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According to exercise guidelines set by the CDC, you should be getting in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity each week.
Whatever your choice of exercise, be it Pilates, yoga, HIIT training, or strength workouts, you need the right equipment to correctly carry out those activities. For many, the starting point is a mat to provide comfort and prevent injury associated with working out on hard surfaces.
But what you may not know is that not all mats are the same. Home fitness enthusiasts often mistake a yoga mat for an exercise mat, while others get it wrong the other way around.
The point is that there are fundamental differences that separate them from each other, and they are certainly not the same thing. So let's get into the crucial differences between each of them.
In almost all cases, exercise mats are either thicker or have increased foam density to protect exercises from damage to joints such as knees and elbows caused by high-impact activities.
Exercise mats are designed with cardio in mind. Workouts that include high impact plyometric movements such as jump squats, burpees, and alternate jumping lunges need a mat that can absorb the vast majority of the impact going down into the surface.
Exercise mats excel in this regard. Whereby yoga mats are more for low-impact exercises, the best exercise mats are packed full of extra-high-density foam to absorb a beating from even the most extreme cardio and strength workouts.
Shoes vs. No Shoes
Another key difference is that yoga mats are designed explicitly with barefoot comfort in mind. Yoga mats strike a balance between protection from a hard surface while remaining connected with the floor through the soles of your feet. The non-slip surface of a yoga mat will keep the grip of your feet, even if they start to sweat through the exertions of your workout.
Exercise mats, by contrast, are designed for shoes-on workouts. They have a more durable top layer thanks to the high-density foam mentioned above, which provides excellent grip during those popular high-movement cardio home workout routines such as Zumba.
That said, nothing is stopping you from working out barefoot as our exercise mats enjoy many of the same comfort benefits of their yoga mat counterparts.
There are no two ways about it; cardio workouts can be noisy affairs. With jumping, lunging, and side-to-side movement all part and parcel of most cardio workouts, you might not be best friends with those living beneath you in your apartment complex, for example. Similarly, you may want to keep the noise down if you have little ones sleeping close by.
With the thicker upper layer, exercise mats help to reduce the impact on your floor and therefore lessen the associated noise with jumping up and down and moving around.
Yoga mats, on the other hand, offer a softer plusher surface focused on comfort. They reflect the calmer nature of Pilates and yoga exercises, which are low impact and, therefore, much quieter.
Another difference between exercise mats and their yoga counterparts is the weight of the mats. While neither type of mat is heavy by any stretch of the imagination, exercise mats naturally weigh more to cope with the higher impact stresses they are subjected to on a daily basis.
As a comparison, our large 6' x 4' exercise mat weighs a few pounds more than the same size yoga mat. Obviously, for high-intensity workouts, you want a more substantial mat, as it will firmly stay put as you move around it.
Even though both our entire yoga and exercise mat range come equipped with on-slip top and bottoms, the extra weight doesn't hurt to fix the mat in place during high-movement workouts.
As you can see, there are quite a few differences between exercise mats and yoga mats, but what about their similarities? What characteristics do our yoga mats and exercise mats share?
As mentioned briefly above, all of the GXMMAT exercise and yoga mats use the latest advanced non-slip materials on both the top and bottom sides of our mats. It's vital that any mat, yoga or exercise, stays in place while you exercise.
If your mat were to slip or move, it could result in serious injury, which is why we've pioneered our double-sided no-skid surfaces to prevent sliding during workouts. The upper non-slip layer ensures you can keep your positions without slipping or falling over, again increasing the chance of injuries.
Eco-Friendly and Non-Toxic Materials
One of the issues plaguing the exercise mat industry is the use of cheap materials that are both toxic to humans and harmful to the environment. Here at GXMMAT, we've made sure that our mats are free of toxins such as lead, arsenic, or mercury.
We also use sustainably-sourced and premium quality materials. Our mats are latex-free, phthalate-free, and silicone-free to ensure you can enjoy an eco-friendly gym mat that is safe for your body, mind, and spirit.
Another key feature of both our yoga mats and exercise mats is our commitment to them. Some exercise and yoga mat companies pile them high and sell them cheap, only for the mats in question to only last a few months at best.
We don't believe in that ethos. We believe in standing behind the quality of our mats by giving you lifetime services after purchase. What's more, we provide a 100% money-back guarantee if you are unsatisfied with any of our mats. How's that for confidence and belief in our product?
Choose GXMMAT for Exercise Mats and Yoga Mats You Can Trust!
If you're looking to get started with your home workout routines, you're going to need a mat that's up to the task. With an extensive premium exercise or yoga mat from GXMMAT you can guarantee that you'll receive a product that covers all your workout needs while standing the test of time.
Finally, don't forget to sign up for our email list to receive 10% off your first purchase!