Get your mat right
Not many of us spare a thought for an exercise mat. More often than not we end up picking a yoga mat. If you are looking to get the best results from your exercise regimen and avoid injuries, the mat really matters. According to Dr Raju Vaishya, senior orthopaedic consultant and joint replacement surgeon, “There are different mats for different exercises.” His advice: whatever your routine, pick a mat that gives sufficient cushion, grip and does not slip.


Mumbai-based strength and conditioning coach Devon Van Onselen mentions that before buying a mat, be sure of what you want to use it for (see box). Exercise mats come in different lengths, widths and thickness. He adds, “When buying a mat, make sure it’s the right size for your body — length, width and with thickness that bears the impact of your weight.” If the mat has little to no grip, it can slip and cause muscle tear or loss of control or balance while lifting weights. If it does not absorb moisture well it can cause slippage. Vaishya advises against cheap mats that curl up easily. “Make sure you wash your mats regularly to avoid infections,” he adds. The right time to start shopping for a new mat is when you notice the grip and padding going.