How to Stay Motivated with Exercise

Social Media Takeover

Recently, I was a guest host and did a social media takeover on both Instagram and Facebook for Legend Compression Wear. (Read more about their Graduated Compression Guide at their blog Here and receive $15 off with my referral Link.) 

Legend Compression

I was asked to give tips and strategies on how to stay disciplined with exercise. So, here are my 4 ways to keep motivated!

Exercise Motivation 1

1️⃣: choose a goal, write it down, set a timeline, follow a program, tell people!

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Pick an an event, race, or challenge – whether it be a mud run, 5k, 10 push ups or an Instagram fitness challenge with an achievable end date. Commit by journaling, letting your friends or family know, creating an accountability page, then research a program that fits your work life balance and start 👍

Exercise motivation 2

2️⃣: change your train of thought regarding exercise – think of it as an act of daily living as opposed to a chore

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I’m going to safely assume everyday, most of us, wake up and shower, get dressed, eat, brush our teeth, automatically put on our seatbelt in the car, work, take care of children, etc…or something to this effect. We have to think about exercise exactly as we do our daily tasks, that it’s just a part of life…a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle.

If this is a challenge for you regarding time or motivation, begin with an activity that you find enjoyable and is fun. You like nature? Go for a hike. You like music? Try Zumba. Trying to keep up with your kids? Bike 🚴. It doesn’t matter if it’s morning, lunch or at night, Fit it in as if your life depends on it because essentially…it does!

Exercise Motivation 3

3️⃣: practice daily positive affirmations & actions

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In order to get motivated to create a goal and get our mindset to believe the goal is worth doing and achievable, we need to work on ourselves to get our minds in the right place.

Everyday we should be practicing positive actions including: healthy eating, meditation, journaling our gratefulness, and/or practicing acts of kindness. When we treat ourselves gently we can then transfer it onto others as equally or far greater.

Perhaps today you’ll sign up for a race that benefits your favorite charity, compete in honor of a friend or loved one, or volunteer some hard labor to those in need. When the deed isn’t about you anymore, these small actions lead to big impacts and, in the world today, I think actions certainly speak louder than words ❤️

Exercise Motivation 4

And finally…

4️⃣: plan to reward yourself when you meet each goal 

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You’ve heard keep your eyes on the prize? Well, why not make that a reality?! You’ve worked hard to stay dedicated, spending time and energy, you deserve a little something. Plan a spa day, a night out at your favorite restaurant or new workout gear (like Legend Compression Socks 😉). Then you can stay motivated in your new gear to sign up for your next event!

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A weekend in Amsterdam

One of my best college friends, Katie, came to Amsterdam for a work conference this past week. I was able to find a reasonably priced flight so I made my way over for a long weekend. 

With my flight delayed by an hour and 25 minutes, my Thursday night arrival was pushed back to 9:30pm. Unfortunately missing dinner, I was able to grab some beers at a bar called Louis with Katie and a couple of her associates. An earlier bedtime allowed for a Friday morning breakfast and 5 mile run around the city.


Words of advice, running around Amsterdam is hard. You’re constantly having to watch out for cars, trams, bikes and people on very narrow side walks. My first two miles from the train station to the Rijksmuseum took closer to 30 minutes instead of 20. My suggestion is to be an early riser and get your run out of the way to avoid people in general. 

Once I got to the museum there were hundreds of tourists moving about to get into and out of the museum and to see the I Amsterdam sign. Not quite the same midweek view my dad, sister and I got back when we visited the sign in April when the sign was by city hall. 

In April:


In October:


By the museum I did get some breathing room as parks opened up a bit however I knew my return home would be just as shot as the way there, so I took my time back taking photos along the way. Although you can’t get a speedy run in, the architecture, canals and characters you pass along the way make sightseeing worth it. 


Friday evening we were recommended to go to the area Leidseplein to have dinner and drinks. We ate at BarBQ Castell, a dark but warm and cozy steak house, with super friendly servers and delicious pieces of meat. Fortunately within walking distance of plenty of coffee shops and bars, we enjoyed the rest of our evening living it up with locals and tourists alike partying at a piano bar and ending at a club at 5am playing only 50 cent, extremely appropriate as it was one of our favorite artists back during our Northeastern University days.

