Did You Know?An exercise mat is a critical part of your exercise equipment, which, apart from making you comfortable, protects your body against any kind of strong impact or injury, and also prevents you from slipping while exercising.
With many options to choose from, buying a suitable exercise mat can be quite a challenging task. Buying one impulsively may not be the best choice, and can cause you to regret your decision later. Here are certain tips to help you choose and select the right exercise mat for yourself.
Tips to Help You Choose a Good Exercise Mat
The size of the mat is one of the first things to consider when buying an exercise mat. Make sure that you check the stretched and extended positions that are in your workout before you finalize the size of the mat. The mat should be big enough to offer protection in case you fall from such positions.
The thickness of the mat also needs to be considered, and will mostly depend on the type of exercise that you use the mat for. For example, while practicing yoga you will need a thin mat, whereas, for strenuous exercises you will need a thick mat, which has a grip to prevent it from slipping.
Mats are made up of varied material, and depending on the type of exercise, you can choose one that best suits your needs. Some mats are made of synthetic materials, like PVC, whereas others are more eco-friendly, made from natural and biodegradable materials, like jute and cotton. Cotton mats are thicker, make sweat absorption easier, and prevent you from slipping during your workout.
Types of Mats
There are various types of mats available, depending on the various types of workouts they can be used for.
Yoga mats are generally thinner and made of PVC or natural materials, like jute or cotton. They are designed so that the user can feel the floor, and are 0.3–0.6 cm thick and 55–80 cm wide.
These mats are firm, with a gripping surface to prevent the mat from sliding. They are about 1.5–1.9 cm thick and 58–100 cm wide. As the name suggests, they are designed to be used while performing Pilates.
These are basic mats that can be used for simple floor exercises and stretching.
Other Feature to Consider
An exercise mat must be easy to clean, and this should be kept in mind while buying a good one. Look for a mat that has instructions on how to clean it. If the instructions are too complex, you should probably avoid such mats. Some mats can be machine-washed; buying such mats greatly save the time and effort required for cleaning. You will be using the mat almost every day, and will have to clean it every day too. It will need to be wiped after every use, and washed every couple of weeks or so. Keep this in mind when opting for jute and cotton mats.
Storage is an important point too, but these days, most mats can be rolled up and carried away or stored. However, there are some mats—like the thicker ones—that might be difficult to roll and carry. Check your needs and decide on a suitable mat accordingly. You could even opt for a carrying case for your mat to make it easier to transport and store.
Depending on the type of mat you choose, the price will vary. However, there are many good mats available for less than USD 20. Of course, more expensive varieties will always be there, so you will need to decide if you really need the features that these expensive mats offer. Check out a few, and choose one that suits your budget.
Remember, your comfort and ease is most important while selecting a right exercise mat. Make sure to try the mats if possible before buying so that you can get the best one possible.