You asked…
I want to exercise but I just don’t have the motivation. What can I do get motivated and stay that way?

Aja answered…
Motivation is actually the biggest factor preventing people from reaching their health and fitness goals. I often joke with my clients that if I could do the exercises for them, I would! But that doesn’t solve the problem.

The first thing you have to do is decide on your “Why?” Why is exercising and being healthy important to you. If you set out doing it just because you think you should or it’s the right thing to do or because your friends, family or doctor say so, I guarantee you won’t last at anything for very long. Your reason for starting an exercise program has to come from you.

What I often tell people is to take a minute and really look at themselves naked in the mirror. And say this, “I love my body, but there are some things about it I would like to change.” Then, get help. Seriously. 93% of people won’t take the action required on their own to get what they want. So get help. Whether it be a trainer or joining a fitness class or working out with a friend, having someone there to hold you accountable and get and keep you on track is a great motivator. Hiring a trainer is one of the best motivators because you’re more likely to see results if they are good. Seeing the results you want is another way to stay motivated.

You asked…
How should my diet change with the season?

Aja answered…
People tend to eat much heavier during the cold months and much more healthful foods during the warmer months. I generally recommend trying to eat foods that are in season, this way your body is getting what nature intended it to get for the given time of year.

With grocery stores able to ship in foods from all around the world, it can be difficult to discern what is actually in season for your area. If possible, try to shop at stores that tell you where your produce comes from. For instance, if it’s the middle of January and you’re buying pears from Argentina, you might want to stop and think about that. In Argentina, January is summer for them.

Fruit has a naturally cooling effect on the body, and naturally when it’s warm you’ll want to eat things that cool the body down. But when it’s cold you’ll want to stick to foods that are heartier and help the body hold on to heat. You’ll want to stick to things that grow locally during cooler months such as squashes, sweet potatoes, beats, and whole grains such as brown rice and quinoa.  Of course staying away from refined sugar and processed foods should be practiced at all times during the year.

Aja Davis is a personal trainer and owns New Body Boot Camp & Wellness, Brooklyn’s premier fitness boot camp and personal training studio. Located at 552 Union St., Brooklyn, NY 11215.  For more information visit newbodybootcampnyc.com or call 888.502.0331 to schedule an appointment.

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Your go-to resource for all things empowering, thought-provoking, and pertinent to Black queer and trans women and non-binary people.

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