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How do I choose an exercise mat?

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It may seem that choosing an exercise mat is not a big problem. Just walk into a sporting goods store and pick out your first mat in your favorite color, or with interesting patterns. Why else, right? Wrong! Choosing the right mat is much more complicated and depends on many different factors. What are they? You’ll find out in this article.

Huge selection

Are you in your favorite sports store mentioned above, or maybe you are just browsing through the offers on the website and you have no idea what all these names actually mean and what you should be guided by? Let’s start by answering the simplest question. What are the types of mats? In most stores, they will be divided according to the type of exercises you perform on them

Among other things, you will find protective mats. You should buy such a mat if you perform exercises with additional equipment. They are used to stabilize it so it doesn’t slide around on the floor, but you don’t perform exercises on them! This is important because they are often purchased for exactly that purpose, contrary to their intended use

A tatami mat is designed to be used for the exercises associated with most eastern martial arts. It is made of very durable synthetic materials, thanks to which it is perfect in this field

You will also find gymnastic mats on store shelves without any problems. What are their characteristics? You can easily distinguish them from others, if only by looking at their thickness and size. They are used not only in artistic gymnastics, but also during rehabilitation and corrective exercises

Thin and small mats are those that are used in yoga – their main purpose is mainly to protect you from slipping

No less important are workout mats that not only protect against slipping, but also against abrasions, bruises and other potential injuries.

 
 
 
 
 
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Which mat will be best for you?

Be guided first and foremost by the kind of exercise you do. It is up to you to motivate yourself to exercise by choosing the right mat. If you choose the wrong mat, you will find yourself slipping all the time or feeling the cold on the floor, which will make you reluctant to continue. You will quickly notice that you are procrastinating. Another great motivator is… looks. Really! If you choose a mat with an interesting color or design, you’ll quickly notice that you simply enjoy exercising. There’s a reason we surround ourselves with things that are aesthetically pleasing – it really affects our psyche.

Material

This is one of the most important considerations you should make when choosing the right mat. Most are made of plastic, although there are also some made of rubber, which is a great eco-friendly option. Above all, your mat should be made of a material that makes it easy for you to keep it hygienic. Why? Not only do you put it on the floor, which collects the dirt on it, but you also sweat on it yourself. This promotes the growth of bacteria, fungi and mold. Make sure the mat you want to buy has a smooth surface. Roughness will make it harder to clean. Many types of mats can be washed in a washing machine, but often a simple rinse with water and a bit of detergent or the use of a special anti-allergenic foam is sufficient. Additionally, the material must be water resistant. Not only to be able to exercise outdoors. First of all, because the sweat coming out of your body should not soak into the material, but be conducted outside.

Thickness

The next question is how thick should your exercise mat be Fitness, pilates or aerobics require a thicker version, while yoga requires a thinner one. The thickness of the mat varies from 2.5 to 6 mm. If you are not buying a yoga mat, opt for the 5 or 6 millimeter version. You will definitely find it more comfortable to practice on it. Remember, however, that thickness is not everything.

Dimensions

They are equally important. Why? It often happens that you buy a mat which is too small, and thus comfortable exercises will be forgotten. You should be guided primarily by your height. The most popular models are those with a height of 180 centimetres. If you are a taller person, you can easily find a mat that is 190 centimetres long. Similarly for petite women – there are also mats measuring 170 centimeters, which are also great for children. The width of the mats vary from 55 to 100 centimetres. If you are not sure if you will be comfortable exercising on a narrow mat, it is better to choose a larger one, so that you will also have a more comfortable exercise.

 
 
 
 
 
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