Thursday, April 8, 2021

 

Healthy Feet Propel Active Wellness

April is Foot Health Awareness Month—good foot health is essential for an active life. With 26 bones plus 33 joints, feet serve as the foundation for the rest of the body. If the feet are not mechanically sound, it can affect the knees, hips and even the lower back.

We carry approximately four to six times our body weight across the ankle joint when climbing up stairs or walking steep inclines. We need our feet to carry us an average of 115,000 miles in our lifetime; therefore, avoiding foot problems should be a priority.1

The importance of feet serves as the foundation for reflexology, which studies how one part of the body relates to another. Practitioners of reflexology rely on a “map” of the foot, where each part corresponds to another body part, notably the internal organs. Pressure applied to different parts of the foot is believed to stimulate or activate corresponding parts of the body.2

Food is a great enabler for foot health. What we eat can help avoid swelling and other discomforts of the feet. For example, eating food with diuretic properties may help prevent fluid retention.3 Incorporate watermelon, asparagus, parsley, beets, grapes, green beans, leafy greens, cucumbers, pineapples, pumpkins, onions, leeks and garlic into your diet.3

Foods to avoid (or least to partake of infrequently) include alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, dairy products, animal protein, dried shellfish, fried foods, gravies, olives, pickles, salt, soy sauce, tobacco, white flour and white sugar.4 Fortunately, what we should incorporate and what we should reduce in our diet correspond to basic healthy eating, Mediterranean style.

Other ways to maintain foot health include:

• Stretching the feet, ankles and lower legs every day and before exercising. This helps to keep the muscles strong and to avoid injury.

• Keeping a healthy weight. Excess weight puts pressure on the feet, leading to foot pain, stress fractures, circulatory issues and possible arthritis.

• Making sure shoes fit properly. Avoid rubbing or squeezing toes, and try to maintain a half inch space between the longest toe (usually the big toe or the second toe) and the end of the shoe.

• Replacing worn out shoes. Some of us have a favorite pair that are especially comfortable; however, if they are worn out inside or outside, they can cause foot strain.

• Keeping feet clean and dry in between the toes. This will help prevent fungus, otherwise known as athlete’s foot.

Feet are one of the more complex parts of the human anatomy, so they are prone to a wide variety of issues, such as ingrown toenails, neuropathy, bunions and more. In addition, it’s fairly common to have one foot be slightly larger than the other, so always wear shoes that favor the larger foot in fit.5 We also need to be aware that our feet may not stay the same size—as we age, they tend to flatten out, and some pregnancies may cause feet to enlarge.

Two of the Nikken flagship products are the insoles. Founder Isamu Masuda developed the magnetic insoles to simulate the therapeutic pebbles in the Japanese public hot baths. The Kenko mStrides® and Kenko mSteps® can both be cut to size to fit right into your shoes. The magnetic nodules massage the soles of the feet and act similarly to the acupressure practiced as part of reflexology. People who work while standing find Kenko insoles particularly helpful in keeping feet energized and stable.

The KenkoGround® is a Nikken product that can work in tandem with bare feet. Simply place the KenkoGround in direct contact with bare feet while seated or sleeping, and experience a reconnection with nature to help feel more relaxed, and less stressed.

For more information about Nikken products go to our new website at https://jsj.nikken.com

Grace and peace to each of you this day.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Using less plastics by all countries will help our planet...Check out this post

 

What Can We Do To Decrease Plastic Pollution?

There are many misconceptions about the plastic pollution problem, but there is no question that in its many forms, plastic is killing ocean wildlife that is vital to the ecosystem. In addition, plastic pollution is sickening land flora and fauna, including humans.

Miranda Wang and Jeanny Yao were two of the youngest scientists ever to win the Perlman science prize in 2016 for developing a bacterium that may transform plastic into CO2 and water. Although they were not the first ones to discover that bacteria can break down phthalates, they were the first to find a possible solution to a local problem by looking into their own river system in Vancouver, Canada when they were still in high school.1

The two have since won numerous other science awards and established their company, BioCellection. Years of research later, their company is still focused on taking a main type of plastic, polyethylene, and turning it into chemical building blocks for new products that don’t end up in oceans as waste. The firm takes dicarboxylic acid it generates from polyethylene and transforms it into high-performance materials, such as photopolymers or polyyrethane.2

 “It is such a waste when materials that are perfectly good to be reused or repurposed end up as pollution,” Yao says. “Not only are we turning this currently wasted carbon into new materials that are high performing, but BioCellection is also making new products that can be recycled over and over again.”3

