March 15th, 2013 by Chris Aviles
So after a few months of being a bum I decided it was time to hop on my treadmill machine again.Â I was so glad that I remembered where I put my treadmill mat!Â I love my treadmill because in my heart of hearts Iâ€™m a couch potato. I LOVE television and since my machine is parked in front of my TV I can get on in and zone out. Well, yesterday I hopped on and after just a 45 minute workout I felt good, until I sat down for a minute and tried getting back up. Ouch.
Being the 28 year old baby I am, I called my dad because of course I was dying and automatically assume the worst. Also my father is an international Kick boxing champion and avid gym rat (a gene he did NOT pass to me)Â so I figured heâ€™d have a quick fix.Â I quickly learned I didnâ€™t stretch properly.Â The only thing quick about that phone call was how quick he was to start lecturing me. There are many benefits of stretching you might want to consider before jumping into a workout. You really need to take care of your muscles and blah blah blahâ€¦ I stopped listening. Everybody knows parents are always wrong and they just want to make life harder for us (says the 15 year old inside of me).Â Â I, being stubborn (a gene he DID pass to me) looked up facts on my own and was less than surprised to see my dad actually knows a thing or two.
The first and most important benefit to gain from stretching is relieving of pain!Â Â Not just to relieve pain, but to prevent the tightness that causes it. I read that another important benefit of stretching is that it releases a lubricating substance from the cartilage within your joints; which allows your joints to move more smoothly, preserving the cartilage in your joints and keeping your bones from scraping. I also learned that stretching can improve the circulation of water and nutrients through your body, which slows the aging process. Studies have also shown that stretching can lengthen muscles and, by doing so, can improve your posture.Â At this point I’m thinking an all purpose exercise mat would be an ideal gift to myself.
Hereâ€™s the kicker. All these benefits are achievable, even if you donâ€™t regularly work out. You can experience a healthier, more comfortable day, just by stretching.
In order for stretching to be effective, youâ€™ll need to warm up your muscles first. A simple ten minute walk or jog will make a huge difference. Remember, cold muscles are tighter, and will make you have a harder and more uncomfortable time stretching. If you donâ€™t want to go out into the heat or rain, orÂ have allergies,Â or you just want to stay in front of the TV, a stretching strap is a pretty affordable way to help you stretch indoors.
However, there are times when stretching should be avoided. Donâ€™t stretch before intense workout sessions like sprinting or other high-intensity cardio training. Â Below are some tips if you decide to use a strap:
-Use a yoga strap for deep stretching, especially sitting poses that stretch the legs. Take the yoga strap in your hands and place the yoga strap around the instep of your feet. Pull gently on the strap with both hands for resistance as you bend forward at the waist. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat four to six times.For an advanced, deeper stretch, shorten the strap by wrapping it around your hands a few times. Place the strap around the instep of your feet and pull gently on the strap with both hands for resistance. Touch your nose to your knee (if you are flexible enough).This stretch will release tension in your hamstrings, calves and quadriceps.
-Use a yoga strap in standing poses to stretch your legs and hips, and to help improve your balance. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Plant your feet firmly into the exercise mat. Look straight ahead and focus on the wall in front of you. Lift your right leg gently and place the strap around the instep of your right foot. Pull gently on the strap with both hands as you lift your right leg off the ground. Stretch leg straight. Hold for ten seconds. Repeat 4-6 times (alternate each side). For an advanced, deeper stretch, shorten the strap by wrapping it around your hands a few times. Place the strap around the instep of your right foot. Pull gently on the strap with your right hand only. Lift your right leg off the ground. Stretch leg straight in front of you. Move your right leg to your right side. Pull the strap higher with your right hand for more resistance and to achieve a deeper stretch. Hold for ten seconds. Repeat four to six times on each side.
-Use a yoga strap for stretching your arms shoulders and chest (especially when you can’t reach both hands behind your back). Place the right arm behind your back and place the left arm over your shoulder so it touches your upper back. Take one end of the strap in each hand. Tug each end of the strap with each hand, which will give you a deep stretch in your arms (especially in the triceps), shoulders and chest. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat four to six times
-Use a yoga strap for prone positions (before final relaxation) to stretch the legs, back, hips and groin area. Lie down on your mat and wrap a yoga strap around the instep of your feet. Use both hands and lift your legs towards the ceiling. Tug on the strap at the same time as you lift your legs higher for a deeper stretch. Hold the strap with your right hand and move your right leg slowly the right side. Touch your right leg to the mat (if you are flexible enough) while still holding the strap with your right hand. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat four to six times, alternating sides.
