Do I Need an Exercise Mat?

An exercise mat is one of those must-haves everyone should own. They are inexpensive and extremely useful. Whether you do most of your workouts at the gym, in a yoga studio or at home, having a comfortable mat on hand for floor work adds a certain level of comfort and can actually improve the efficiency of floor exercises. Let’s discuss the instances in which an exercise mat can be used and how it can help.

Home Workouts

Whether you have hardwood floors, tile or carpeting, performing exercises like sit-ups, push ups, the plank or donkey kicks, having that padded, non-slip surface underneath is greatly beneficial. With such moves, you need traction and a certain level of comfort that flooring cannot provide. Without a mat you may get a little rug burn, may feel yourself slipping during certain moves or experience discomfort due to the pressure associated with having your knees or elbows against a hard surface. As a plus, they lay nicely on the floor and stay put, unlike towels.

The Gym

Everyone that goes to the gym needs an exercise mat due to the reasons above along with sanitary reasons. Gyms are nice but, unfortunately, they’re filled with germs. Mats are available at most gyms but they are breeding grounds for bacteria. Having one of your own reduces your exposure to bacteria while providing the flexibility to perform all the exercises in your workout routine.

Yoga or Pilates

In a yoga or Pilates class, an exercise mat will designate your personal workout area, prevent you from slipping and bringing your own will guarantee that you get a mat for class (there is often a limited supply).

Types of Exercise Mats

As you can see, if you exercise on a regular basis, you need a mat. If you don’t have one already or your old one needs replacing, be sure to get the mat that suits your needs. There are fitness mats, yoga mats, and Pilates mats. Fitness mats are for general use, tend to be the most inexpensive and are made of foam or other soft material. Some feature air pockets for additional support and come in a variety of sizes. Yoga mats, as you may have guessed, are best suited for yoga. They are thinly cushioned mats with a sticky non-slip surface that is easy to clean and tote around. Pilates mats are much thicker to better cushion the body during various Pilates moves. They also feature a non-slip surface and are portable.