March 1, 2021
In this newsletter . . .
I have a small home office where I do my writing. It was converted from a guest bedroom to a convenient workspace — and also transforms in a flash to a workout room.
Hung neatly in my storage closet and next to a metal filing cabinet are sets of resistance bands and a rolled-up yoga mat. Required time for conversation from office to exercise room: less than one minute. Short of illness, there’s never an excuse for missing a workout.
Don't get me wrong. When Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, people who enjoy the camaraderie of a gym or health club should keep their memberships. My first gym was the iconic Yarick’s Gym in Oakland, California. I loved it. That was in the 1950s, and I’ve belonged to many gyms over the years.
But those were the days when I needed Olympic bars to get the kind of work I wanted. As I reached my senior years, heavy lifting gave way to more moderate routines. I stayed with kettlebells until only a few years ago, and then transitioned almost entirely to resistance bands.
When I was younger, and still pumping fairly heavy iron, I had a thought in my head that only geezers used bands. Now that I’m a geezer myself, I look back and realize how wrong I was. Countless young athletes today use bands, including many
professional football payers. They train with them for much of the same reason as seniors: bands build and maintain muscle — but are easy on joints, tendons, and ligaments.
Here’s a second reason to consider resistance bands. In the time it takes just to drive to a health club, you could be halfway through your home gym workout. Workout, shower, and you’re done. No traffic. No searches for parking. No hassle.
You may be thinking that’s all well and good. But are resistance bands really that effective? Without hesitation, I can say that they are.
I’m not running down free weights. But resistance bands are a great training option. For around $50 to $100 you can have a total home workout system, one to go with you even when you travel.
But back to the big, BIG advantage of bands. I have never — and I mean never — developed tendinitis while using them. Does that
mean it can’t happen? Of course not. It is possible to develop tendinitis while using any exercise equipment, or even bodyweight exercises alone.
But exercise bands are easier on tendons and ligaments than weights, definitely. And exercising muscle without beating-up tendons and ligaments becomes very important as you grow older.
There are plenty of companies selling bands. I bought mine from the Bodylastics company and I'm still using them. Years ago, they advertised on my website, but I have no connection with them now. Complete sets come with easy level bands to strongman thickness and various levels in between.
A good set of resistance bands may be just the training solution you're looking for.
Stay healthy. Stay fit.
Senior Exercise Central
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The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter is a free publication sent twice monthly to subscribers. The purpose is to provide honest and realistic fitness information for people age 50 and above.
I have never been paid or received compensation of any kind to write a positive review or endorse a product. If I say that I personally use a product or service, it is because I find value in it and have paid for it with my own money.
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The newsletter and web site provide information to help users establish and maintain a fitness lifestyle. But fitness information is not the same as fitness advice, which is the application of exercise and dietary practices to an individual's specific circumstances. Therefore, always consult with your physician for assurance that fitness information, and
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