March 11th, 2013 by Stag
In the last three weeks a good friend of mine came back into town. He was diving in the Gulf of Mexico for the last eight months and I guess you could say he had become a bit home sick. So, now he is backâ€¦and living in my living room. This is not a problem at all, since this guy and I are more like brothers than friends. However, I have noticed that some of my more cherished, nay; revered comfort products have been going missing or simply finding their way into his possession. This is a problem and needs to stop! After a long day at the office and then almost falling asleep on my folding exercise mat, I just wanted to be comforted with my beloved pillow.
Now, I love my Television.Â Seriously, I mean LOVE IT! So, naturally, I also love anything that will allow me to more easily and comfortably view my television from my bed. I have a cherished Reading Pillow that I use for the not so productive activity of watching TV. So, after a day of work I come home to ready myself for a bit of trash TV before actually having to do something productive, and what do I see; my bed, minus a TV Pillow.Â So, I naturally begin to hunt, and search for this beloved accessory of mine.
After a failed half hour of pain-staking rummaging, I finally found my back pillow, tucked away with my friendâ€™s air mattress in the corner of my living room.Â A feeling of relief quickly washed over me, followed quite immediately by mischievous ideas to liberate his body pillow in retaliation.Â Perhaps I shall do so this weekend.Â Wish me luck and Iâ€™ll see you all next week.
March 5th, 2013 by Ben Gonzalez
A quick look in the mirror today reminded me that Iâ€™ve been schlepping off on my workouts. I was in a pretty bad car accident mid November of last year which immobilized me considerably and effectively kept me away from the gym for the last 3 months or so. When youâ€™re on a tight schedule and your gym is not at home, getting to and from work with a gym in between becomes damn near impossible. Yes Iâ€™ve seen athletes pull it off, but Iâ€™m no athlete.
Looking at my pasty self in front of that mylar mirror made me think of Black Swan and all those skinny dancers. Not because I bear a striking resemblance to Natalie Portman,I do, but because of how damn skinny I am! Which leads to me to this rant: Dancers. HOLY CRAP! Have you seen a male dancer? In full get-up and all?? They are INSANELY fit! I guess youâ€™d expect that from anyone that has to balance their body on their toes while gracing across the matlay dance flooring. Flexing and holding impossibly painful, yet strangely beautiful, poses in front of glassless mirrors. Arousing many a curious patron with their grace and flexibility while practicing on their ballet bar.
It was then and there that I think I needed to get into classical/ballet and dancing. My slender figure would benefit greatly, as would anyone elseâ€™s, from the intense workouts and discipline required of a ballerina. A tutu wouldnâ€™t be half bad either.Â Now I’m off to get my first piece of dance equipment for home.
February 25th, 2013 by Kelly Green
Boy do I love to exercise, thereâ€™s nothing like the sound of these old knee joints popping and crunching as I Â go through the latest Zumba/WII Fit/ Cardio Jam torture . . . er, Â I mean routine. I especially enjoy my beloved spouse of 23 years glaring at me when I donâ€™t show the same enthusiasm for this masochistic regimen of mindless agony that she displays: Â â€œSee sweetie, your gasping, moaning and sweating more than a politician under a recall vote is a sign that itâ€™s WORKING.â€
Bah. I would do almost any exercise if you could make it FUN. Make it fun AND competitive and you got me.Â Make it fun, competitive and something that can be abused when not functioning as part of an exercise session and it becomes subversive and wildly desirable. I am talking about the Exercise Ball. There are legions of fun routines that engage the core (the trunk we used to call it in the old days before new math). Almost any standard callisthenic type of regimen can be altered to include the Exercise Ball. Sit-ups, push-ups, knee bends leg lifts all get much more intense with the giant ball oâ€™ fun. There are a veritable plethora of videos online to incorporate into the workout. When you are first learning how to use the Ball, I would suggest purchasing throw mats or some type of thick exercise mat for softer landings. You may be wondering where the competitive /subversive pats come in.Â It is along the lines of, â€œTwo men enter, one man leaves.â€
For this duel, you will need two of the large balls and two of the smaller balls. Using the larger of the two balls you lie belly down on the larger ball, your â€œsecondâ€ helps position your feet on the smaller. Your worthy opponent mounts upon their own glorious steed of inflated rubber balls within armâ€™s reach. On the count of three you then attempt to knock your opponent off their perch OR lose control of the smaller of the two balls. This will get noisy. Make sure there are no electronic appliances anywhere nearby. Preferably you will do this outdoors, on rubber flooring out of view of the faint of heart. Variations include wielding various plastic weaponry and toy shields.
