Health in Action: Northwest Instagrammer Laura Lawson Visconti
Our Health in Action series profiles people in the community who are living Actively Northwest. Follow along each week as we profile new people who are committed to living active, healthy lives through fitness and food.
Laura Lawson Visconti has a knack for noticing the beauty in everything around her. A few years ago, she was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa, an eye disease which is slowly causing her to lose vision.
To help preserve her remaining vision, Laura strives every day to live a healthy and active life. Her Instagram account, which is chock-full of her impressive Pacific Northwest adventures, was even featured in this recent Buzzfeed article — 16 Instagram Accounts That Will Make You Want To Grow a Beard And Move to the Pacific Northwest.
Read on for Laura’s tips on Northwest photography and how she keeps herself healthy and happy.
ANW: You recently made the move from Seattle to Portland. What are your favorite ways to be healthy and active in each city?
Laura: Both cities are so indicative of Pacific Northwest living, yet both are completely unique in their own right. My obsession with healthy, active outdoor living was initially spawned in Seattle, but is now being lived out with more intention in Portland.
I purchased my first road bike in Seattle, but it’s really been Portland (with its bike-friendly cityscape) that has changed the way I view transportation. I now bike everywhere.
I’ve also learned you can’t move to a new place expecting it to be just like the old place. Seattle has Discovery Park, one of my favorite trail running routes on misty mornings with my husband. But Portland has the Esplanade. Seattle has great farmers markets, Portland has New Seasons (best grocery store ever). Seattle has Mt. Rainier, Portland has Mt. Hood. Both cities offer exceptional access to healthy living, with the support of lots of other health-minded people and communities.
Turns out Oregon is just as pretty as Washington. Maybe even just a tiny bit more so. P.S. For my recap on Seattle, check out today’s blog post at lauralawsonvisconti.com/blog
ANW: Where do you find inspiration for all your outdoor adventures?
Laura: My inspiration is twofold. First, I simply get outside. The moment I get out of the city and into nature, I feel a sense of peace. I feel so fortunate to live in the Pacific Northwest, where gorgeous views beckon, waterfalls wait to be discovered and bike trails are aplenty. Second, I am inspired by my husband, Nick. As a professional snowboarder, his whole existence revolves around the outdoors. His motto of consistently soaking up as much life as possible has challenged me to do the same. I’ve found it’s a much better way to live. It’s cliché to say, but for me it hits home: tomorrow is never promised, so we might as well make the most out of today.
ANW: Which of your Northwest photo captures embodies living ‘Actively Northwest’ to you?
all day, every day View on Instagram
Laura: This past summer, my husband worked at Mt. Hood as the head snowboard coach for a camp called Windell’s. I spent most of July up on the mountain with him, snowboarding just about every day … and let’s just say my definition of summer fun has been forever changed! Instead of riding the lifts up each morning, I would often hike up to Palmer Glacier to get the blood flowing and spend some incredible time alone on the volcano. One day Nick snapped a photo of this in action. This picture perfectly embodies what I love most about living actively in the Northwest.
ANW: What is your number one outdoor photography tip for beginners?
Laura: Capture what you love. Also, don’t miss a moment because you’re so busy trying to document it. Soak it in, let it move you … and then snap the photo.
ANW: How do you strive to eat and live as healthy as possible?
Laura: Getting diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa a few years back was the catalyst for a change in my lifestyle. While there is no cure for my disease (yet!), I decided to treat my body as well as possible, in hopes of preserving the remaining vision I still have. I exercise every day; eat healthy, nutrient-rich meals; and make sure to drink good wine. I’m not sure that last part is scientifically proven, but it sure makes life a lot more enjoyable.
ANW: What inspired you to pursue personal training? What is your favorite workout?
Laura: Pursuing personal training is a new endeavor, budding after years of work in the creative world as an author and watercolorist. While I will always be an artist, working as a personal trainer allows me a very tangible way to help other people. Eating healthy and living healthy is an amazing cure-all for depression, anxiety, low self-confidence, poor cardiovascular health — you name it.
I have a lot of favorite workouts in the gym, but honestly, the best workouts come from the things I do outside. Whether it’s a bike ride or a hike up to a scenic lookout, you’ll get awesome exercise simply living your life outdoors.
All photos courtesy of Laura Lawson Visconti.