Mats matter when ‘yoga to’ exercise

Due to the numerous lockdowns the country has experienced, online exercise classes or virtual boot camps have taken off.

Many take these classes, especially in Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) areas, as we are prohibited from exercising outdoors.

These classes, or ‘torture sessions’ as some call them, are a great way to stay fit or to break out a sweat after hours of working from home.

Many invest in looking good – expensive outfits to ‘sparkle’ during the online sessions – while others make sure they have the best looking shoes.

But many overlook an equally important item – a yoga mat – or sometimes called an exercise mat.

Although usually interchangeable, yoga mats are often thinner.

Mats come in handy for beginners who are struggling to do push-ups.

One variant is for them to do push-ups with their knees on the floor, instead of on their toes. As such, they need a comfortable mat to protect their knees.

Mats are also useful when you have to lie on your back for some exercises – think crunches or sit-ups – or when you have to do an elbow plank.

The cushion or padding is to prevent fatigue on bones and joints. Most importantly, non-slip mats offer stability. If you sweat a lot, a mat will keep you from slipping or sliding while exercising.

We tested two Trident Master Premium TPE Yoga Mats – 6mm and 8mm – during our online boot camps.

TPE costs more than the standard mats as it is an earth-friendly composite rubber and is recyclable. TPE mats also contain no toxic phthalates or heavy metals, making them safe for kids and adults.

The 6mm mat costs RM65, and the 8mm mat is priced at RM70, but both are now being sold by Kuckreja & Co at RM52 and RM63.20 respectively. Best of all, you can pay for them in three instalments via Hoolah. So, although slightly more expensive, the instalment plan makes it affordable.

We tested the mats for nearly two weeks and found both to be equally good.

The 8mm mat was slightly more comfortable as it offered more protection – especially when we had to do jumping jacks or jogging on the spot. It was even comfortable doing the above without shoes, but we recommend using them – better safe than sorry.

The 6mm mate gave a better ‘feeling’ during the stretching exercises.

Both offered stability, and best of all, sweat quickly evaporated.

We had been using old mats that had lost their sponginess and did not absorb the sweat as they used to.

The mats come with handy straps that make them easy to sling over the shoulder when we are finally allowed to hit the gymnasiums or exercise outdoors.

We were thinking of getting new mats, and now we know which ones to buy.