Saturday didn’t start until about 2pm, which was no problem as we had both been to Amsterdam before and we had no real touristy plans to accomplish (for instance the Heineken museum or Anne Frank House, although Katie would have liked to have gone if there wasn’t a two hour line), but we did make our way over to Winkle 43 for their famous Dutch Apple Pie. After walking through a market and having our dessert first, we decided to people watch at an outdoor cafe with unknowingly crappy service and  unfortunately even worse food. 

At this point we were lazy but were able to find an unlimited drink canal cruise for 15€. It was really quite lovely as we took it at dusk and was able to drink and cover ourselves with blankets on the hour tour. 


We made it back to the hotel around 8pm and asked for a restaurant in similar style as BarBQ Castell but within walking distance and ended up at Van Speyk. Another wonderful suggestion by the hotel concierge as we were not disappointed with meal, wine or decent pricing. 

Sunday was our departure and we left with weekends full of laughable memories and teaching Katie how to use Snapchat 😂

The Fit Wanderluster Expansion

Big News Alert!!

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The Fit Wanderluster has launched it’s first t-shirt and tank top business. Say What!?

My goals with this blog are to share my passions of working out and traveling while giving healthy recipes, wellness and injury prevention advice when I can with friends, family and the world. The blog is a glimpse of what it’s like inside my little bubble on this big, blue planet. I know I’m not the only one out there who loves fitness, running, and traveling. Now my passions can be shared and passed on with a visual statement that can be worn proudly to let others know your fit wandering desires as well.

My t-shirts are American Apparel branded and are classic, comfortable, with a vintage feel. Great for day to day wear, working out, or traveling.

 

The tanks are Next Level Brand with sporty racerback cut to keep you looking and feeling cool.

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Prices start at $23. Checkout is secure, fast and simple and all products can be shipped internationally.

Go ahead and get your Fit Wanderluster apparel today!

The Fit Wanderluster

My first US Visitors

Last week I mentioned that my dad and sister were coming to visit me during the marathon and to do some additional sight seeing. My dad, Bob, had already planned on coming but my sister, Julie, needed needed a day of coaxing to make the decision to make her first international trip ever. I had mentioned to her that WOW airlines runs bargain round trip flights from Boston to Paris (with a short layover in Iceland). I’m talking half the price (even with the extras of checked baggage). I knew she would be hesitant because her oldest daughter was expecting her first baby (my niece, Heidi, who’s wedding I was in in West Virginia last August) and her other daughter Kailee, in Pennsylvania, is engaged and planning her wedding. But happily, she made the decision to come and now I was in the driver’s seat to help both of them see as much of Europe in 12 short days.

DAY 1-4: PARIS

They arrived on a red eye flight from Boston-Reykjavik-Paris getting in at 11:30am our time (we are 6 hours ahead of east coast time) so 5:30am their time. We were only spending 4 days in Paris with one day being the marathon and the last day leaving early to catch a train to our next adventure, thus only really leaving us with 2 days.

Friday, April 1, we checked into our Airbnb near Place de la Republique and I double checked with them if they wanted to rest or start seeing the sights and like the troopers they are, we were off to explore Paris by foot. The Republique is centrally located so we were never too far from the main sights; however, I don’t think any of us planned on the amount of walking we would be partaking in during our trip which consisted of about 10k each day.

First we had lunch on a corner cafe near our apartment with my friend, Dorothy, from home who currently lives in London and her friend, Flavia, from Rotterdam, Netherlands. Both were in town, luckily, to visit me and celebrate Flavia’s birthday.

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Dorothy, Flavia, me, Julie 

 

 

We walked from the Republique -> Centre Pompidou -> Hotel de Ville -> Notre Dame de Paris -> Musee du Louvre -> then took a Batobus boat tour past Musee D’Orsay and Tour Eiffel -> back to Notre Dame and walked back to the Republique.

We all started to crash at that point and went back to rest. I bought some Champagne, Cheese, Chorizo and a baguette. My dad stayed in for the rest of the night and me, my sister mustered up our last bit of energy to meet up with Dorothy and Flavia to celebrate Flavia’s birthday at AG Les Halles.

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Flavia’s Birthday

 

Saturday, I attempted a short run with Dorothy in the morning but was experiencing a combination of sciatic pain and panic attack so we cut it short and picked up some croissants. Juju arrived Saturday afternoon and we all made our way to the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles to pick up our marathon numbers. The expo was huge but thankfully with only one exit as we lost my dad for about 30 minutes, without a smart phone, and he was smart enough to wait at the exit. After that moment of panic, we could go back to enjoy the exhibitors in which we tried some wine from the Alsace region, picked up some Kinesiotape for my sciatica, my sister grabbed some new sneakers and Juju and I re-stocked on our goos and energy bars.

