Walk This Way

One of the best mood-boosters ever is exercise! Getting even just 30 minutes of exercise a day can have major long-term benefits to your overall health and wellness. And those 30 minutes don’t even have to come out of the same chunk of time! It’s 30 minutes per day, not 30 minutes all at once (if that’s not possible for your schedule). But let’s be real, I’m sure you can find 30 measly minutes in your day. I mean, you’re sitting here reading this blog post, so you’ve obviously got some time right now, and since you’ve got the time right now, why don’t you get up and go for a walk. Go ahead! I’ll wait for you to get back 🙂

… … …

You back now? Okay good. How was your walk? Felt pretty great huh?

Long or short, my favorite form of exercise is walking. I love walking in the mornings especially. It’s a great time for me to think and run through all the things I need to do for the day, or if I’ve got a problem I need to figure out. It can also provide an opportunity to detach myself from the world by listening to a podcast, audio book, or music. Though, most of the time I just walk and enjoy the sights and sounds around my neighborhood, so it’s also a good time to unplug.

As an ACE Certified Personal Trainer, I can also tout the physical benefits of walking. Like how walking lowers your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and stress. At the same time walking raises your good cholesterol levels (yes, you have good cholesterol), improves muscle function and tone, and increases your cardiovascular health which leads to a lower risk of heart diseases, aka: the number 1 cause of death in the world. Walking is also as physically beneficial as running, which is the exercise that most people associate with when they think of physical fitness. Both walking and running are full-body exercises, which means all of your major muscle groups play a part in the movement of walking/running. So don’t start thinking you have to be a marathon runner to get the same benefits. You can totally get fitter and healthier by walking.

Have problems or conditions with your ankles, knees, hips, or back that prevent you from walking on hard surfaces? Try using an elliptical for less strain on your joints. You can also (just about) eliminate the strain by doing water exercises like swimming laps in a pool, or if your local Recreation Center has a lazy river in their pool area, walking backwards (against the current) in that lazy river will give you mega gains without the discomfort of walking on concrete or a treadmill.

That all said, any kind of exercise you choose to do will improve your overall health. And, because of the endorphins that come from physical activity, regular exercise will also improve your overall mental health. So take a walk, long or short, and look for that silver lining today.

P.S.- Tag me on instagram with a picture from your walk, and let’s get a community of walkers out there! Find me @whereisyoursilverlining

The Purrfect Friend

Have you ever looked at your pet and said, “you’re my best pal” to them? I know I have. My cat knows he’s my favorite baby (shh. Don’t tell my human babies). And while it’s true your animal wouldn’t respond to that loving statement -unless they’re from Narnia where animals can speak- except with a wag of the tail, or a slow blink (which is cat-talk for I love you in case you didn’t know), rest assured that your pet is doing more for you than you realize.

Pet ownership is one of the joys of life, in fact, most American homes have at least one pet, but I’m willing to bet you didn’t know that owning a pet has benefits to your physical as well as mental heath. According to the CDC:

Some of the health benefits of having a pet include:

  • Decreased blood pressure.
  • Decreased cholesterol levels.
  • Decreased triglyceride levels.
  • Decreased feelings of loneliness.
  • Decreased feelings of stress.
  • Increased opportunities for exercise and outdoor activities.
  • Increased opportunities for socialization.

Pretty cool right? Not only are you taking care of your pet by loving them, feeding them, playing with them, and socializing with them, but they’re taking care of you because of those very same activities. And these benefits come from any animal you have (with the exception of wildlife, lets keep those guys wild please!).

What if you can’t afford a pet, or are in a situation where you aren’t allowed to have one? There is a solution. Local animal shelters are frequently asking for volunteers to come in and love on their animals. Spending your time at animal shelters has the same benefits as owning those animals yourself!

So the next time you look at your pet and say, “you’re my best pal” remember that they’re helping you just as much as you’re loving them.

Breathe, Just Breathe

Inhale… Exhale… Inhale… Exhale…

We breathe without thinking of it. It’s an automated part of our bodies. But when was the last time you thought about those inhales and exhales? I mean really thought about them? The practice of mindful breathing dates back to the dawn of humanity as a form of meditation, spiritual mindedness, or just a way to slow down and calm oneself. It’s a practice that many of us have, well, fallen out of practice on.

Let me tell you a story about how taking a few deep breaths helped me through a particularly hard day.

My step-dad and my husband worked in office buildings just blocks from each other. My step-dad drove my husband to work every day, and picked him up to come home. One morning, my step-dad didn’t show up on time. After an hour of waiting my husband called my mom to ask if my step-dad was okay or if he forgot to call my husband to tell him he wasn’t coming that morning. Mom told my husband that my step-dad had already left. This is when we knew there was trouble because it was only a 5 minute drive from my Mom’s to our house. After jumping in the car and driving toward my house, my mom came upon an accident at the side of the road, where a light pole was bent over the top of my step-dad’s car and a tow truck was pulling up to haul it away.

And as I struggled through my tears and hiccuping sobs I managed to pull a couple deep breaths out. The physical relief was almost instant.

As my husband and I drove to the emergency room, I distinctly remember feeling a tightness in my chest. I didn’t realize that my breathing had become shallow and quick. When we got to the emergency room we were greeted by the hospital chaplain. He held my hand and told me my step-dad had passed away. I can’t remember anything else he said except one thing: “Deep breaths, honey. Keep taking deep breaths,” he said. And as I struggled through my tears and hiccuping sobs I managed to pull a couple deep breaths out. The physical relief was almost instant. I was still crying, I was still grieving, but my chest wasn’t so tight and I was able to speak coherently. Throughout the rest of that bitter day, and days that followed, I’d catch myself breathing quickly, shallowly, feeling tightness in my chest, and remind myself of the kind chaplain’s words, “deep breaths, honey. Keep taking deep breaths,” and I was able to calm myself physically and mentally.

I don’t ever remember a time when I was so aware of every breath I took. But because of that sage advice to just breathe, I’ve been able to calm myself in uncomfortable situations.

The practice of taking deep, cleansing breaths has even worked for the littlest members of my family, which is where this Little Glimmer comes from.

Little Glimmer: hold a finger up and pretend it’s a birthday candle. Take a deep breath in, and blow out the candle. Do as many breaths as you have birthdays! Easy, yeah?

I have my kids blow out the candle frequently to re-center themselves when they’re overcome with emotions (aka: throwing a tantrum…). And most of the time it helps enough for them to explain why they’re upset.

I challenge you to try taking a few moments in your busy, hectic, stressful day and take a few cleansing breaths. Blow out the candle (like my kiddos), or just breathe mindfully. I hope this helps calm and center you to be able to look for the silver lining in your day.

Leave me a comment below with your thoughts! Has deep breathing helped you? Does “blowing out the candle” calm your little ones? Let me know!


Hello Friends! I can not tell you how excited I am to present to you the Silver Lining Blog. This blog is a place to come when you find you’re having a hard time finding the joy, hope, and little hapinesses (is that a word? I’m making it a word…) in your every day life.

The world we live in right now is a rough one. We’re all so stressed, anxious, depressed, worn-out, you name it. Sometimes we just get stuck in our routine and forget to stop and smell the roses. I hope you will come to this place often to read my little tips and tricks that I call Little Glimmers, some motivational messages, and the occasional work out! Those endorphins are no joke y’all.

So welcome, and remember:

With every dark cloud there’s always a silver lining.

P.S.- Follow me on Instagram for additional Little Glimmers, happy messages, and more! @WhereIsYourSilverLining