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Thursday, 29 April 2021 | Vaibhav Somani


With the pandemic raging once again, it is time to shift your workout indoors. And this makes it important to choose the right kind of mat says Vaibhav Somani

Being healthy is in fashion. During the last one year we have seen a huge rise in people undertaking some form of physical exercise as a part of their routine to stay fit, irrespective of whether the activities are indoors or outdoors. Though the sporting institutions, clubs and stadiums are shut now due to the second wave of the virus, we are hopeful that this calamity will not last long and people will be able to enjoy sporting events in open air.

Sporting mats, as a category of infrastructure, play a vital role for any sports enthusiast or a novice. Having good quality mat is extremely important to help maintain balance during exercise and help them in getting the right posture.

It has been observed that the percentage of people getting injured due to the non-availability of professional mats and equipment is quite high and some of these injuries are either life-threatening or can led to physical disability. A professional mat cushions the body to prevent aches and pain, as well as fatal injuries while performing any sports. To prevent such fatalities one must buy a fitness mat best suited for the workout and these tips will help to choose a mat.

Material used in the mat

The material of the mat determines the quality of the mat. A good mat doesn't lose its grip even if the mat is wet. This is due to the high quality of Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA) used while making the mat. The grade of the material used to manufacture the mat will determine the stickiness, sponginess and the level of anti-skid properties the mat will possess. Unlike other mats available in the market, the mats made out of good grade of EVA (grade is something which defines the pureness of the material) are totally recyclable, thus creating a positive impact on our environment. After all we must be active and also consciously think about mother nature.

Thickness and Durability

It has been stated that the yoga mats that are thicker last longer than thin mats. Thickness is usually measured in millimetres or mm. If a mat is too thin, certain poses can be hard on your knees and joints. Thick mats are mostly preferred when looking for durability and comfort. You can choose a mat between eight to 12 mm thicknesses, depending upon how intensive your workout is. A good durable mat has a thickness of 10 mm and more. Usually, mats that are 10 mm and more in thickness are suitable for all kinds of yoga and exercise.

But if you are doing an active or balancing pose, you may go for thinner mats with textured surfaces to maintain a better grip.

Choose THE size according to the body type

Selecting the right size of a yoga mat depends on two factors: First, how tall you are and how much padding you want. The standard size of the yoga mat is 6X2 feet. But if you have broad shoulders, then you need a wide mat of 7X2.5 feet. So, choose a mat according to your body type will be an essential prerequisite. 

 Purpose of choosing a specific mat

You must decide the main purpose of use before choosing an exercise mat. Do you plan to take your mat to the gym? Get a compact one that easily folds up. A large mat that covers more space might be more suitable for a home gym. If your joints get sore easily, then use a thicker mat. Consider non-slip mats if you do rigorous form of yoga.

Fitness mats come in different shapes and sizes to suit different types of workout, like yoga mats, gym mats, professional mats, foam mats, multi-purpose mats, etc.

 Hygiene and maintenance

A good mat is designed to have high dirt resistance and should not absorb any body moisture, ensuring continuous hygiene and cleanliness. A professional mat absorbs very little sweat which maintains proper hygiene while doing any exercise or practice. It can be easily cleaned and hygiene parameters maintained properly.

When the thickness and size that works best for you, you could consider the added uses some exercise mats come with, like handles for easy carrying or a non-skid texture to help you from slipping. You will also definitely want a mat that is moisture-resistant for easy cleaning, or you might like a waterproof mat for a more gratifying workout.

Any form of exercise is good, and when you couple it with the right sporting equipment the whole journey of physical and mental rejuvenation becomes more rewarding.

The author is director of a company engaged in the manufacturing of mats

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