While an exercise mat is often thought of only in regards to yoga and Pilates, it can actually be used successfully during the performance of cardiovascular and strength training exercise. Exercise mats can usually be found at most sporting goods stores. If you are not interested in purchasing your own exercise mat, you can use one at the gym. Be sure to wipe down your exercise mat after each session in order to prevent the spread of germs and bacteria.
Finding an Exercise Mat
Exercise mats are around five feet in length, and range in thickness depending on how the mat will be used. If you intend to use the yoga mat for flexibility training, such as yoga, you will want to select a mat that is relatively thin. In contrast, if you are more concerned with cardiovascular training, a thicker mat that can help protect your feet, ankles and knees is a better choice.
1. Cardiovascular Exercise
One of the best ways that you can lose weight at home with an exercise mat is by participating in cardiovascular exercise. As the name suggests, cardiovascular exercise stresses the cardiovascular system. While this is often thought of as walking, biking or swimming, you can perform cardiovascular exercise on an exercise mat as well. Try walking in place, stepping up and down on a step or block, or even kickboxing in place. Each of these exercises is guaranteed to help you burn calories, strengthen your heart and achieve a healthier life overall.
2. Strength Training
While cardiovascular exercise is probably one of the most popular ways to lose weight, strength training can be equally as effective. This is due to the fact that an increase in muscle mass has been found to lead to an increase in metabolic rate. The increase in metabolic rate results in increased calorie burn, thereby producing substantial weight loss. In order to achieve optimal results when it comes to losing weight with strength training on an exercise mat, be sure to select exercises that work large muscle groups, such as the chest, quadriceps and hamstrings. Good examples of exercises that target these muscle groups include push ups, squats and hamstring curls.
3. Flexibility Training
While flexibility training may not produce weight loss in and of itself, it has been found to be helpful in aiding in recovery from exercise. This means that you will be able to have fewer rest days between your challenging workouts, and therefore can burn a greater number of calories overall. For best results, try to focus on increasing the flexibility in the muscles that are worked during your cardiovascular or strength training exercises. Targeting these muscle groups will allow you to have the fastest recovery time.