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fitness benefits


  • Strength training prevents muscle loss. Adults who do not strength train lose between five to seven pounds of muscle every decade. While cardio exercise improves our cardiovascular fitness, it does not prevent the loss of muscle tissue.
  • Strength training will increase your metabolism. Research shows that adding three pounds of muscle increases our resting metabolic rate by seven percent, and ups our daily calorie requirements by 15 percent..
  • Strength training will increase your muscle mass. Research shows that doing 25 minutes of strength exercise, three days a week can increase muscle mass by about three pounds over an eight-week training period.
  • Strength training will reduce your body fat. Increasing your muscle mass will increase your calorie burn, thereby reducing the likelihood of fat accumulation. Researchers found that strength exercise produced four pounds of fat loss after three months of training, even though the subjects were eating 15 percent more calories per day.
  • Strength training will increase your bone mineral density. Studies show that four months of strength training can result in significant increases in bone mineral density and help protect against fractures, "shrinking" and osteoporosis.
  • Strength training will improve your glucose metabolism and fight diabetes. Poor glucose metabolism is associated with adult onset diabetes. Researchers have reported a 23 percent increase in glucose uptake after four months of strength training.
  • Strength training will speed up your digestion. A recent study showed a 56 percent increase in gastrointestinal transit time after three months of strength training. This is significant because delayed digestion puts you at a higher risk for colon cancer.
  • Strength training reduces your resting blood pressure. Combining strength and aerobic exercise is an even more effective means of improving blood pressure readings. A recent study showed that after just two months of a moderate strength and cardio program, participants dropped their systolic blood pressure (the number on top which measures the pressure used when the heat beats) by 5 mm Hg and their diastolic blood pressure (the number on the bottom measures the pressure that exists in the arteries between heartbeats) by 3 mm Hg.
  • Strength training will relieve lower back pain. Years of research on strength training and back pain show that strong back muscles are less likely to be injured than weaker back muscles. In a recent study, lower back pain sufferers had significantly less discomfort after 10 weeks of strength exercise for the lumbar spine muscles. Because over 80 percent of Americans experience back problems, it is advisable for all adults to strengthen these muscle properly.
  • Strength training will reduce arthritis pain. Studies show that sensible strength training ceases the pain of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

  • Warm-Up: Complete 3-5 minutes on either the treadmill or elliptical cross trainer to warm-up the joints and muscles.
  • How: A-B-C, Always Be in Control, complete each repetition in a slow and deliberate movement so that the muscles are in control of the weight in both directions thru the full range of motion. Exercises can be completed in any order.
  • How Many: Perform 8-12 repetitions for each set and move to a heavier weight when 12 repetitions can be completed comfortably.
  • How Often: Perform each workout 2-3 times per week with at least 1-day off between each workout.
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  • Regular cardio exercise can reduce health risks including obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, stroke and certain types of cancer.
  • Regular cardio exercise can help you manage chronic condition such as lower high blood pressure, control blood sugar and relieve chronic muscle pain.
  • Regular cardio exercise can keep excess pounds at bay. Combined with a healthy diet, Cardio exercise can help you lose weight — and keep it off.
  • Regular cardio exercise can ward off viral illnesses. Cardio exercise activates your immune system. This leaves you less susceptible to minor viral illnesses, such as colds and flu.
  • Regular cardio exercise can keep your arteries clear. Less buildup of plaques in your arteries.
  • Regular cardio exercise can strengthen your heart. A stronger heart doesn't need to beat as fast. A stronger heart also pumps blood more efficiently, which improves blood flow to all parts of your body.
  • Regular cardio exercise can boost your mood. Cardio exercise can ease the gloominess of depression and reduce the tension associated with anxiety, as well as promote relaxation.
  • Regular cardio exercise can increase your stamina. Cardio exercise may make you tired in the short term. But over the long term, you'll enjoy increased stamina and reduced fatigue.
  • Regular cardio exercise can help you stay active and independent as you get older.. Cardio exercise also keeps your mind sharp. Researchers say that at least 30 minutes of Cardio exercise three days a week can reduce cognitive decline in older adults.
  • Smart Start Cardio Training Guidelines

  • Warm-Up: Start slow and gradually work up to your Target Heart Rate over 3-5 minutes.
  • Target Heart Rate: Your target heart rate is between 60-85 percent of your maximum rate. Your maximum heart rate is 220 minus your age. All cardio equipment has Zone Training Workouts to help keep you in the target heart rate zone.
  • How Long: Work in your target zone for 15-25 minutes. Work on duration before you work on anything else--it's more important than how fast you're going. Once you can complete 20-30 total minutes start increasing your speed and/or level.
  • How Often: Cardio exercise should be performed 3-5 days a week or as many times as you can fit it in your schedule.
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