A fitness mat is not just an accessory. It can be quintessential depending on the type of workout you do. Yoga requires a fitness mat. You may have a mixed workout routine wherein a few exercises may require a mat. Any exercise that requires you to lay or sit down calls for a mat. Some exercises that are done while standing upright or in different postures also require a fitness mat to avoid you slip and injury yourself. For millions of people around the world, fitness mat is integral to workout and it is expected to make exercising more satisfying. Naturally, one expects certain attributes in a fitness mat. Here is a comprehensive list of the desired attributes of a fitness mat.
A fitness mat should be resilient
It should not be too hard as then it will be uncomfortable. It must endure your bodyweight while not giving in. You should not have a sinking or settling in feeling. The material should not feel too hard or coarse either. The material has to be reasonably hard and soft for it to be optimally resilient. While it is not uncommon for a fitness mat to be apparently resilient when it is new, the material can deteriorate in due course of time and its utility wanes. You should look for both resilience and durability while shopping. Choose a material that will endure for a long time to come. Else, you may have to keep looking for a new mat every few weeks or months.
The purpose of a fitness mat is not just to provide a more pleasant surface on which you can work out. Tiled floors are very hard. Even hardwood floors are not ideal for many types of workout. The mat is supposed to be a cushion but resilient enough that facilitates your workout. The supportive role is not limited to just providing a more conducive surface or base. The foundation must play a much larger role. For instance, a fitness mat should not limit the range of motion. If there is considerable friction then you will not be able to explore the full range of your natural motion. Yoga and many other exercises are meant to enhance your agility. In time, you will be able to flex your muscles and the entire body to attain poses that were not possible in the past. If the mat limits the range of motion or interferes with the poses in any way, then agility will be adversely affected and the impact of the workout will also be much less profound.
It should not deteriorate
Whether it is sweat or dust and dirt among other sources of stains, the material should be able to repel it all. It should remain as good as new, not just from the perspective of physical form or structure but also aesthetics. The aesthetics of a mat may not be as important as the physical characteristics but no one wants a visibly stained and worn out material to work out on. Yoga in particular requires a pleasant setting. Many practitioners focus only on the postures and breathing. Yoga, in its true form, is a bit more as it is meant to calm your mind, leading to destress and more. This may not happen if you have an unpleasant looking mat.
A fitness mat should not be toxic
Here are some aspects to consider:
- It should not smell strange;
- It should be light enough to be easily carried anywhere you want;
- The mat should be absolutely flat when laid out. It should not curl;
- Parts of it should not wear out quickly leaving a rather uneven surface for you to work out.
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