If you’ve ever sat for a few minutes on a hardwood floor, you know how uncomfortable it can be. So why would you exercise that way, putting pressure on your knees and joints and risking getting a bad injury? Without a doubt, if you’re planning to even stretch out on the floor, you should get a proper exercise mat that will cushion your movements and provide a clean surface for you to lie on. However, not all exercise mats are the same; depending on what you choose you may either help or hurt your workout – and your body. Here are a few steps to ensure you’re buying a good mat that will give you proper support.
Always Go for Grip
Is there anything more annoying than your mat slowly sliding under you while you’re taking deep breaths while trying to do a 50 seconds plank? So, when you plan to buy exercise mat, study carefully its texture if you don’t want to cling to it for dear life. Generally, a ribbed foam surface is able to provide firm support. If somehow you do end up with a slippery mat, try some tricks to make its surface more rough, like for instance rolling it on concrete or applying a thick layer of chalk underneath it.
If You’re New to Exercising, Make Sure It’s Padded
If you’ve been leading a primarily sedentary life and are just getting into exercising, you will need to take your time to build up your strength. A proper mat can significantly help you along the way. Make sure there’s at least 15 mm of padding which will take off some of the force on your joints, and help prevent injuries while also improving your muscle strength. Using a thin and flimsy mat can put pressure on your wrists and ankles causing you discomfort and even pain. But as important padding might be, you don’t want to be carrying a heavy mat around with you. Opt for a nice balance between thickness and lightness.
Beware of Toxins
Before you buy exercise mat, it’s incredibly important to be aware of the material it’s made of. Some exercise and yoga mats are made of PVCs which is an abbreviation for a toxic type of plastic that contains carcinogens. I’m sure nobody wants to be breathing in toxins while doing push ups, so for that reason, always check the material a mat is made of. If you want a peace of mind, natural rubber is completely free of toxins and also feels so much better.