When it comes to exercise mats, you have a lot of options and a lot of decisions to make. What type of mat should I get? What color should I get? What features do I want it to have? Will this mat suit my needs? This article will answer all these questions and more so that you are confident in your purchase!
Different Types of Exercise Mats
Different types of exercise mats are available on the market to accommodate different types of workouts. The three most common types of exercise mats are yoga mats, Pilates mats, and general fitness mats.
Yoga mats are usually thinner than other types of exercise mats and have a textured surface to provide grip during yoga poses that require balance. Yoga mats are often brightly colored or patterned to add visual interest to your practice.
Pilates mats are thicker than yoga mats and provide more cushioning for exercises that involve a lot of mat work, such as reformer Pilates. Pilates mats often have a smooth surface to allow for easy sliding during exercises.
General fitness mats are the thickest type of exercise mat and are designed for high-impact activities such as aerobics or boot camp classes. General fitness mats have a textured surface to provide traction and prevent slipping during intense workouts.
Cleaning Your Destress
Assuming you’re using your destress mat for yoga or Pilates, you’ll want to clean it after every few uses. If it’s a machine-washable mat, simply pop it in the washing machine on a delicate cycle with cold water and mild detergent. Hang to dry or lay flat. If your mat is not machine-washable, wipe it down with a damp cloth after each use and hang to dry. Every few weeks, give your mat a deep cleaning by soaking it in warm water with 1/2 cup vinegar and 2 tablespoons of salt. Let it soak for 30 minutes before rinsing thoroughly and hanging to dry.
How to Properly Store Your Exercise Mat
Assuming you have an exercise mat made of common materials like PVC or rubber, storing your mat properly is key to preserving its lifespan and preventing damage.
To store your exercise mat, first find a dry, well-ventilated area out of direct sunlight. Sunlight can break down the material of your mat over time, making it more brittle and prone to tearing.
Once you’ve found a suitable location, roll up your mat tightly. If possible, invest in a yoga mat carrier or bag specifically designed for storage; this will help protect your mat from dirt and debris while it’s not in use.
If you’re short on space, you can also hang your yoga mat on a hook or over a door using a yoga strap or similar device. Just be sure not to hang your mat too loosely, as this could cause it to warp or sag over time.
Maintenance and Hygiene
Exercise mats are an essential piece of equipment for any home gym, but they can also be a breeding ground for bacteria and germs if they are not properly maintained and cleaned. Here are some tips on how to keep your exercise mat clean and hygienic:
- Wipe down your mat after each use with a clean, damp cloth. This will remove any sweat or dirt that has accumulated on the surface.
- Once a week, give your mat a more thorough cleaning by using a mild soap and warm water. Be sure to rinse the soap off completely afterwards.
- If your mat is starting to smell bad, you can disinfect it with a mixture of 1 part vinegar to 4 parts water. Let the solution sit on the mat for about 15 minutes before wiping it off with a clean cloth.
- Never put your mat in the washing machine or dryer, as this could damage the material.
By following these simple tips, you can keep your exercise mat clean and hygienic so that it is safe and healthy to use.