If you are doing fitness or yoga, then you probably need a special mat. Since your comfort depends on its qualities and characteristics, you should approach the purchase of such an accessory responsibly. But how do you make the right choice? What should you look out for first?
Do you need a rug?
Do you really need a personal yoga mat? Undoubtedly, such an accessory can be called a must. Firstly, it is worth buying it at least for personal hygiene purposes, since it is unsafe to work on the floor or on a common rug, because bacteria can live everywhere. Secondly, the rug will provide you with comfort. You will not be cold or hard, and sometimes it is very important. Thirdly, if you buy a rug, you simply will not be able to quit classes (yes, this argument is important for some).
What should be fitness mats?
Let’s list the requirements for fitness mats:
- The mat should absorb moisture. It is clear that during exercise you can sweat, and it will not be very pleasant to exercise on a surface damp from your sweat. Sometimes it’s just dangerous.
- The material should not stretch too much. When doing stretching exercises, you don’t have to worry about getting hurt. So pull the rug when shopping. If it is very stretched, discard the purchase.
- The mat should not slip, even on the most slippery surfaces such as laminate or tiles. Increased sliding will make training ineffective, uncomfortable, and at times dangerous.
- This accessory should not distract from your workouts and draw attention to yourself, so avoid bright and “acidic” shades, as well as large drawings.
- The mat should be soft enough to provide proper cushioning and support for the body. But such an accessory cannot be too soft.
- A high-quality and practical rug can be easily washed with water and ordinary soap, it is convenient and quick. If the material can only be wiped with special wipes, then this will add unnecessary worries and problems.
- The accessory should not be too heavy.
Let’s list the main types of fitness and yoga mats:
- The “ab mats” mat is a short and rather dense mat that will be comfortable when doing ab exercises. It is much thicker and stiffer than other types, but dynamic or strength training with such an accessory will not be comfortable due to the strong sliding.
- The “Workout mat” is practically a universal accessory. It is softer and longer, usually consists of several segments and can be folded. This option is convenient for non-professional workouts and home exercises. It provides sufficient cushioning and almost non-slip, but complex exercises cannot be done on it.
- “Mind body” is a one-piece mat without segments that needs to be rolled up. The amortization is sufficient, any exercise can be performed. This is the best option for regular or professional pursuits.
What are they made of?
When choosing, you should pay attention to the material from which the rug is made. There are several options:
- Rugs made of synthetic materials (polyvinyl chloride – PVC) are the most inexpensive and therefore the most popular, especially among beginners. Such an accessory is quite practical, it does not fade and is almost not damaged, it is easy to clean. The denser the material, the longer the mat will last. But this accessory can slide on some surfaces, so it is not suitable for yoga.
- Thermoplastic elastomer mats are more elastic, softer and more pleasant to the touch, and also retain their shape better even after severe mechanical stress. This accessory can be used in any conditions, including outdoors. The rug will absorb sweat and is easy to care for. The material is non-slip, durable and strong, and also lightweight. But such a rug will cost more than PVC.
- Elastic natural materials such as rubber or rubber with the addition of jute are also used for manufacturing. Rubber is quite heavy and does not absorb moisture, but it does not retain unpleasant odors, does not slip or electrify. The thickness is impressive, the material is quite soft. The rubber is quite soft and elastic, holds its shape well and does not slip, and is also durable. But rugs made from natural materials are heavier and usually more expensive.
- You can also find cotton rugs on sale. They are excellent at absorbing moisture and retaining body heat, but may slip and will not provide the support you need. This option is more suitable for the simplest exercises.
Determine the size
How to choose a comfortable fitness and yoga mat? It is important to determine the optimal size of the rug, which will depend on your parameters. Some helpful tips:
- The length of the rug can vary from 170 to 240 centimeters. How to decide? It all depends on your height, as well as the exercises that you plan to do. So, if the classes are calm and not too dynamic, then to determine the optimal length, add 10 centimeters to the height. If your workouts are dynamic, then add 20-40 centimeters to your height; it will be inconvenient for you to practice on a rug that is too short.
- The width usually ranges from 60 to 80 centimeters. Of course, it is best to choose a wide area rug so that nothing hinders your movements. But if you have to travel to the gym by public transport, then such an accessory can interfere with you and other passengers. But remember that rugs that are too narrow are not very comfortable.
- Now it’s worth deciding on the thickness. In general, it can vary from 1.5 to 6-8 millimeters. Better to choose a fairly thick rug. Firstly, it will protect you from the cold coming from the floor, and, secondly, it will provide maximum comfort during exercise and will help you lean on your knees or elbows without unpleasant sensations. So the optimal thickness is 4.5-6 millimeters. There are also thicker rugs, but such an accessory is not worth purchasing, it can prevent you from feeling your own body.
How to wear?
It is advisable to purchase a rug with a waterproof cover, equipped with a comfortable handle. This will protect the accessory from getting wet and environmental influences, while ensuring the wearer’s comfort when carrying.
How to care for your rug?
Do I need to care for the rug? Undoubtedly yes. Basic Rules:
- Wash your rug after purchase. The PVC accessory can be machine washed, the thermoplastic elastomer mat should be hand washed, and the rubber or rubber mat should be simply wiped clean.
- Do not fold the rug, this can lead to the formation of creases, it is better to roll it into a roll.
- Clean the accessory as soon as it gets dirty. Do not use aggressive detergents, they can damage the materials.
Get a comfortable yoga and fitness mat and exercise with pleasure and comfort.