When "Star Trek's" Seven of Nine declared, "Resistance is futile," she was telling the Borg's adversaries there was no way to escape the collective hive mind.
That's nonsense. It just takes the right band of resistance-fighters to find a way.
Here on planet Earth, resistance bands are easy to enlist in your quest for better health. They're simple pieces of elastic of various lengths that can be flat and wide or come as tubing — with or without handles. Often color-coded from light to dark to indicate increased resistance, they facilitate two beneficial activities: stretching and strength building.
For stretching, resistance bands help you reach and hold positions that extend your legs, arms, hips, and shoulders, loosening tight muscles and tendons, promoting flow in your lymphatic system, and improving blood flow throughout your muscles. That primes you for muscle building.
For strength building, the bands allow you to determine how much effort you want to expend. And you can achieve significant results using moderate resistance with excellent form, going to the point of near exhaustion. Your goal is to use bands that get you to near exhaustion with three sets of 8 to 12 repetitions per exercise.
Five easy-to-do exercises are available at health.clevelandclinic.org; search for "should you try resistance bands."
The rewards of using resistance bands include increased flexibility and strength, improved balance, reduced lower-back pain, and lower blood pressure, blood lipid, and glucose levels (increased muscle mass boosts metabolic processes).