That night we all met up with Dorothy and Flavia at La Massara for an Italian carb loaded dinner before the race. We went to bed early and JuJu and I got up around 8am to head to the start of the marathon while my dad and sister met up later with Juju’s sister, Magali and boyfriend, Jeremie, and their daughter to do the spectator routine. After the marathon and recovery we went the the bar across the street from our apartment and celebrated with everyone.

Day 4-6: HOLLAND

Monday morning we checked out of the Airbnb in Paris and headed over to Gare du Nord to catch our train to Amsterdam. It was a 3:30 hour journey but the trains are pretty comfortable and stocked with food and beer 🙂 We passed through Brussels half way and made it our final destination around 3:45pm. I booked a really cheap room at The Frisco Inn, only a 5 minute walk from the train station. Upon arrival, we soon discovered why it was so cheap. I had requested a double bed and cot for a 3rd person. They missed the cot comment and put us up in the smallest room they had. First, the flight up the stairs was a challenge as the steps were as narrow as rungs on a ladder, so bringing 3 heavy suitcases plus ourselves seemed to be an acrobatic feat. Then the room…it fit a double bed. And that’s it. Needless to say, the other rooms were completely booked and I slept on the floor for 2 nights. Not my first time and probably won’t be my last – all the the namesake of a bargain, am I right?

Monday night we walked a bit to see the Anne Frank House, canals, and, of course, the Red light district. We were told to get the best dutch apple pie in the city at Winkel 43. Upon arrival, there were several picnic benches for outdoor seating that was minimally full. We opted to eat inside as the weather was spring-like but cooled off a bit when the sun went down. The place was pretty quiet and I was concerned that the only food options were bar apps. The waitress put away our fears and brought out the chalkboard menu with an array of options, that I guess is an ever changing menu. I went with the dutch speciality of mashed potatoes with broccoli and Rookworst sausage. My sister opted for the goat cheese salad and my dad got the sweet and sour chicken. And of course all 3 of us got the famous Dutch Apple Pie that was not the least bit disappointing.

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Tuesday we got up early to reserve a bus to Keukonhof where the Tulip festival is about 45 minutes away from the city. This festival only occurs between March and May. It’s like a Theme park for flowers. Before we had a hearty pancake breakfast that literally could be made up of anything you wanted, think more crepe style. I got veggie pancake with fresh mint tea, my sister got bacon and cheese, while my dad opted for apple and ham. Then we started the party early with some morning alcoholic beverages at the bar at our hotel and sneaked a few nips on the way in the bus. We were feeling good! At the festival, right off the bat we were able to grab a couple bottles of Rose and prance around the festival. It was beautifully entertaining and we did as much touristy things imaginable. After a couple hours, we ended up in the cafe and had some beef stew and started to make our way back toward the bus. Catching the bus close to the last minute, because we had to buy our dad a collection pin, we made our way back to Amsterdam and spent the rest of the evening talking it up with the bartender and some patrons in the hotel bar and, due to the “pungent air”, ended up having McDonald’s. That’s what a day of drinking will lead to, not my proudest moment but better than dealing with a hangover.

Wednesday the weather finally took a turn for the worst. I think it was really our only day with rain but it was just miserable, cold and windy. We decided to take the covered boat cruise through the canals. We made one pit stop to see the I AMSTERDAM sign. Last time I visited the Netherlands the sign was behind the Rijksmuseum. Unbeknownst to me, the sign moves every year and this year it was on City Hall grounds. Because of the weather we were lucky enough to get pictures with the whole sign without anyone else in the picture. I was pretty happy about that. The fatigue was starting to set in and we opted to forego seeing the Rijks and Van Gogh Museums and the Heineken Experience and also, we were running out of time. We then took our train back from Amsterdam to Paris, walked two blocks to Gare de l’Est to get our train to finally my home in Metz, France where Juju picked us up at 10pm and had made lasagna for us.

