Walking: Boost Your Body, Boost Your Brain

Walking: Boost Your Body, Boost Your Brain

walking health benefits fitness creativity

A lot of times people in the fitness industry like to overcomplicate things.

People are led to believe that unless they use sophisticated equipment, contort their body into uncomfortable positions, or sweat profusely, it doesn’t count as exercise.


Hippocrates wrote “walking is man’s best medicine.” With no fancy equipment, gymnasium, or playing field necessary, one can improve her fitness just by walking.

In our sedentary culture, we could all use a little more of that medicine.

To move is to feel invigorated…alive! Perhaps that is why several cultures—the Spanish and the Italians, notably—retain the evening stroll. It’s not about fitness in the same way that Americans like to think of it. Rather, it’s about connecting with community in an active way.

When we can combine something that is good for our body physically with something that buoys us mentally, why wouldn’t we want to do it more often?


Enter the walk-and-talk: boost your body, boost your brain.

Next time you’re working to arrange a coffee chat with a friend, offer instead to meet her for a walk. It doesn’t have to be fast, nor does it have to be far. But if you spend an hour moving rather than an hour sitting, you’ve done something good for yourself. (Not to mention that you’re less likely to be tempted by goodies in a pastry case if you’re out walking.)

Maybe you’ll feel motivated by knowing some of our greatest human minds walked daily. Albert Einstein, Ludwig Beethoven, and Steve Jobs are all well-documented regular walkers. When you think about all they contributed to society, maybe you’ll understand why philosopher Freidrich Nietzche wrote “all truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.”

The mobile meeting has a well-established place within American corporate culture. Do you have an opportunity to introduce more movement into your day at work? Think of the creativity boost you receive from moving your body as an added bonus.

If you’re still feeling like walking isn’t really exercise, then don’t think of it as such. Walking is, however, meaningful movement that contributes positively to your health. If you’re motivated by data and personal challenges, using a simple pedometer or a more sophisticated fitness tracker may help keep you walking on the path to health.

Walking is the perfect beginner’s exercise! Join the movement. All it takes is putting one foot in front of the other.

This post contains affiliate links. Purchasing items through these links supports the work of Running on Balance. Thank you!

Walking is great exercise that supports both physical and mental health.

How Your Home Life Affects Menopause

How Your Home Life Affects Menopause

menopause perimenopause stress housework second shift mental load


Years ago, when my husband and I were expecting our first child (who is now a high school freshman), we decided that I would be the primary parent.

Let me be clear: there was absolutely nothing pejorative about this term.

We were living abroad, and I didn’t have a work permit. I also really wanted to nurse my baby and be his primary caregiver. At the time, it was a lovely life, and our family of three was quite content.

Fast forward to 2018. We now have three kids: one in high school, one in middle school, and one in elementary school. Both my husband and I own our own businesses. I am still the primary parent.

It’s a familiar tale, right?

Studies show that women do three times the housework that men do. That’s a visible inequity of labor.

This set up is known as “The Second Shift” , a nod to the fact that even though women are in the paid workforce at higher-than-ever rates, the bulk of childcare and domestic duties are still theirs.

But that’s not all…

There are also all of the less visible tasks that also usually fall to women.

Birthday parties. Registration dates for piano lessons and ice skating classes. Dentist appointments. Annual well checks. PTA lunches for teachers. Which friend is currently persona non grata.

Once we understand the mental load that women carry, it’s much easier to understand how exhausting it all can be.


Let’s face it: we all have a certain amount of bandwidth. And if my bandwidth is being taken up by the minutiae of logistics for three other people—plus family functions—that’s a lot of bandwidth!

Many husbands are certainly participatory in kids’ lives in a way that men weren’t a generation ago. Both dads and kids benefit from the active fatherly presence in the kids’ lives.

But for women who are juggling work, raising children, aging parents, and managing the symptoms of perimenopause, the mental load can be crushing.

It is futile to try to address the stress that exacerbates the unpleasant symptoms of menopause without acknowledging the mental load. When we learn strategies to decrease the mental load, we can begin to develop systems of meaningful self-care. One such strategy is educating ourselves about the realities of perimenopause and the role stress plays in how we weather the storm.

Survive & THRIVE Perimenopause is a six-week ecourse that includes educational information about the physiology of hormones and bodily changes that happen between ages 40 and 55. Furthermore, we take a deep dive into the psychology of why women feel the burden of the mental load at this time. Finally, Survive & THRIVE Perimenopause offers you the opportunity to create a road map to a happier, healthier, more balanced life.