Since 2016, a product called the SeaBin has been available for purchase around the world. Created by two Australian surfers, the SeaBin is a bucket with a pump and water filtration system that is designed to suck in any floating trash into a removable mesh bag. The bucket includes an optional oil-water separator system that will pull oil right out of the ocean, then spit out cleaner water through the other side of the pump. The SeaBin can be installed at any floating dock to suck up trash or oil floating in nearby harbors.4

Since 2017, the SeaBin Project has removed over 1,400 tons of plastic pollution from the world’s oceans with SeaBin units in 53 countries. Each unit has the capability to collect 90,000 plastic bags, 35,700 disposable cups, 16,500 plastic bottles and 166,500 plastic utensils each year.5

Removal of plastic from the ocean is only one piece of the pollution puzzle. What happens to all the plastic that is collected? Not all of tons and tons of plastic can be transformed into usable products in the way of BioCellection. Much of the plastic waste has to decompose. Just as plastic was a wonderful invention due to its durability, it’s also a nightmare when it comes to decomposition, as it can take 1,000 years!

Leave it to yet another Canadian high school student to find a way to more quickly biodegrade plastic! Daniel Burd, a student at Waterloo Collegiate Institute won the Canada-Wide Science Fair in May of 2019. He created a process of immersing ground plastic in a yeast solution that expedites microbial growth, then isolating the productive organisms. After experimentation with different strains and interbreeding them, Burd achieved a 43% degradation of plastic in only six weeks!6

What makes Burd’s discoveries so exciting is that his method of decomposing plastic is organic. Other research on decomposing plastic have mainly focused on chemical additives made by scientists to cause plastic to vaporize.7 Testing needs to continue with Burd’s discoveries to ensure that byproducts of organic decomposition are not carcinogenic, but what a great starting point!

We can’t all be scientific entrepreneurs and make breakthrough discoveries, but every single one of us can help in decreasing plastic pollution by remembering to practice the 3Rs: reuse, reduce and recycle.

Water is Life and Nikken is doing its part to help people access clean water for Active Wellness—not only for drinking, but also for bathing. For the entire month of March, we are offering four Water Packs. Each pack has two state-of-the-art PiMag® products. You get one at the regular price and the second at 50% off! You have your choice of two PiMag MicroJet® Wall Mount Shower Systems, two PiMag MicroJet® Handheld Shower Systems, two PiMag® Sport Bottles of 100% recyclable biogreen materials, or two PiMag® Waterfalls.

For more information on eco friendly water products, go to :

www.nikken.com/na/jsj

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Innovations in Clean water technology for your drinking and shower.

 

Innovations in Clean Water Technology

We failed to take care of the environment and are paying dire consequences. Around one in three people worldwide, or 2.2 billion, lack access to safe drinking water near their home. By 2025, half of the world’s population will be living in water-stressed areas, when resources in a region or country are insufficient for its needs.1 Fortunately, innovative youth are coming up with ways to de-contaminate water sources.

At only 14 years old, Deepika Kurup noticed children in India using plastic bottles to collect water so dirty that she wouldn’t go near it. Coming from the United States, it was not something she was used to seeing. She understood that the dirty water was the only water they had to drink, and it was also used for washing clothes and bathing. She learned that lack of access to clean water restricted the girls’ opportunity for an education, since they could not attend school during their period.

Deepika Kurup proceeded to create an affordable and effective water purification system composed of a cement-like composite material that is activated by sunlight to reduce the amount of bacteria in water. The material can be molded into different shapes: a rod in a bottle, a disc or pot for a water tank—molds that can be scaled up or down. Kurup says, “This solution alone isn’t going to be what solves the water crisis, but it will be more effective in sunny parts of the world.”2  Kurup has patented her technology and will be working to implement it.

Around the world, many of the 783 million people who don’t have clean drinking water also don’t have access to electricity.  In 2014, 17-year-old Cynthia Sin Nga Lam created her prototype – the H2Pro – a portable device powered only by sunlight. Dirty water goes in one end, and a titanium mesh, activated by the sun, sterilizes the water and sends it through an extra filter. The photocatalytic reaction also splits the water into hydrogen and oxygen—so someone can flip a switch and start feeding a hydrogen fuel cell to produce clean power. Detergent, soap, and other pollutants in the water help make more hydrogen. There are similar water purification technologies but her invention did not require an extra source of electricity; only sunlight and titania was required. Besides being low-cost and easy to maintain, the H2Pro also generated a very efficient source of clean energy.3

Lam is now working as a contract consultant at the World Health Organization and hasn’t continued working with the H2Pro project. However, the idea of her two-in-one machine lives on with the development of scientists.4

Gitanjali Rao, from Colorado, was just 12 when she was awarded the title of “America’s top young scientist” for designing a compact device to detect toxic lead in drinking water, which she believes can be faster and cheaper than other current methods. At 15 years old, Rao was selected from a field of more than 5,000 nominees to be TIME magazine’s first ever 2020 Kid of the Year.

