touching it to help you stay grounded and connected to Nature even while in bed! You can practice Active Wellness 24/7!

To help you adjust to DST, from March 4 through March 8, call in a stand-alone order for the KenkoGround together with the Kenko PowerSleep Mask and receive a yellow Kenko PowerBand necklace, while supplies last, as your gift from Nikken.

1,2,3 https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/coping-with-time-changes

4, 5 https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/reason-daylight-savings-time-can-give-you-jet-lag

6 https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/daylight-saving-time-fall-back-doesnt-equal-sleep-gain-201311016836

7, 8, 9 https://www.nbcnews.com/know-your-value/feature/daylight-saving-time-4-surprising-health-effects-falling-back-ncna929546