A Feel Good Top Ten List: Exercise

What makes you feel good?

To help guide and happy and healthy 2011, I am recommending that you make a top ten list of things that make you feel good – really good. By a simple awareness of those things that make you feel great, you will be more likely to make time for these activities, people and behaviors (and squash those things that make you feel really bad!). It’s a theory anyway…..

This week, I’m sharing a few of things that keep my life happy, healthy and in balance – in hopes of inspiring a few thoughts of your own.

On Monday, I confided my affection for music and Michael Jackson, Tuesday it was all about books and yesterday, I shared by love for cooking, along with favorite recipes of the year. Today – I’m going to work out. Or tell you how my day is not complete without it.


Exercise is a non-negotiable for me. Exercise is my therapy, meditation, inspiration for ideas, excuse for eating and weight maintenance program. In fact, I can turn into a real grouch if I’m not able to exercise (just ask my family).

Fortunately, I live in an area of the country where I’m in good company. With lovely foothills as the backdrop of Boise, I have a plethora of outdoor opportunities just around the block.

But even if you live in a less ideal locale, you can find a range of activities to ignite your inner Jane Fonda (or Lindsay Vaughn, Roger Federer, Peyton Manning…)

Below are a few highlights of the year in exercise review.

Favorite runners

How could I possibly have a favorite runner when so many individuals inspired me this year? After issuing a call for first time marathoners, I was honored with a whole host of individuals to feature in my book for first-time marathoners: Knocking Down Walls. Here are some of their stories.

Allie Gabriel: Running Philadelphia in Honor of Her Late Grandmother

Angie Bishop: Running Her First Marathon Barefoot

Gina Wright: Helping Another Became Her Greatest Marathon Gift

Caitlin Grams: Successfully Finishing NYC Marathon with Self-Discipline and Planning

Jen Green: Running the Marine Corps Marathon with Inspiration from Above

Rebecca Walker: Making the Most of Her Marathon Experience by Running in Athens, Greece

Sara G: Running NYC Gluten-Free and As Healthy as Can Be

Becky Paige: Staying Positive and Running with a Smile on Her Face in Newport

Terri Masters: Making Friends with Aches, Pains and Torrential Rains on Prince Edward Island

Elise Nelson: Defying the Injury Odds to Complete the Nike Women’s Marathon

Erin Vandenberg: Running 26 in Chicago to Celebrate 30

Erika Gerding: Proving a Single Mom of 3 Can Run 26

Carla Reinisch: Finishing Her First 26 in 85 Degree Heat

Favorite Race The Boston Marathon will always hold a special place in my heart, and this year was no exception, despite a grueling experience. But this year I also completed my first-ever Half Ironman in Boise, and I learned a lot about myself in the process (and still thankful I didn’t drown!). Favorite Sport Despite my love for running and desire to compete in challenging events, tennis is still my favorite sport! Playing in USTA leagues is a great way to tune out the daily grind and tune in some friendly competition. But more importantly, it’s a a wonderful way to meet new friends and nurture old ones. And that, to me, is what makes exercise more enjoyable. If you experience workouts – of any kind – with friends, you’ll be more dedicated to stick to it. While having lots more fun along the way!

Melinda Hinson