Starting a Fitness Journey: Top 6 Things to Do



When starting anything new, it’s always good to have a plan. Whether it be a route when traveling somewhere new, a grocery list when preparing for a new recipe or directions on how to put together that new item you just purchased from the store. Having a workout plan is just as critical.

The key to your plan is start small. Keep it simple. Select a few days a week you will be able to commit to your plan and mark them into your day planner just as you would any other appointment. Overwhelming yourself and making big goals too soon will create chaos, frustration and fear.

Decide in your plan what you will be doing each workout session. For example, bicep & tricep day with quads; shoulder and chest day with some lunges; and back and ab day with some booty work. If you are not sure of what to do, there are many online resources you can use, gyms you can join that have personal trainers at your fingertips or group fitness classes you can attend.

Include time of duration and reps into your plan. How long do you have to workout at each session? An hour? Thirty minutes? Decide based upon your schedule how many sets you can do and repetitions at each set that will fit within your time available. Start light and then go heavy. Test your strength slowly so you don’t become injured. Don’t forget some rest periods in between each set. Rest is your friend.


Speaking of friend, get an accountability partner. We as humans are more likely to keep focused and succeed when we have someone to join us on our journey. We will be more driven, confident and encouraged when someone joins us by our side to rejoice and struggle thru the depths of sweat and dumbbells.



Food is also our friend. It’s obvious we can’t live without it. When starting your fitness journey, deciding to focus on nutrition versus food wants is going to be what will make you rejoice or cry. We need to remember that we feed our bodies for energy, strength, mental clarity and enjoyment. Too many people focus on the last, enjoyment. Food can taste great and still feed our bodies in a healthy manner.  Try not to use food as a celebration for making it to the end of your workout session. Use food to create energy and feed your body to live a healthy life.

Most people don’t have any idea of how much food they are eating or how much they need.  Using a food tracker can stop the guess work and show you exactly how much food you are consuming on a daily basis, including macros (protein, carbs, fats).


Deciding to work out will require some appropriate clothing. This is more for safety than for fashion. Shoes are the most important. Consider what you will be doing, such as running, Zumba, lifting weights? Each will require a different type of shoe for that activity. Clothing selection is important to, such as a good support top for the ladies. Other things to consider when dressing for your workout, if it’s dark, GLOW! Outdoor walking or running is amazing and great for enjoying creation and the fresh air. But be sure you can be seen and have a flash light or headlamp to guide your path.


Motivation will become your friend over time.  No one succeeds without it. Only you can do it for yourself and it will be the number 1 tool in your workout belt that will get you past all obstacles. Motivation and spiritual strength will overlap. Digging deep and finding THE voice inside us that tells us we can do it, even when we don’t want to that day or don’t feel we are worth it, will make all the difference in the workout journey.


You can do it. Anyone can do it. But deciding on how to get there will depend on you. Set small goals. Depending on your weight loss needs, 1-2 pounds a week is healthy. Set your sites on fat loss and not on the scale. Measure yourself before your journey and every 5-6 weeks after that. There will be great days of success and days of frustration. Plan for those days. Know that they will come and decide you will move past them when they do show up. NO one is perfect. But your desire to take care of yourself and live a healthy, strong life is perfect.






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Kemala Purcell is a certified Group Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer who works with a variety of people to get fit, strong and to have a healthy lifestyle. Kemala believes in setting realistic goals that can improve one’s daily living and increase physical strength as age and life progresses. She has taught at various gyms in the Brentwood area over the past 11 years and has become certified in many formats that challenge her classes and clients. In addition to fitness, Kemala enjoys spending time with her husband, two adult daughters and 3 crazy dogs. She also loves spending time running with her friends and enjoying the beauty of the California East Bay. Kemala believes that we all have the ability to be healthy and strong, and that the “Joy of the Lord is our strength.” Nehemiah 8:10



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