It comes in many forms, psychological, physical, emotional. We all know what it is to resist. There are times to resist and times to go with the flow. It’s pretty much futile to resist a forceful water current when you are head deep in a raging river. On the other hand, resistance is helpful when we are up against regretful temptations.
But one area where we always want to invite resistance, is exercise.
Most of us don’t have jobs that involve tons of resistance activity, like shoveling cement into wheelbarrows, or being a mover, sanitary “engineer,” or package delivery person. We lead relatively physically resistance-free lives. Yea, it’s great to walk, jog, run, do yoga, meditate, and stand on your head. All of those activities, done with purpose, can be considered forms of localized resistance. But as we age, our anatomy responds well to resistance using a kind of brute force, for an added dimension of strength.
Loosely defined, resistance is a forced skeletal musculature contraction. This isn’t bodybuilding, although it is. Resistance training, the pushing and pulling to reach a point of slight discomfort, tones muscles, making us more agile and responsive. By exerting muscle contraction, resistance exercise, done right, causes microscopic damage, which the body quickly repairs, making the muscles stronger. After we reach our physical peaks in our 20’s, the muscle growth process slowly reverses. Resistance minimizes muscle loss. A resistance exercise habit also has a side benefit of increasing resting metabolism.
Where I live the gyms don’t open until 9 a.m., besides I’m gymed out. Fortunately, there are plenty of parks with bars for body-weight resistance exercise. But the routine was getting stale, boredom had been seeping in. By good fortune, nephew Triple S, a young, but nevertheless master resister, a trainer of trainers, visited and introduced me to resistance bands, which fortified and expanded my limited routine.
The challenge to resistance exercise routines is actually resisting the resistance — battling the sound logic of the little voice which inevitably finds its way into our thoughts convincing us why today (any day) is a justified break from the discomfort of resistance. It’s not easy to thwart awesome rationalism as to why we’d be better off not being uncomfortable.
If you don’t believe that a resistance workout habit is important, then maybe it isn’t. So I’ll end these grainy thoughts by saying, ‘smartly done resistance hath hurt no man.’