Not sure if you’re in perimenopause? Check out this video….

Did you know that the "second shift" work of chores & childcare contributes to menopause symptoms?

Am I in Perimenopause?

Am I in Perimenopause?

am i in perimenopause

Am I in perimenopause?

Why is my body doing this to me?

Will I ever feel like myself again?

If you’ve ever asked any of those three questions, you’re not alone. For women 40+, not knowing what is normal and what isn’t **is** normal!

But if you’re not happy living in the dark, it’s time to educate yourself about what perimenopause is. It’s good to know what you can expect. It’s empowering to know what questions you should ask your health care provider– and what to do if the answer doesn’t seem right to you. And it’s a great relief to know that there is a new normal on the other side.

Not only that, but there is opportunity and a new sense of balance.

So don’t be afraid of perimenopause. Be informed!

If you’ve ever asked “Am I in Perimenopause?” check out the video below. It will help you answer that question– and a lot of other questions, too. And I truly hope it will put your mind and heart at ease.

Good health and great happiness to you!


So, did that sound like you?

If you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired– or you’re just ready to be better informed about your body– NOW is the time.

Join the community of women who are ready to become informed citizens of their own bodies. These are women just like you who have a million competing priorities.

But they are ready to say YES to better hormone balance, increased energy, bolstered moods, and a body that feels fit and at ease.


I invite you to check out Survive & THRIVE Perimenopause to see all that is on offer:

Educational videos— each short enough to watch in those precious spare moments of your day

A Specially-Designed Workbook— take the information from the course and, with thoughtful self-reflection, actually apply it to your life

Community— like-minded, action-taking, intelligent women

Weekly Q&A Zoom Sessions— ask **YOUR** questions & get answers from a certified women’s wellness coach who specializes in perimenopause, share your insights, know that you aren’t going at it alone


Brain fog? Weight gain? Body gone all wonky? Check out this 15 minute video about what perimenopause is-- and isn't!

Ultimate Meal Planning For Super Busy People

Ultimate Meal Planning For Super Busy People

When it comes to getting meals on the table, are you tired of:

  • scrambling to make something decent out of what’s in your fridge
  • resorting to compromise or convenience foods because you’re short on time
  • battling weight gain and feeling discouraged that the family isn’t eating better
  • wasting money on restaurants, food that goes bad, and too many last-minute grocery runs
  • and feeling like cooking is a burden instead of a joy?

I totally get it, because I’ve struggled with those very same things.

But 2018 can be the year you take control of what your family is eating once and for all. It’s all about ultimate meal planning.

You’ll have a plan that makes it easier to get homemade food on the table, eat in a way that supports your weight-loss goals, make dinner time less stressful (even on those busy days and weeks) and save money by eating at home more (and wasting less).

The Ultimate Healthy Meal Planning Bundle is the busy cook’s answer to eating healthier this year.

What’s in this bundle, you ask? Well, everything you need to make meal planning, grocery shopping, cooking and eating great food easy as pie.

This is how it works:

If you want recipes & meal plans created specifically for the way you eat (Paleo, Keto, vegan, gluten free, budget-friendly, just to name a few), you can pick the mini-bundle that suits you best and pay just $27.

If you’d prefer to have the whole collection of made-for-you meal plans, organized shopping lists, no-brainer tips, PLUS over 3,800 recipes for today’s most popular ways of cooking and eating, pay just $20 more and you’ll get every single thing in this bundle.

I’m telling you, this makes meal planning so much easier!

Some of my favorite food bloggers contributed, so I really can’t speak highly enough about the quality and value of what’s inside, for less than the price of a single meal out!

For me, though, it’s the serious reduction in food waste that makes me such a meal planning devotee.

Want to check it out and get your own Ultimate Healthy Meal Planning Bundle?

This is how it works:

If you’re unsure, it’s even backed by a 30 day full money-back happiness guarantee, so you can make sure it’s right for you.

Their customer service is amazing, and they truly want to make sure you’re taken care of and that you love your bundle.

Simplify mealtimes & eat better in 2018 with the Ultimate Healthy Meal Planning Bundle.

Click here to learn more or get your bundle to start 2018 with healthy meals.


