A large amount of research has proven the importance of strength-training exercises in addition to cardiovascular exercise. Working out with resistance bands is a wonderful way to build strength, muscle tone and bone density while promoting healthy circulation and reducing body fat. Bodylastics bands are completely portable (so you can easily move them from one room to another or travel with them), they come in a variety of different resistance levels that enable you to choose your ideal resistance for each exercise, you can perform many different types of exercises with them (an instruction manual is included), they have comfortable foam handles that are ergonomically sound and easier on hands and wrists than most other strength-training equipment, and they are quite affordable considering their high quality.
According to my research and personal experience, Bodylastics resistance bands are the best on the market and won't snap like other bands I've used. They are incredibly well-made and designed with safety and durability in mind. They even come with a full lifetime warranty against defects. Here's the website: http://www.bodylastics.com, and I would recommend the least expensive set of bands, called the "Basic Tension System", which is currently on sale for $28.95 plus $9.95 shipping.
If you haven't worked out in a while or feel like you just don't have time, keep in mind that even doing 5 or 10 minutes of strength training is better than none at all, as long as you follow these basic guidelines:
- warm up for a few minutes (by jogging/marching briskly in place, etc.) to increase your blood flow and thus warm up your muscles
- stretch the muscles you will be working for at least a minute beforehand
- focus on using good form, controlling movements in both the up and down directions and breathing deeply
- use only as much resistance as you can handle while maintaining proper technique
- at the end of your exercise, stretch the muscles you've worked out