Your Fitness Journey: Dress for Success


In our past discussions to starting a fitness journey, we touched upon 6 important concepts to consider; planning to succeed, getting a buddy, eating to feed the body, dressing for success, staying focused and being realistic.

Time to suit up and hit the racks!


Deciding to work out will require some appropriate clothing. This requires more thought than just tossing on some clothes and shoes. This is more for safety than for fashion. Sure it’s great to look cute when working out; after all, we should look good while we are sweating our toes off, right?


In my opinion, shoes are probably the most important article we can put on our body. It’s important to consider what you will be doing, such as running, Zumba, or lifting weights.  Each will require a different type of shoe for that activity. I have a pair of good running shoes that I wear for my outdoor walk/jog activity. I try not to wear them all the time, as they will get broken down from other activities and not be as supportive for those run times.

If you are a ZUMBA fan, having a good pair of dance shoes is crucial. I’ve heard so many stories of people hurting their knees due to wearing regular shoes for Zumba. Get yourself a pair of dance shoes, there are a ton of cute and affordable ones out there just for dance.

Do you like to do indoor cycling? Guess what? Get a pair of cycling shoes, ya know the ones with the funny looking clips on the bottom? They will keep your knees in alignment while on the bike, help with your form and keep you from thrashing your regular shoes.  And they come in all kinds of colors!

Want to lift weights, but not really into the cardio stuff? There are shoes designed for supporting your body during those heaving lifting sessions. They support the ankles and the toes in those hard leg presses and squats.

Do you do all the above in a training session? Say, lift and then run or walk? Get some cross trainers. They are perfect for that situation and for group exercise class where you are doing weights and interval training.


Where to start? There are so many cute fitness clothes, most of us live in them, even if you aren’t into fitness. So, let’s start from the top and work our way down.


Hair accessories. Hair ties, hats, hair bands, etc. Do whatever works for you. Just keep it out of your way so you can focus on your workout.


Sports bras… so many options! There are high impact sports bras, to low impact sports bras. If you are going to be jumping or running or diving for the floor… high impact is the only way to go.  Pilates, cycling, Barre, etc. low impact sports bras are perfect.


Tops are important, obviously. Just cover yourself.  No one wants to be distracted by a possible clothing malfunction. Make sure the top can absorb the sweat if you plan on doing higher intensity workout or it’s the summer (you will sweat just getting a drink of water).  Just remember you want to be comfortable.


Bottoms should be fitted, non-see through, sweat absorbing and appropriate for your activity. Might not want to wear shorty shorts for cycling as chaffing can happen between those thighs… ouch.


Socks are so personal. There are no show socks, mid rise, high rise, etc. You want socks to absorb the sweat (this is becoming a theme), and work well for your activity, such as running, pilates, yoga or Barre.


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.


There are many fitness activities that haven’t been discussed, but require much more specialized gear, such as swimming, soccer, volleyball, softball, outdoor cycling, etc. Be sure to ask questions on what will be needed when you begin those types of activities.

It’s so easy to get sucked into buying all the cute stuff for working out.


It’s so easy to get sucked into buying all the cute stuff for working out. But be sure you are really going to stick with the activity before you spend your money on something you might not really enjoy. Give it a month or so and if you find you love it and plan on pushing forward, then invest in those cycling shoes, running shoes, lifting gloves for your training… the list can go on and on. Be patient, focus on the journey and enjoy the ride.







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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