BY SAMANTHA PAUL
“Our clients report finding an inner strength they didn’t know they had,” says Cassey Connelly, manager of Bell Trace Health & Living Center, on its way to becoming the first certified medical-fitness center in Bloomington. Open to Bell Trace residents and nonresidents alike, the fitness center fosters a “safe and supportive atmosphere for men and women of all fitness levels,” Connelly says.
Bell Trace hired Connelly in 2010 to develop both a facility where physicians can refer their patients and a program in which patients’ questions about appropriate exercise for their health issues can be answered. Connelly has a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from IU and is also certified by the American College of Sports Medicine as a Health Fitness Specialist. This certification allows her to train clients with medically controlled diseases who have been cleared by their physicians for independent exercise.
“The goal is to provide a physician’s patients with the most effective, supportive, and educational training programs for the reduction of health-risk factors,” says Connelly. “Physicians instruct their patients to diet and exercise for the control of hypertension, hyperlipidemia [high cholesterol], or type two diabetes, but those patients tell us they don’t know where to begin. They’re intimidated by larger facilities and overwhelmed by the equipment choices.”
Following a careful review of health history, proper medical clearance (if necessary), and a series of baseline fitness tests, clients are given personalized programs based on their goals. “The focus is on client education and empowerment, leading toward the independent execution of exercise programs, health-risk reduction, and active, permanent lifestyle changes,” says Connelly.
Instruction takes place in a semiprivate training studio, with one to four members at a time, and under the watchful eyes of well-trained staff.
Joanne Frye is a nonresident member who joined after her husband’s post-rehab training at the fitness center. Frye’s reason for joining was “more than just a number on the scale, or a dress size,” she says; it was for a better quality of life. Frye, who previously had borderline hypertension, has been able to avoid medication with her exercise program and says she is now “feeling great.”
The center (800 Bell Trace Cir.) is open Monday and Wednesday noon-5:30 pm, and Tuesday and Thursday 8:30 am-5:30 pm. Cost is $50 a month, with discounts available for seniors and Bell Trace residents. For more information, contact Connelly at 323-2858 or visit their website.