“I was like 10 when I told my parents that I wanted to research carbon nanotube sensor technology at the Denver Water quality research lab.

(they are cylindrical molecules made of carbon atoms that are very sensitive to chemical changes, and thus are good for detecting chemicals in water, among other uses.] It was just that changing factor of, you know this work is going to be in our generation’s hands pretty soon. So if no one else is gonna do it, I’m gonna do it.

“Observe, brainstorm, research, build and communicate. I’m currently working on an easy way to help detect bio-contaminants in water—things like parasites. I’m hoping for this to be something that’s inexpensive and accurate so that people in third-world countries can identify what’s in their water.”5

As a new generation of innovators makes headway in cleaning up water systems that previous generations have contaminated, the Global Wellness Community will continue spreading the word about conservation, respecting nature and new ways to access clean water. As Rao says, “I recently hit my goal of 30,000 students who I have mentored, which is super exciting. It’s like creating a community of innovators. I really hope the work that all of these kids are doing identifies innovation as a necessity and not something that’s a choice anymore.”6

Water is Life and Nikken is doing its part to help people access clean water for Active Wellness—not only for drinking, but also for bathing. For the entire month of March, we are offering four Water Packs. Each pack has two state-of-the-art PiMag® products. You get one at the regular price and the second at 50% off! You have your choice of two PiMag MicroJet® Wall Mount Shower Systems, two PiMag MicroJet® Handheld Shower Systems, two PiMag® Sport Bottles, or two PiMag® Waterfalls.

For more information go to www.nikken.com/na/jsj  or call John St. John at 281-980-1070.


Thursday, January 28, 2021

 

Exercising but Not Losing Weight?

One fact about exercise that many tend to ignore is that when we work out, the calories burned only account for a tiny part of our total energy expenditure. “In reality,” says Alexxai Kravitz, a neuroscientist and obesity researcher at the National Institutes of Health, “it’s only around 10 to 30 percent [of total energy expenditure] depending on the person (and excluding professional athletes that workout as a job).”1

Exercise has another effect that actually deters us from losing weight. Many of us consume more calories after exercising vigorously than without a workout. We also might take on “compensatory behaviors” after exercising, behaviors that actually slow down the metabolism. Examples are lying down to rest, being too tired to cook, eating whatever food is at hand, whether it’s processed or not. These compensatory behaviors cancel out the calories burned during the workout.

Simply increasing physical activity won’t help us lose significant amounts of weight. While exercise is hugely important for Active Wellness, how much and what we eat helps determine our waistlines much more. It therefore would make sense for public health policies to prioritize fighting overconsumption of low-quality processed foods while educating the masses and improving the food environment.

The National Weight Control Registry has conducted a study with 10,000 enrolled members. The study analyzed the traits, habits and behaviors of adults who have lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off for a one-year minimum. The researchers behind the study found that people who have had success losing weight have a few things in common: They weigh themselves at least once a week; they restrict calorie intake; they omit high-fat foods and watch portion sizes; and they exercise regularly.2

Decreasing calorie intake is necessary to lose weight, even with an increase in exercise. Research suggests that a person may be able to lose weight with extremely high levels of exercise, but even then, losing more than 4.4 pounds (2 kilograms) is unlikely.3

When it comes to decreasing calories, omitting sugar and high-fat foods is basic. However, did you know eliminating or decreasing alcohol intake may help with weight loss goals? Alcohol tends to be high-calorie in general. For example, a 12-ounce beer has about 153 calories and a glass of red wine has about 125 calories. Evidence suggests that in most cases it is not necessary to avoid alcohol completely to lose weight; however, it is helpful to limit drinking to two or three per week, and to stick with low-calorie selections, such as vodka or whiskey.4

In a nutshell, the most important thing a person can do to lose weight and maintain the loss is to limit calories in a sustainable way and exercise moderately. That means focusing on eating healthful yet delicious foods as in an Active Wellness lifestyle, not only as a temporary way to lose weight. To help ensure adequate intake of fruit and veggies, try supplementing with Kenzen® Total Vegan Drink Mix. By substituting some meals with Kenzen® Vital Balance Meal Replacement Mix, you may help achieve weight management goals, as it is formulated specifically to help burn fat, boost metabolism and build muscle!

For more information on the Kenzen Total Vegan Drink go to 

www.nikken.com/jsj/na    The site is a few easy clicks from having the product on its way to you.   Grace and Peace.