Years ago, shopping for an exercise mat or yoga mat was easy. There was one type of mat and it was made in a few colors. Today, there seems to be a mat for every exercise and made in every color of the rainbow.
Buying an exercise mat won’t be the most important thing you do all year but you should spend some time picking out the right mat for you. Getting the best exercise mat will not only help prevent injuries and soreness, it will also allow you to get the most effective workouts possible. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was one exercise mat that would work for all types of workouts?
When looking for an exercise mat or a yoga mat, keep these things in mind:
Size. The size of the exercise mat is important as one size does not fit all. The standard mat is 6′ in length and approximately 2′ in width. If the mat is too small for the exercises you are doing, you have a chance of coming off the mat and hurting yourself. A large exercise mat is the best bet to ensure you get the most out of your workout.
Thickness. Another consideration is the thickness of the mat. Most mats are standard 1/8″ thick. Thin mats may be good for standing but not very effective for ab routines or plyometrics. You will definitely appreciate the extra thickness and more stability that comes with a better quality mat.
Texture. A good exercise mat should have an anti slip surface keeping your hands and feet firmly in place. Also, look for a mat with a textured bottom. You should be able to jump around without sliding across the floor. Your mat should also lay flat on the floor. If the edges peel up, it won’t do you any good and could be a hazard.
Eco-friendly. We all want to do our part! Our definition of eco-friendly is: Buy a mat that will last you for many years and you reduce the amount of material that never goes to a landfill.
Cost. Finally, cost can be a factor. Exercise mats can range in price between $20 – $100+. Cheap mats will typically last 1-2 years and provide minimal support. Better quality mats will last 6 – 10 years or more and provide your body with the support needed for any activity.
Without the correct equipment, you not only limit the benefits of your workout, you can also get an injury that will put you on the couch for months. Find a large exercise mat that feels good and fits your budget.