Scroll through certified health coach Elizabeth Finch’s Instagram, and it doesn’t take but a minute before you feel an irresistible urge to sip some kombucha, whip up a smoothie bowl and fish those yoga pants out of the bottom drawer. With that in mind, we asked our favorite local health guru for tips on Living Our Best Lives this summer:
1. Take advantage of summer produce.
“Food nourishes our bodies on a cellular level, which is where health starts. Include as many in-season fruits and vegetables in your diet as possible, and keep them raw when you can. Just cook veggies until they’re tender-crisp, which helps to retain more vital nutrients. I always say, Don’t kill your veggies!”
2. Stay hydrated.
“You should drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water, daily. (Example: A 150-pound person should drink 75 ounces of water daily.) My tip for staying on track: Drink 8 ounces of warm lemon water first thing after waking, then drink 8 to 12 ounces with every meal and snack throughout the day. Herbal tea counts toward water intake, too!”
3. Be active.
“I’m often asked,What’s the most important exercise I should be doing? My answer: The one that you most enjoy! Find what you love to do, what feels good to your body, and do that, at least every other day, but preferably daily. Our bodies aren’t meant to be sedentary, and it’s detrimental to our health when we don’t regularly move them. We are also meant to sweat, so try to get that in in some way most days, too.”
4. Play more.
“Life is stressful, and that daily stress contributes negatively to our overall well-being. Studies have shown that a positive mindset is linked to better overall health. So laugh more, play with your children more, really connect with the important people in your life, and enjoy the health benefits of a positive, happier mindset.”
5. Get acquainted with your breath.
I’m a huge believer in the power of breathing—personally, I meditate daily because I believe it has had such a positive impact on my body and my overall health. Here’s how to start: Commit just five minutes of every day, in the morning or at bedtime, to focusing on nothing else but your breath. Close the door, turn on meditation music if you’d like, and just start inhaling and exhaling. I like to have people “count” their breath: Through your nose, inhale, 1, 2, 3, 4 and exhale, 1, 2, 3, 4. The catch is that you must do it daily to reap the mental and physical benefits, and that’s why we call it a meditation practice.”