It can be difficult to make changes that improve your health, your diet and your fitness, but two-time Olympian Elena Hight has some smart suggestions. The snowboarder‘s tips include meditating for a few minutes each day, practicing yoga, going outdoors, eating fresh produce and soaking in Epsom salt.
“A lot of people are overwhelmed by healthy living, because they don’t know where to start,” Hight said. “Simplifying it really helps.”
Hight, 24, has competed in the 2010 and 2006 Olympics in snowboard halfpipe, and she’s been accomplishing the unprecedented since she was a kid. At age 13, for instance, she became the first woman in a competition to land a 900 — the equivalent of 2.5 complete rotations. At last year’s X Games in Aspen, Colo., Hight also became the first snowboarder to land a double backside alley-oop rodeo in a halfpipe competition.
One of Hight’s tips: adding two or three cups of Epsom salt to a bath and soaking for 15 to 25 minutes.
“It’s such an easy go-to when you have sore muscles or after a hard fall,” said Hight, whose workout regimen earned her a place in ESPN The Magazine’s 2013 Body Issue. “It relaxes my muscles and rejuvenates me.”
As part of her beauty routine, Hight also mixes Epsom salt with coconut oil or another essential oil for a body scrub.
“I just find it really hydrating, and a great exfoliant,” Hight said. “I spend a lot of time in the wind and outdoor elements, and I get a lot of dry skin. This helps slough it off.
“Epsom salt is one of those great things you can find anywhere — any grocery, any pharmacy.”
Other tips from Hight:
- Cook with organic, local foods, use fresh produce and free-range, organic meat and eggs. “I try to bring out the best in foods and not try to cover them up.”
- Meditate for at least 10 minutes every day to help stay calm and focused.
- Do yoga for benefits similar to meditation. Newcomers should try different studios near their homes to find where they’ll be most comfortable.
- Going outdoors and making fitness fun. “As long as you’re enjoying yourself, you’ll want to go out there and be active.”
- Buy beauty products that are made without any animal cruelty. Many products advertise this on the package, or there’s a list kept by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), http://features.peta.org/cruelty-free-company-search/index.aspx.
Note: For human use, the Epsom Salt Council recommends only Epsom salt with the USP designation.