February 11th, 2013 by Stag
A few weeks ago I found myself hanging around with my little almost nephew.Â I say almost, since I am technically not blood related.Â He is the son of one of my friends sisters, however being like family that we are; I am his uncle.Â Now that we have that cleared up; there I was sitting around with the little man and wondering what to do.Â This guy loves his video games, and donâ€™t we all? Boys and their toys, right? I thought however that I needed to get this guy up and moving, give him a little visceral interaction, he is a little dude and he should be running a bit wild at this point.Â So I called my friend who works at a local kids gym.Â Seeing as though he was working that day, I decided to take the little tike over to the gym and let him play and move and jump and what have you with the other wee ones this day.
Now if you have never seen a kidâ€™s gym, youâ€™re definitely in for a surprise.Â Itâ€™s like the veritable playground that you would have dreamt of as a child; or at least I know that I did.Â Â A whole wall of climbing rope all the way to the ceiling.Â Gigantic exercise ball with kids rolling, and bouncing all over the place.Â Even incline mats for rolling, and a whole floor of tumbling mats and crash pads for the little folks to jump and throw themselves around onâ€¦and for safety of course.
But it is not just all play, the kids do learn quite a bit while they are there.Â My friend that works there is a coach. He groups the kids together and supervises them in exercises and even games, teaching them as they play. It great for many reasons, Â it gets the little guys moving and learning about their health and bodies as well as giving you a little time to breath and take some time for yourself. Needless to say my nephew had a great time and he has certainly asked to go back again. So if you have a little gymnast or just want to have your little ones play and exercise is a good environment, definitely check out your local kidâ€™s gyms…They’re loaded with many different types of kids exercise equipment.
January 28th, 2013 by Chris Aviles
Be on the look out and get on the ground floor of the next big thing in personal fitness!
Every field has its own trends. In movie and television itâ€™s the un-dead- Zombies and Vampires etc.. Some are global, like Gangnam Style or the Macarena. Others are more local like Pink Berry (amazing frozen Yogurt mostly in California). In exercise, yoga and Pilates pretty much dominated the scene until nowâ€¦
Xtend Barre is a new franchise that utilizes a ballet barre for a fun and effective workout and we supply custom ballet barres for their locations. Ordinarily you notice something becoming a trend because you see or hear it everywhere! I had no idea what a Pink Berry was until I started seeing them everywhere. Unless you live in California you probably still donâ€™t, but itâ€™s huge! My point is, just because youâ€™ve never heard of something doesnâ€™t mean itâ€™s not the next big thing.
These Xtend barres are growing fast. I know youâ€™ve probably never seen one, but theyâ€™re out there. I know they have locations in Utah, California, Louisiana, Nevada, Florida, and New York (just to name a few). Iâ€™ve also noticed a jump in Athletic clubs looking for a ballet bar for sale. That leads me to believe the â€œXtend Barreâ€ workout (or at least a variation of it) is going to be coming up in a big way.
I was talking to the latest addition to our MatsMatsMats.com family and he had a very good point. Now a days, people are pulling toward activities that are fun and effective. Dancing is a big one! Thatâ€™s hugely apparent in video games like Just Dance or Dance Dance Revolution.
So if you need a good workout, are looking for a new business or just like being on the cutting edge of the latest thingsâ€¦ Dance on this bandwagon!
