Don't resist the resistance band
A senior exercise class uses a resistance band. (Phil Velasquez/Chicago Tribune)
For many of us, the very best part of the workout is when we're in the shower, done with it and can move on to something more enjoyable.
I know, there are some people who can't wait to get to the gym, or the spinning class or whatever.
For the rest of us, our energy goes into conniving to escape exercise with excuses like not enough time, money, willpower.
Now here's a suggestion for those among us who prefer the couch to the gym. It's a piece of equipment that costs less than $10, weighs next to nothing, takes up next-to-no space and provides excellent exercise without all the fretting that goes into what we tend to think of as working out.
It's called a resistance band, but that's a fancy name for a heavy-duty rubber band with handles. And yes, I was skeptical when exercise specialist Seth Shanahan told me, "At the end of the day, you don't need anything else." No weights, pulleys, various machines. None of that.
"There's no piece of equipment for the money" that will allow you to work out more muscle groups, says Shanahan, of Advocate Fitness. They come in color-coded levels from light (yellow, green) to medium (red) to heavy (blue, black), and a Web search for "resistance bands" turns up instructions and many buying options.
"Even for a true couch potato … this is something you can do during the (TV) commercials," Shanahan promised.
The proof for me was a run-through of three exercises done 10 times each, then repeated using a medium resistance band.
It took six minutes, I was out of breath and my muscles were begging for mercy.
Got a bite-size tip on diet, exercise, well-being? I want to hear from you at email@example.com.