If you do most of your workouts at home, having an exercise mat isn't essential. If your floor is carpeted, you really don't need anything besides the floor below you. If your floors are hardwood, a simple bath towel could do the trick. You'll probably find that if you enjoy yoga and Pilates that purchasing an exercise mat will be more conducive to your exercise. Exercise mats tend to lay nicely against the floor and don't typically slip up like a towel does. You'll get better traction on an exercise mat.
If you frequent mat-based fitness classes, you'll want to consider purchasing an exercise mat. Most gyms have mats available for those who do not bring their own, but often times they're in limited supply and aren't particularly clean. Consider spending $15 on an exercise mat if yoga and Pilates are a regular part of your gym routine. You'll always be guaranteed a mat--and a clean one at that!
When in doubt, having an exercise mat is helpful to own. You can find discounted mats at stores like TJ Maxx and Marshall's.
Exercise mats come in different shapes and sizes to suit different types of workouts. Here are some of the different types of exercise mats and the fitness programs that require them.
Professional fitness exercise mats may be one or two inches thick, and are used in gymnastics and other professional sports scenarios, since they're thick enough to absorb almost any shock that might damage the knees, ankles, neck or spine. These mats are large and bulky and even folding professional mats are difficult to store. They're usually present in gyms and fitness classes. They can be made either from standard or extra dense foam, and are usually protected by an easy to clean vinyl cover.
Folding Exercise Mat
|Starting at $54.99
Two Sizes: 2' x 4' and 2' x 6'
Two Thicknesses: 1-3/8", 2"