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Day 7: Metz, France

We finally took a break from travel but that didn’t stop our 10k per day walking excursions. We took the local bus to the Metz Gare then walked our way -> Centre Pompidou-Metz Museum -> Porte des Allemands -> Cathedrale Metz -> Le Temple Neuf   -> Place de la Republique where we shopped met up with my American friend, Ashley, and her son who live in Metz. The presidents of France and Germany were in town celebrating the Franco-Allemande relationship and closing off some of the streets in the neighborhood. That night Juju came home and cooked us salmon and we all went to bed early.

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Metz, France

Day 8: Reims, France

Friday morning we woke up early to catch a Megabus (same as the Megabus you would take from Boston to NYC) from Metz to Champagne-Ardenne/Reims. This is the champagne region of France. The bus dropped us off at the main train station a little bit outside the city. We discovered the 20 minute tram that would take us into the city. Once in the city we would, of course, walk to the closest Champagne cellar we could find. On our walk we passed the Notre Dame Reims cathedral, which was like a miniature version of Paris but was being renovated. Our walk ended at Champagne Taittinger. We made it just in time for the beginning of the hour long tour. It started with a short video then a walk through the 13th Roman Century chalk caves that houses 2 million bottles of champagne that take anywhere from 15 months to 10 years to produce. At the end, of course, were tastings and this stuff is the best, sorry Korbel, but you have some work to do 😉 After the tour we had just enough time to walk, catch the tram and take the 2:30 Megabus back to Metz. At this point, the traveling was starting to catch up with us and my dad in particular, who was getting a head cold. We all passed out early again Friday night.

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Champagne Taittinger

Day 9: Strasbourg, France

With my dad staying home to rest, me, Julie and Juju drove 2 hours to Strasbourg, France. It’s part of the European Capital and home to the half timbered houses, le petite France, and Cathedrale Notre Dame de Strasbourg. We experienced alsatian gastronomy in Winstub Meiselocker which included escargot, foie gras, and the best Cordon Bleu I’ve ever had in my life. We then took the petite train tour around the city to get a view of the distinct architecture. We came back after a couple of beers and my sister rested and Juju and I went out in Metz with our French friends to again celebrate our Marathon completion.

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Day 10: Hestroff, France

Sunday Funday in France is mine and Juju’s favorite day of the week. We typically start off the morning by hitting up the farmer’s market across from our flat and to get fresh fruits, veggies, baguettes, eggs and cheese. We cook up a brunch accompanied with champagne. In the afternoon, we drove 30 minutes to Juju’s parents home in Hestroff, France located 12 miles from the German border. Here we drank more Champagne and walked around the village to a point in the forest that brought us to a WWII bunker called Fort aux Fresques Ligne Maginot Hestroff connecting local villages by underground tunnels to protect from Germans (that thankfully never came). After this history lesson, we had a 5 course meal made by Juju’s mother and did as much communicating as you can between English and French only speaking families with the help of more wine and some sign language and, of course, Juju’s translations.

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Hestroff, France

Day 11: Trier, Germany and Luxembourg, Luxembourg

Monday was our last day of touring and what could be better but to have all 3 meals in a day, each in a different country. We started with breakfast in Metz, France, then took a 45 minute train to Luxembourg, Luxembourg and switched to take another 55 min train to Trier, Germany. Walking continued to get from the gare to the city center where we saw Porta Nigra -> Hauptmarkt which contained shopping, colorful architecture, cathedrales, and a delicious traditional german meal of dumplings and meatloaf -> Kurfurstliches Palais -> and Imperial Roman Baths. We were able to grab a beer stein for my nephew, Nick, and we speed walked .8 miles to catch a 3:30pm train back to Luxembourg.

In Luxembourg, we took the bus to city plaza and walked to the Chemin de la Corniche and to Place d’Armes and drank a beer out in the open. We hopped on the bus and I showed them Kirchberg and LuxChiro, where I worked, and stopped by Auchan until Juju was done with work. We had our last meal at Chimichurri which serves platters for meals, so needless to say there would be doggie bags of food being brought home.

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Chemin de la Corniche, Luxembourg

Day 12: Back to US

The last day approached and we sadly had to send my sister and dad back by train to Paris. They were able to get a quick look into EuroDisney before reaching Charles De Gaulle Airport. It was great to show my family where I lived and the neighboring attractions that makes Europe so great. And we got my sister back in time before her first grandchild and my great-niece, Lillian, making a 4 week early arrival on April 17th. Congrats to mom, Heidi, and baby who are both healthy and the family of 3 are doing well.

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My great-niece, Lillian Taylor