Right Choice Fitness LLC is helping Orange County residents begin their fitness journeys from the comfort of their own homes.
The company, founded in 2007 by CEO Karen Mizell, provides quick, virtual 30-minute workout programs for busy fitness beginners looking for a healthy lifestyle change. Its current regimens focus on boxing, strength training and Tabata training. Classes are held via Zoom.
“To exercise, many go to work all day, head to the gym and then fight the traffic when coming home. All of that takes time away from your family,” Mizell told the Business Journal. “With Right Choice Fitness, at least that commute time to the gym and home will be eliminated.”
A certified nutritionist, Mizell also provides healthy eating advice to her clients while being flexible with their diets.
“I don’t tell my clients what to eat. I find out what they are eating and how they are eating. Then I make recommendations.” Like substituting sweet tea for lemon water, she said.
With Right Choice Fitness programming, Mizell has helped one of her clients lose over 100 pounds in less than two years.
Many of Mizell’s clients range from their 40s to their 70s and aren’t focused on losing weight. Most of them are looking to reduce the pain they endure when engaging in physical activity.
“I want my clients to be able to go on walks and not hurt. I want them to be able to enjoy their families and their grandkids, not just sit there and watch them but be a part of their life,” Mizell said.
Revenue for Right Choice Fitness in 2021 was $45,000, down from $52,000 the year prior. Mizell attributes the dip in revenue to clients missing more classes as people returned from remote working and took vacations as pandemic restrictions grew more lenient.
Mizell currently serves clients in Irvine, Tustin, Aliso Viejo and Newport Beach. But after pivoting to an online format following the onset of the pandemic, she said she is open to serving clients beyond Orange County.
Mizell has led Right Choice Fitness as a one-woman show for 14 years, and has no plans to operate otherwise.
When she first started teaching classes for Right Choice Fitness as a certified personal trainer, Mizell’s only clients were her friends.
But by word of mouth, Mizell’s client base quickly grew beyond her social circle. At one point, she had the Integrative Medical Group of Irvine by Dr. Felice Gersh recommending her as a personal trainer to its patients.
“Instead of me searching for people, people were now searching for me.”
From Corporate to Fitness
Mizell moved to Orange County as a single mom of two daughters in 1990, after the parent company of Kodak, where she worked as a contract administrator, relocated from Simi Valley. Before moving to California, Mizell lived and grew up in West Virginia.
Mizell has been active all her life. She grew up playing football, kickball and dodgeball with the kids in her neighborhood and her four brothers. Never did she think of working as a fitness instructor until Kodak told her she had to make a choice: lose her job or relocate to Rochester, N.Y. to stay with the company.
In her distaste for cold weather, Mizell decided on the former, which marked the start of her journey as a trainer and small business owner in the fitness industry.
Beyond leading Right Choice Fitness, Mizell, an Irvine resident, has worked as a trainer at the Edwards Lifesciences Inc. campus gym, and the YMCA in Newport Beach. She’s also a Zumba instructor for Soka University. She enjoys leading movement warmups at her local church, Christ Our Redeemer in Irvine, and spending time with her seven grandkids.