Health and wellness is something that the Finger Lakes Region particularly seems to take seriously.
Perhaps the playful landscape offers up a multitude of opportunities for activity and sport, or maybe it’s simply beautiful and inspiring enough to motivate dwellers to sit and meditate or to get in touch with their own sense of life and rhythm.
I remember attending a day camp for kids one summer in Mt. Morris. We did the standard Pepsi and Mentos rockets and even learned some basic foreign language phrases, but the most memorable part for me was the portion on well-being.
We did beginner yoga, learned how to make a soy wax candle and batik fabrics, and even sewed a little herb pillow full of lavender sprigs and scented beads- for whenever we needed a little relaxation aromatherapy.
Frankly, I would love to take courses like this again as a young adult.
Luckily, the Finger Lakes Region seems to be full of activities that branch out from standard fitness or nutrition classes.
For example, my grandmother recently started attending a spiritual (though non-religious) class that emphasizes art as a form of meditation- called a “soul collage” she basically collects images and crafts a collage portrait while focusing on using intuition, not calculated thought, as a source of creativity.
She and a family friend both also talked to me on two separate occasions about how practicing things like yoga and tai chi feel more renewing when done outside, breathing in the fresh Finger Lakes air.
But even if zen isn’t your thing or what you’re looking for, I’ve noticed that the Finger Lakes also emphasizes things like eating local produce through farmer’s markets or fostering a healthy exercise routine through hiking or kayaking – you name it.
And even if you are adversely feeling unwell, the number of licensed herbalists and acupuncturists in the area surprised me initially – my aunt single-handedly opened my eyes to an entire network of holistic healing methods that can be found in the region.
With occasionally spotty wifi and fewer Walmarts, the Finger Lakes manage to encourage you to unplug and to instead connect with the healthy habits that can easily be formed when considering all you have access to in the area. Anyone who knows the joy of turning off your cell phone will understand why I love that my location on the map helped foster a healthy, active childhood. It’s definitely shaped and familiarized me with concepts of wellness that I now seek out whenever I’m away from my home in the Finger Lakes.