My Healthy Steps

Healthy: enjoying health and vigor of body, mind, and spirit 

Healthy is such a funny word. It seems like so often there is one picture of health painted in the media, but in reality “healthy” is an individual thing that encompasses far more than just our physical body. We all have the power to draw our own vision of healthy. Here are some of the things in my life that make me feel healthy.


When I was younger, I hated running. Absolutely loathed it and dreaded having to do it in school. And somehow along the way, I have turned into a die-hard running fan. It makes me feel strong and powerful, like I can accomplish anything in the world. It is a great way to counter sitting at a computer all day. And it is a great way to see the world. I lived in Las Vegas for a couple of years before I started running, but it was only after I started running that I really started to feel connected to my community. Signing up for races just expanded that world further!


I took my first yoga class in 1997 and I was in love immediately. I felt taller and like a weight had been taken off my shoulders. (Why did I carry so much stress back then? I should have been far more relaxed than I was. Looking back, my worries in college were so much less significant than life now! Sheesh…) I don’t make time for yoga as often as I should these days, but every time I take the time to do even a few minutes I start to feel the same release throughout my mind and body.

Quick Bursts

Notice that I mentioned doing a few minutes of yoga? That trick works for almost any kind of physical activity. Getting up from my desk every hour and shaking out, doing some jumping jacks, a few rounds with a jump rope… it’s amazing the power 2-5 minutes of movement can have to rejuvenate the body and wake-up the brain.


I’ve loved reading for a long time. I had the best job in the world for a high school student, I worked at a public library. I got to see every new book we got before they hit the shelves! Reading a book is like a momentary escape from the hectic whirlwind going on in my brain.


I used to think that I could function just fine on 6 hours of sleep a night. Then I had a baby and was surprised to learn how little sleep I could get yet still make it through my day. But when I started getting full nights of sleep regularly again, I started to savor that and found that I do so much better with 7+ hours of sleep. I would much rather go to bed than stay out partying all night! (Of course, some of that may come with being in my mid-30’s. Or being boring.)

AETNA has teamed up with Alison Sweeney to get people talking about healthy by asking “What’s Your Healthy?” Encouraging people to really take a look at themselves and think about what approaches make them feel their personal best is something I appreciate. They’re encouraging people to get involved in the conversation via the website as well as on social media using the hashtag: #AetnaMyHealthy

​There are a lot more tips on the website as well as the opportunity for visitors to submit their own “healthy” definition. Weigh in with what makes you feel your personal best!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of AETNA®. The opinions and text are all mine

One comment

  1. Hi Jill,

    I’m a Norwegian two-time Olympic runner (13.06 5k back in ’04) as well as an MD. I have been following your blog and want you to know that I’ve added you to a list of the Top 100 Running Blogs for 2014!

    You are there, and deservedly so, in spot # 43!

    My blog is quite new and certainly not as established as your site, but I try to share quality, inspirational posts with my readers. Here’s one of my latest posts for you to check out:


    If you like it, please feel free to share with your readers. 😉

    Keep up the wonderful work.

    Kind regards,
    Marius Bakken, MD

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