Whether for regular body exercises or yoga activities, you definitely need a perfect mat capable of providing you complete support and be your all-time assistant while you workout. Without the right equipment, no matter how much you try, you would not be able to get your exercise done correctly.
Before looking out for the best exercise mats or the best yoga mats, I highly recommend you to learn the basic differences between a yoga mat and an exercise mat.
I am aware of the fact that sometimes a yoga mat and an exercise mat are used interchangeably just because people don’t care to get a different mat for each of the activities.
Let me tell you that
IF YOU ARE DOING THE SAME, YOU ARE MAKING A BIG MISTAKE OF ALL TIME!
A sensible athlete person would not choose to do this AT ALL! In order to save you from the later consequences and to not let go of all your workout hours into waste, let’s get onto everything you need to know about ‘Yoga mat VS Exercise Mat.’
Before jumping on to the comparison, we suggest every person who is interested in buying a yoga mat to go through this guide: What to Look For In A Yoga Mat.
Yoga Mat VS Exercise/Workout Mat – Everything You Need to Learn
Here are some major differences between a yoga mat and an exercise mat.
Thickness of Mats
For yoga activities, you generally do not need much protection from the ground since you would not be making impact movements. However, while doing the squats and push-ups, chances are you might end up hurting yourself if you do not have a mat of considerable thickness.
This one basic difference between the two mats will compel a wise person to definitely get a separate mat if they are into both of the aerobics. Yoga mats have a standard thickness of 1/8th of an inch. On the other hand, exercise mats go over the variation of 1/2 inch or to a complete inch at the maximum.
Material Matters a Lot
Most of the yoga mats are made up of PVC material. The material selection has been made, keeping in view some typical pick points:
- The PVC material is light enough to ensure your body has a connection with the hard floor while you sit upon it for meditation.
- The second reason is the easy cleaning of the PVC material.
- Yoga and mind relaxation activities need not necessarily be done inside the home. Sometimes you would have to take the mat with you outside when you feel like doing yoga outdoor under the sun rays.
- PVC material does not produce any bad odor when kept under the sun for a certain duration of time. These are the major reasons for material selection.
Considering exercise mats, you would find most of the good quality fitness mats to be made of rubber. The foremost reason being their soft cushioning that can be felt as much enhanced in rubber as compared to PVC.
Also, rubber develops a strong connection with your feet, and while doing the flexible tasks, your feet would not lose support or slip away from the fitness mat.
There are people who sweat a lot while doing yoga and this results in slipping of hands and feet. For such sweaty guys, it is important that they should consider a mat that is made of closed-cell technology. This technology makes the mat sweat resistant and hence provides better grip.
You may also like to check out the Best Yoga Mats for Sweaty Hands.
The Protection Aspect
Yoga mats are engineered in a way that not much attention is paid upon the consequences in case of trips or falls. This is because postures are not much intense, and you rarely ever trip while doing the yoga poses.
On the other side, exercise mats definitely need to give you an extra level of protection against injury in case of falls. They need to be soft and firm so that your body does not get intact with the ground, and you do not face any joint or muscle injury.
If your exercise mat is thinly cushioned, this means it is not designed for the heavy-duty workout activity but is just for the beginners. Make sure to know your mat and its respondence to your body before starting exercise on it.
Restriction Free Movement
Exercise mats are designed to give maximum firmness to your body and feet. If the exercise mat lacks this essential feature, it may be of no use to you at all.
Considering yoga mats, flexibility is an important property that needs to be there. A yoga mat should provide you ease in movements with zero restriction to any kind of pose. If the mat offers even a slight restriction, it might result in disturbing the entire meditation equilibrium that you would have been trying to maintain for hours.
So, be sure to check if your yoga mat restricts any movements, or is it designed in a way to facilitate you with every posture.
I would not put this under the ‘differences’ title but instead beneath the ‘similarities’ while discussing, ‘Yoga Mat VS Workout Mat’.
Almost both of them have been tried and tested to posses the same design life. However, this factor also depends upon your use of duration and maintenance level. If you are someone who takes real good care of your mat, it may last you for an extra 6 months than its design life.
Contrary to that, if your mat gets used a lot, and there is not proper cleaning and maintenance, it would not serve you for a longer period of time. So, it all depends upon you and yes, of course the mat you are going to invest in. Because after all, YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR!
You may also like to check out: Best Yoga Mats for Kids.
Another thing I would like to drop by while bringing this article to an end is the dimension aspect! However, most of us might not notice it, but those who go to gyms and fitness centers on a regular basis would observe this very well. Exercising mats come in large dimensions, wide enough to cover a small room. Whereas yoga mats come in single-person use dimensions. The reason is obviously very clear!
Yoga is not done in groups or in between people and crowds, whereas you can obviously share your exercise mat with your friends or your gym mates. Also, for doing moment and rotation exercises, you would obviously require a larger dimension exercise mat. Yoga activity does not need any such kind of larger mats; hence the size is kept smaller to serve one person only, by default.
What is the difference between a yoga mat and a Pilates mat?
As we all are well aware that yoga activity focuses more upon improving your body’s flexibility and allowing it to stretch more in different directions. Pilates, whereas’ focuses upon relaxing your tensed muscles and providing them more strength. Mats for both activities are designed, keeping in view their basic serving properties.
A yoga mat has to be thin enough to let your body develop a connection with the ground. Also, it should allow free movements and not have a much strong grip upon the lower area of your body that is in contact with the ground.
A Pilate’s mat has to be firm enough not to let your muscles and other body parts sink into it but instead let them move in different directions without any restrictions. Also, a Pilate’s mat should ensure to provide good support to your feet and hands.
Exercise is definitely very important for a good healthy physical and mental being. It just does not keeps you fit but also refreshes you for the entire day, and yes, it develops your thinking ability as well! Many people exercise hard, day and night but notice little to no effect upon their physical and mental being or get themselves injured. This is because you are exercising without using the right mat, and by that, you are doing nothing but just wasting your time and exposing yourself to injuries. I have tried my best to list all the important factors that can help you in choosing the right mat for the type of exercise you are going to perform. If you still have any query or want us to add anything else feel free to drop comments in the box below. MATSCORNER would love to help you choosing the right mat for your preferred exercise.