Wellness is a major buzzword these days, but it can mean a little something different to everyone. Does it stand for self-care and restoration, or is it more about strength and endurance? So, we created a series breaking down the healthy habits of local influencers and entrepreneurs, allowing them to define what wellness means on a personal level.
Laura Harris sets two alarms to ensure she doesn’t oversleep, and begins her day at 1:45 a.m. before she heads to the anchor desk at the NBC5 studios. “Before I do anything, I thank God for waking me up,” she says. Another morning ritual includes 16 ounces of cold water every morning, no exceptions. She’s implemented this morning practice since her college days when she played soccer.
We caught up with the morning anchor (before her early bedtime, of course) to learn how she positions wellness in the forefront of her everyday life.
With your schedule, how do you make sure you get enough sleep?
Adulting is hard, but I make it work. I have a career where people watch me and they are sure to comment when something is out of place. I have to be very disciplined. I know I need to be asleep no later than 7 p.m. to get enough rest to be my best the next day. That said, I try to get in the bed about an hour before that to wind down.
What inspires you to focus on your health and overall wellness?
The camera adds 10 pounds! That’s enough encouragement. Seriously though, there are enough things in this life that can kill me—the portions of my health I can control will not be one of them. The body is a machine. There is no getting around that. Whatever you put in, is generally what you are going to get out. If you pump your body with nothing but sugar and gross stuff, your output is going to be garbage.
I like to consider myself a retired athlete, but still an athlete. I was a college athlete and there we were taught proper nutrition. I have tried to keep that top of mind. The older I get, the more I realize, it’s harder to drop weight when I gain a few pounds, so I try to just keep it tame all the time. Above all else, I feel like I am so privileged to have a body that can run, and jump, and workout, and do what I want with. I can’t waste that by not taking care of it. On the days I feel like I’m too tired to crush the gym, I just think to myself, “Think of how good you are going to feel when it’s over.”
What’s the best thing you’re obsessed with in your gym bag right now?
Fitness resistance bands and my jump rope! The trick to fitness is making it convenient. I have resistance bands and a jump rope on me at all times in my car. They are with me at the gym, and when I travel. That way, I have absolutely no excuse. The jump rope is awesome for cardio and the bands make any exercise that much harder. Best part? I bought the bands and the jump rope from a sporting goods store for like $10 a piece!
Any products or techniques you’re using to help you focus on wellness right now?
I am in love with Beautycounter’s Overnight Resurfacing Peel. My childhood friend introduced me to it and, I’m so in love with it that I even gifted a bottle to my mom. It’s not too harsh on the skin, but does just enough to make my face and neck feel so smooth once I wake up in the morning. And then once every two months, I get a Hydrafacial. I wear heavy makeup every day for work and that’s just a great way to get my pores clean and give me a nice glow. I love to do it on a Friday afternoon so I can keep that glow all weekend long (and run from makeup until Monday morning).
Why is wellness important to you? And what does wellness look like in your eyes?
We have one body and one mind. Wellness is something we have to do from the inside out. First and foremost, working out helps to release the stress. I am in a high-octane career. I absolutely wouldn’t have it any other way, but you have to take care of yourself or you will be on full-tilt without sound mind and body to deal with it!
Wellness often times means you have to look at yourself and say, “This is not a healthy situation, I have to get out of it.” So it’s not just about nutrition and working out, but also making sure your mental health is sound as well. Without that, we have nothing.