One of the more common New Year’s resolutions is the initiative to get back into shape. It’s definitely an admirable and wise enterprise for the sake of your health and well-being. Of course, that’s only if you actually follow through with such plans. Now, I don’t mean to discourage anyone, but it seems all too common for people to throw out their plans to get fit. I’ve seen it in friends, family and even myself. The way I see it, people tend to set pipe dream fitness goals that can be overwhelming to set into action. Noting this, I would suggest making smaller, more practical goals. A manageable first step would be to first focus on stretching and balance with the help of a workout mat. (By the way, the word workout matt is actually searched for more on a monthly basis in the US! There is got be a reason for this. It cannot be that people misspell workout matt for “mat”…. or could it? )
After a long hiatus from physical activity, the human body may not be immediately ready to engage in vigorous, fat-burning activity. Joints could be stiff, muscles rigidly contracted. With the body in such a state, it would be difficult and potentially injurious to jump into higher intensity exercising like weightlifting or swimming.
Instead, begin your fitness comeback with a smaller yet safer activity; following a five- to ten- minute walk or jog warm-up, limber up your body with static stretches. Above many things, stretching relieves muscle tension, lengthens muscles for a larger range of motion and keeps muscles flexible to improve posture and balance (http://running.about.com/od/running101/a/stretching101.htm). However, you must beware of improper technique that may lead to injury.
Rubber workout mats for home applications provide an ideal surface to stretch on. The tackiness of rubber prevents you from slipping during any of your stretches and promotes precise and deliberate movements. Sprains and overextensions may result if you have a mishap on a slippery floor surface. Such slippery floors may also compromise the form and technique of your stretches, which can also lead to injury.
When stretching becomes a bit drab and unchallenging, transition into balance exercises like yoga or Pilates. Those exercises require a ready and able core (i.e. abdominals, lower back, etc.) and can be a test for your fitness readiness. Make sure to use a workout mat to avoid any detrimental accidents. Aside from the grip they provide, workout mats for home offer a degree of shock-absorbency that can reduce some of the stress inflicted on your joints and bones.
With the assistance of a simple rubber workout mat, you can begin your transition into more vigorous fitness goals. Starting with light cardio, stretching and balance exercises properly and safely readies your body for more substantial exercises. Sure, it may be a baby step in the grand scope of getting in shape, but it is an easy and practical way to gain momentum for future physical activity.