fitness 1 gym,gym near me,gym in Accra airpot,best gym in accra,BENEFITS OF USING MATS IN EXERCISE

Most exercise routines involve dealing with the floor in one way or the other. So when it comes to working out, whether you’re doing stretches, floor or fitness exercises, ab exercises, Pilates or yoga, some of the factors which cannot be underestimated are how hygienic your routine is, how comfortable and safe you are, and how much you are getting from the activity. Mats come in handy in these respects and have several other complementary benefits. You don’t want situations where you have to constantly lie on bare floors just to get some stretches done, only to end up with a sore body, or worse, slipping and falling off a slick surface because, well, things can go south sometimes. For these and other reasons, mats are becoming some of the must-have workout gear for anybody looking at getting the most productive exercise time.

There are several types of mats for workouts and the purposes for which they are designed. Let’s look at some of them.


Types of Mats in Exercise

i. Yoga Mats

Yoga mats are usually thinner than for instance, Pilates mats. They are about 1/4 inch to 1/8 inch in thickness and are designed this way because yoga is best done when there is some degree of contact or connection with the floor. Other reasons for this are to provide standing and postural support. Yoga mats are mostly made of PVC foam or rubber and each material has its own perks. Mats made from the former have longer life spans and can take you through several workouts. Meanwhile, rubber mats are more earth-friendly due to the jute, cotton or recycled rubber used in making them.


ii. Pilates Mats

Pilates mats are relatively thicker, longer and denser. They are also firm, have coarse bottoms with sliding tops and are about half an inch thick. They are so designed to allow smooth movements and provide maximum support for the body, especially those parts that have direct contact with the hard floor such as the spine and the tailbone. Some Pilates mats are also made from PVC or rubber.


iii. All-Purpose Exercise Mats

These are also very crucial workout accessories and are found in several gyms and fitness centers. They are relatively smaller, but thicker, denser and are made from PVC, EVA or TPE materials. All-purpose mats are excellent for intense workout routines.


iv. Floor Protection Mats

You’ll find floor protection mats, commonly made of EVA materials, in the home setting and most likely, at any gym near you; they are assembled in these interlocking tiles or jigsaw fashions. Apart from offering protection against slips and falls, floor protection mats also act as noise and shock absorbers. They similarly protect the floor from being destroyed by some heavy workout equipment and the equipment themselves from damage. Again, they are great for stretches, lunges, squats, and other functional movement exercises.

Now that we’ve looked at a few types, let’s consider some of the importance of gym mats and reasons why you’ll have optimal workout time when you include them in your workout accessories.

  1. Mats are best for Hygienic Purposes

Mats are essential for the purposes of promoting cleanliness and hygienic practices while exercising. They are particularly important for people who exercise in not just their homes but gym studios and fitness centers or any other place. Floor exercises, for instance, as the name implies, such as crunches, donkey kicks, push-ups, sit-ups, leg lifts, crunches, and planks require a great deal of contact with the floor. While some people do not mind this or getting a little dirt on themselves while working out, the experience is not exactly pleasant for others. If you fall in the latter category (even if you don’t), fitness mats are definitely some of your go-to fitness equipment to save you from any threats or attacks of dirt, bacteria, and whatnot that might be creeping on the floor. While protecting you, mats also prevent workout floors from becoming sweaty, slippery, and dirty. In essence, they make floors clean and fit to use. Some gyms and fitness centers make provisions for workout mats for their members or exercisers, which is great. However, it remains advisable to get your own mat to carry along. Needless to say that is safer and way more hygienic than the alternative.



2. Mats save You from Discomforts

Mats provide enough padding between the hard ground and your body, giving you comfort to properly execute whatever workout you are engaged in. They can also be doubled over to provide even better cushioning, which especially comes in handy for people whose bodies don’t agree with bare floors so well and become easily overwhelmed with back, knee, abdominal and joint pains after exercising. In fact, studies have shown that Pilates mats, for instance, do not just improve balance but significantly reduce back pain as well.


3. Mats are Important for Safety Reasons

Workout mats are usually slip-free and therefore, keep you firmly grounded with minimal to zero risks of injuries from falling off slick or slippery wet and dry surfaces. Some of them are also water-resistant, impervious to sweat and absorb shock on impact or heavy landing and provide great foothold. The typical coarseness of the bottoms of most exercise mats makes such functions attainable.


4. Mats Offer Support to the Body during Workout Routines

They also guarantee extra support, balance and stability for the body in whatever type of exercise you’re using them for. Take Pilates, for instance. Joseph Pilates designed the low-impact exercise to strengthen the core, pelvis, improve flexibility, muscular endurance, postural alignment and joint mobility, among others, and it requires more floor space compared to other workouts such as yoga. The exercise can also prove to be very painful in the absence of mats since it includes a lot of joint and spine movements. That is why Pilates mats are specifically designed to cushion and stabilize the body to avert any such inconveniences. Yoga on another hand requires some degree of contact with the floor and its mats are engineered to facilitate that and to similarly provide a non-slip, balance and posture-improving and support. Mats for workouts are generally designed to offer a substantial degree of support.


5. Mats Help You Secure Your Personal Floor Space

Having enough personal space and room at the gym, for the most part, is very gratifying especially considering the pandemic and the times the world has been plunged into. You probably planned on hitting the gym this year but became discouraged to do so since we now live in an era where personal space and social distancing have become the new normal. That is where mats come in. Having and using them especially in the gym or studio separates your workout space from others and gives you sufficient room to exercise freely, while allowing others to do the same. You can even use the extra space to accommodate a few of your gym equipment which you’d rather have sitting close by.



6. Other Benefits

Apart from being amazing, protective, and a necessity, workout mats are also easy to clean and portable. Additionally, the best of them are durable, sweat-resistant, and lightweight, hence, easy to roll up and carry around. Besides, most are quite inexpensive and worth every penny so you need not overly worry yourself about how to pinch or squeeze some cash to get yourself one or two.


What to Look Out For When Getting a Mat for Exercise

  • Go for one that is lightweight, easy to roll into a bundle and transported especially if it will not be a stationary workout accessory at home but one that you’ll be frequently carrying on your shoulder to the gym. The last thing anybody ever wants is to attract back and shoulder pains to themselves while striving to maintain a good workout routine in order to keep fit.
  • Consider the size of the mat. Shorter mats are known to be perfect for abs workouts or stretching while longer ones are great for longer fitness sessions and for yogis.
  • Choose a mat that is easy to clean since bacteria, dirt, and other particles can easily cling to mats due to their constant contact with the floor. An ideal mat would be one that is also washable by machine as this saves you from regularly scrubbing it by hand. That can be exhausting.
  • The type of exercise you’re going to engage in should inform the type of mat which you need to get. We’ve already touched on some types of mats and the purposes, for which they are intended; that should guide you in your purchase.
  • Durability is always a factor to consider. The alternative only causes deterioration or becomes deformation when the mat is frequently used; this reduces its usefulness. Look out for mats which come with protective coating which provide resistance against wears, workout shoes, and exercise equipment.


Where to Get Exercise Mats

Workout mats are sold at several outlets: malls, retail and wholesale shops and sports gear stores, among others. You can also order one online and have it delivered to you.

Exercise mats vary, as has already been established. Decide which ones suit your exercise and fitness needs, get them, and you are good to go.




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