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/

 

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

 

 

 

A Young Champion and his Nikken Products

Jack Turner is a young British athlete who has won an impressive number of awards. Jack became the English Schools under-17 2017 Octathlon champion when he won Gold in Boston, UK. He went on to represent England at the Schools International Athletics Board (SIAB) Home Internationals in Glasgow, Scotland where he won Silver for the indoor Pentathlon.

This year Jack won the under-18 British Standards decathlon competition, exceeding the European entry standard. This led to him being selected to represent Great Britain at the European Championships in Hungary, where he set a new British record. A few months later he went on to compete in his first under-20 Decathlon and achieved the gold medal and another national title. At the end of the 2018 outdoor season Jack is ranked 6th in Europe, 6th in the world for under-18 Decathlon and 4th in the UK for under-20s Decathlon. He’s aiming high for the championships next year!

A big fan of Nikken products, Jack uses them before, during and after competitions. He explains, “I found the KenkoTherm® Knee Wrap really supportive, especially since I hyperextended my knee last year long jumping. Wearing it helps me both physically and mentally. The tight yet comfortable fit meant that for a long period of time I could compete with it on.

“I found myself using the Kenko MagDuo® a lot. In preparation for the European Championships, I would use it on small muscles and joints for some release. I used the KenkoTouch® on my inflamed tendon, that I picked up during a decathlon, days before another competition. I used it at night just before I went to bed and felt that it really helped me to perform well the following day.

“I have a PiMag Waterfall® at home, so to be able to carry around PiMag filtered water in the PiMag® Sport Bottle when I compete was reassuring, especially when competing abroad.”

The young champion is clearly adhering to tried and true Active Wellness practices.

  • He keeps hydrated and drinks PiMag® alkaline water.
  • He keeps his muscles and tendons warm and supported with form fitting KenkoTherm wraps.
  • He takes advantage of patented DynaFlux® magnetic technology to massage himself with the handheld KenkoTouch® and the Kenko MagDuo®.

We look forward to hearing more about Jack Turner’s brilliant athletic accomplishments over the coming years!

Sleeping Like a Baby is Good for Health

Have you ever wondered why most babies sleep so much? Deep sleep triggers the body to release the hormone that promotes normal growth in children and teens. This growth hormone also boosts muscle mass and helps repair cells and tissues in children, teens, and adults.

Sleep plays an important role in our health throughout our lives. For example, sleep is involved in the healing and repair of the heart and blood vessels. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke. 1 There’s nothing fair about it: losing sleep can feel like punishment but to add insult to injury, it even puts us at a higher risk for obesity!

According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, one study of teenagers showed that with each hour of sleep lost, the odds of becoming obese increased. Sleep deficiency increases the risk of obesity in other age groups as well. Sleep helps maintain a healthy balance of the hormones that make us feel hungry (ghrelin) or full (leptin). When we don’t get enough sleep, our level of ghrelin goes up and our level of leptin goes down. This makes us feel hungrier than when we’re well rested.

Sleep is one of the many topics covered by the National Institutes of Health. Their archives contain multiple studies that attribute weight gain to lack of sleep. For example, a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed that when people were sleep-deprived, late-night snacking increased, and they were more likely to choose high-carb snacks. In another study done at the University of Chicago, sleep-deprived participants chose snacks with twice as much fat as those who slept at least eight hours. Yet another study found that sleeping too little is a trigger to eat bigger portions of all foods, increasing weight gain. And in a review of 18 studies, researchers found that a lack of sleep led to increased cravings for energy-dense, high-carbohydrate foods.

As if that’s not bad enough, the stress hormone known as cortisol spikes when we get too little sleep. Cortisol signals our bodies to conserve energy for later use, which tends to make us hold on to fat rather than burn it!

Sleep also affects how the body reacts to insulin, the hormone that controls blood glucose (sugar) levels. Sleep deficiency results in a higher than normal blood sugar level, which may increase the risk for diabetes. When the body doesn’t respond properly to insulin, processing fats from the bloodstream becomes difficult, and it ends up being stored as fat. In a nutshell, not enough sleep slows down the metabolism and contributes to weight gain.

Kenko Sleep Products are an integral component of Active Wellness lifestyle. From the Kenko Naturest® Mattress Topper and Custom Pillow to our comforters and KenkoTherm® Cocoon, once you try them, you’ll never want to give them up!

1 https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sdd/why