Nowadays, health and fitness can be considered an expensive commodity. If you are fortunate enough to be a member at a gym or health and leisure complex, then briefly consider your monthly membership fees. This outlay is in addition to any joining fee that was requested, not to mention your transport to and from the gym on a daily basis.

Now consider any specialist clothing and equipment that you have purchased to allow yourself to train comfortably and effectively in your chosen environment. These initial calculations have yet to total up any sporting supplements, such as protein and pre-workouts, that you might consume as part of your complete health and fitness ritual.

Just from the expenses outlined above, it’s easy to envisage how following a healthier and more active lifestyle can amount to hundreds and even thousands of pounds per year. There is also a cost attached which can be considered more than monetary value; one of time. With many individuals training on a daily basis and allowing only one or two rest days per week, your health and fitness regime can quickly become a way of life.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, although it’s not for everyone. There are individuals who simply can’t afford the ever increasing gym or health and leisure complex fees or simply don’t have the time to commit to a daily gym routine due to family or working pressures. So what are the alternatives for these individuals?

Gym Alternatives

One potential answer is that of exercise bands. Before moving onto consider exercise bands in further detail and their practical application within a health and fitness setting, it is important to note that being fit and being healthy doesn’t have to cost the earth – it can be as cheap or expensive as you want to make it.

Remember, exercise has been taking place long before gyms started to appear in every location on the globe, or supplements were even invented. It’s about finding a place for fitness within your schedule, not the other way around.

Recently, I have received a number of emails from individuals who find themselves in this very predicament; struggling to maintain a health and fitness schedule due to the demands of life. Although each and every situation was slightly different and unique to that individual, there were two commonly occurring obstacles: time and money.

With this in mind, I set about providing an article which would address these very issues.

The Benefits Of Exercise Bands

Exercise bands or therabands are bands of plastic which offer elastic capabilities. They are produced in numerous bright colours, with each colour representing the specific resistance they offer. Their resistance levels vary from very easy all the way through to extremely difficult, so they really do offer a challenge for those of all strengths and sizes.

Exercise bands are relatively inexpensive, ranging from five to twenty pounds, and can be brought in custom specified lengths to suit the unique needs and requirements of the individual and their training goals. They are extremely durable and hard wearing.

If all these benefits simply weren’t enough, almost any exercise ever invented can be performed with an exercise band – from upper and lower body exercises such as press ups and squats, to core exercises such as sit ups. The only thing really holding you back is your imagination and ability to think up new and exciting exercises.

One of the most appealing benefits of exercise bands, besides the cost and versatility they offer, is that they can easily be folded up and popped into your pocket or work bag and be taken anywhere in the world with you. Regardless whether you’re stuck in your office during your lunch hour or in a hotel room as part of a business trip, there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t exercise and make the most of the surroundings in which you find yourself.

Exercise Bands
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Practical Application Of Exercise Bands

Exercise bands really can be applied to almost any exercise which you can think of. For obvious reasons, they cannot all be considered within this article. Instead, we’ve selected a key upper body, lower body and core exercise example to give you an idea of how simple and effective they are.

Without further ado, and in no particular order, let us consider the first of three exercise examples:

The Press Up

This exercise is primarily utilised to target the chest and triceps region.

  1. Holding the exercise band in both hands, position the band over your upper back.
  2. Lie face down on the floor with your hands slightly wider than shoulder width.
  3. Raise your body off the floor by extending your arms, whilst keeping your torso straight.
  4. To execute this movement, lower your body to the floor by bending your arms.
  5. At the bottom of the movement, push your body up until your arms are extended.
The Squat

This exercise is primarily utilised to target the thigh and gluteal region.

  1. Position the exercise band under your feet and grasp the ends in both hands.
  2. Squat down by bending the knees forwards whilst the hip drops backwards.
  3. Keep your back rigid and your knees facing forwards at all times.
  4. Continue to decline until your thighs are just parallel to the floor.
  5. Squat up by extending your knees and hips until your legs are straight.
The Sit Up

This exercise is primarily utilised to target the abdominal region.

  1. Position the exercise band behind you attached to a secure and stable fitting.
  2. Lie flat on your back with the band in both hands behind you.
  3. Place your hands either side of your head and position your knees bent.
  4. To execute, flex at the waist and raise your torso off of the floor towards your knees.
  5. Return back until your shoulders make contact with the floor.
Final Word

So there you have it, the benefits of exercise bands and their practical application within a health and fitness setting. The purpose of this article was not only to provide you with a viable alternative to gyms, but to also effectively demonstrate how easy and accessible health and fitness can be to all individuals.

Ultimately, exercise bands negate two of the biggest obstacles individuals face when it comes to exercising regularly: time and money. Although it’s nice to be able to visit a gym that offers the latest equipment, this is not the be all and end all. Furthermore, it does not necessarily equate to a better workout session.

For example, one of the most intense sessions I’ve ever completed was undertaken in a below par university gym, utilising exercise bands and body weight for the majority of the session.

Exercise bands allow you to bring the gym to you, saving both time and money, whilst making the most of the situation you find yourself in. With all this in mind, next time you find yourself in a hotel room with a free hour or two before your next business meeting, make sure you’ve packed your exercise band.