I am a proud affiliate of Ultimate Bundles. Purchasing this product through links provided supports Running on Balance. Thank you.

A Secret Weapon for Meal Planning

A Secret Weapon for Meal Planning

If “eat healthier” has been on your list of resolutions for, say, the last 10 years without success (or you’ve recently fallen off the healthy-eating wagon – again!), you might feel like throwing in the towel for 2018.

“What’s the point?” you wonder.

To that I say, NOOOOO!!!! Don’t give up yet.

Believe me, I’ve been there and I totally understand.

I have three kids. They’re all in a million activities. But getting a healthy dinner on the table is so worth it.

I’ve learned that feeding my family healthy meals in a doable way does NOT have to be stressful.

What’s the secret weapon? Meal Planning Bootcamp!

The good folks from Ultimate Bundles created a Meal Planning Bootcamp, a 10 day challenge with daily meal planning tips plus an action task (a very practical one, might we add) that will take 20 minutes or less. Oh, yeah….it’s FREE!

In fact, the whole point of this challenge is to help you conquer mealtime stress and eat cleaner, with a series of super easy steps to get your year off to a strong start.

The Meal Planning Bootcamp covers everything from planning, to pantry clean outs, to the quickest-cooking veggie sides, to setting yourself up for success with batch cooking and freezer meals.

And seriously – set your timer! You’ll be amazed what you can accomplish in 20 minutes!

Implement all 10 challenges and, at the end of the bootcamp, you’ll find yourself with:
a better organized kitchen,
the strategies you need to tackle meal planning like a pro,
and on your way to that healthier 2018 you know you’ve got in you.

It runs from December 30th to January 8th. You’ll receive each day’s tip and task in your inbox bright and early every morning, so you can work it into your day whenever it’s most convenient for you.

Get FREE access to the Meal Planning Bootcamp by clicking right here.

Registration for this free 10-day Meal Planning Bootcamp is only open UNTIL MIDNIGHT TONIGHT! Make sure to sign up right away, because it starts on December 30th, so you can greet the New Year armed (with kitchen knives, that is) and ready to go.

Grab my meal planning secret weapon and be on your way to becoming a meal planning ninja!

I am a proud affiliate for Ultimate Bundles. This post contains opinions based on my positive experiences with the Ultimate Bundles team and their products.

Need a Brilliant Life Planner?

Need a Brilliant Life Planner?

brilliant life planner

This post contains affiliate links. Any purchases made via these links supports Coach Karen &  Running on Balance.

When people ask me how I get everything done, I slyly smile and tell them I’m a ninja.

Not really.

My secret to a productive but balanced life is planning. And lots of support to make those plans become a reality!

One of the best tools in my get-stuff-done-and-stay-sane arsenal is the Brilliant Life Planner.

Let me just share with you three reasons I love the Brilliant Life Planner.

It’s Feminine

A feminine look may seem like a ridiculous reason to choose a planner. I know from experience, however, that if I’m not captivated by the layout and graphics of a planner, I won’t use it. And if I don’t use it, it’s not really helping me, is it?!

More importantly, the feminine design reminds me that my mission of supporting women is worthwhile. We can be strong and educated and powerful and still retain our femininity!

But if you’re not super sparkly girly (that’s me), there’s good news. There are SIX different covers to choose from. You can choose the one that best suits your taste.

It’s Thorough

The Brilliant Life Planner is perfect for me because it encompasses both personal and professional goals. I’ve used planners in the past that were two separate exercises of goal setting and forecasting and project managing. But the reality is, my personal life and my professional life are so intertwined, having a LIFE PLANNER makes so much more sense!

I love that the Brilliant Life Planner includes plenty of pages for reflection. It’s great to know what goes right, but I also like having room to write about my challenges. And you know I love the included habit trackers for accountability!!

It’s a Memory Book

With pages to record weekly memories or happenings, the Brilliant Life Planner becomes that baby book I always meant to start! I love that there’s just enough space to write down a few highlights of each week or funny stuff the kids say.

As a trained historian, I love the memory capsule aspect. So many times the little things in life fall through the cracks. But when you have a way to incorporate those ditties into the flow and planning of your life, they’re there for you to reflect on later. Again, I love this feature because it’s great for both personal and professional tidbits.

Check out the Brilliant Life Planner to see it’s gorgeous layout, perfect for productivity-boosting time blocking. Get cracking on your goals right away!