January 23rd, 2013 by Stag
I have recently adopted sort of speak a hellishly adorable little puppy.Â Now this little wiper-snapper is quite the handful.Â Despite being the size of a small cat, he can certainly hold his own.Â This little â€œamigoâ€, whoâ€™s nameâ€¦is Amigo, is like a miniature neutron bomb with the ever last of the Energizer Bunny.Â Apparently that is fairly common with his bread, a half Chiwawa, half Pug; which by the way is painfully adorable. This makes it very difficult to leave the little guy alone while I go to work each day.Â So with a little digging, and bit of luck I found a local Doggy Day Care Center for the miâ€™ Amigo.Â
Â The place is like a doggy gym meets dog-park. The area is covered wall to wall with Rolled Rubber Flooring, and might I say very well maintained.Â Now naturally being a new daddy, I did my research on the doggy day care before relinquishing my little pup to them.Â They clean their Rubber Flooring each day with an Animal Safe Disinfectant and Neutral pH Cleaner.Â They feed all the dogs well and there is plenty to doâ€¦if youâ€™re a dog, that is.Â There is lots of room to run and jump, and pant, and do those silly little things that dogs do.Â
I am very pleased with my little find of this place for the fur-ball in my life.Â The only down-side I have found is that I really hoped that all this play and stimulation while I was at work would wear the â€˜ol Amigo out, and that he would be a calm, docile, thing once I got him home.Â However, the best laid plans of mice and men, and dogs; this did not prove to be so.Â In fact, I think that he got even more energy from playing with all the other dogs.Â Regardless, heâ€™s my little man and Iâ€™m glad that this swishy face demolition machine is happy as can be.
January 23rd, 2013 by Ben Gonzalez
Unchecked male aggression is one of my pet peeves. All the macho with none of the class. When our reptilian brain beckons daily to just eat and breed, itâ€™s no wonder the addition of entertainment on demand to our latest generation of teens and pre-teens can help provoke some of our less self-disciplined cubs to bully, steal, or just be all around jerks. Not only that, but add the pressures of social expectations in the face of adversity for many and you have a recipe for what seems to be a never-ending news feed of disenfranchised youths taking to recreational drugs, a stance against critical thought and educational institutions of any sort and in the worst cases, violence towards others.
I recently spoke to a customer who is working in the one of the poorest counties in the state of Kansas and is taking it upon himself to start a free youth wrestling program.Â His program is aimed at teaching kids discipline, poise, and most importantly, self-control through the likes of wrestling mats. I couldnâ€™t help but be a bit moved by the idea given that when I was growing up, programs like that greatly affected me and really did keep me deterred from expressing my more troublesome tendencies in an outwardly destructive ways.
Now I was never very athletic, but I distinctly remember how after-school programs that offered Tae Kwon Do, soccer, and even roller hockey, offered an alternative to the pressures of being a teenager in a low-income neighborhood where aside from staying indoors playing video-games and listening to music, there was little incentive for the â€˜nerdyâ€™ kids to go outside and socialize. Through a little positive influence and motivation from young adults such as this customer and mentors, kids can turn to martial arts, wrestling, exercise, and even using yoga products (which I have seen more and more recently especially here in Southern California) to make new friends, stay active, healthy, and build confidence and self-discipline.
MatsMatsMats.com is always happy to offer additional discounts to various local and volunteer funded programs on just about all our inventory from martial arts mats or exercise flooringÂ toÂ a yoga mat or meditation products. If you, much like many of these mentors and willing individuals, wish to make a difference in your community, give us a call and weâ€™d be more than happy to help. While generally we donâ€™t have second-hand items or donations available, we offer highly competitive pricing and might even be able to point you in the right direction if we donâ€™t have exactly what you are looking for.
January 18th, 2013 by Chris Aviles
Did you know that tires are one of the worst and largest source of waste? They have one of the largest production volumes and is one of the most durable materials, making it almost impossible to get rid of. The plus side is that those problems also make them one of the most re-used materials. Recycled Rubber has a non-slip surface which is easy to clean and maintain and itâ€™s very resilient and huge range of uses.
Tires are often recycled for use on basketball courts,Â new shoe products, and to make a recycled rubber playground surface. We at MatsMatsMats.com have quite a few other uses. One of the recycled rubber products that we carry is our rolled rubber flooring. It comes in 4â€™ or 5â€™ widths all the way up to 100â€™ in length. This version of our rubber is the most versatile because it also comes in 4 different thicknessâ€™ and 8 different colors. Most of the people I talk to that, are interested in rolled rubber flooring, use it for gyms, garages or dog runs. In a garage or gym it really helps muffle sounds and protect the floor while hiding dirt and can give your space a clean look. It is also excellent for surfacing (or as underlayment) for areas that require resilience, sound absorption, spike resistance and/or traction.
The people that use it for dog runs or kennels, like that the rubber is not very porous so it wonâ€™t absorb water or urine. Itâ€™s durable enough to withstand dog nails but has just enough give to protect the dogs joints when they lay down or run.
Our Tuff-n-Easy interlocking tiles are another great recycled rubber product. They come in 28.5â€x28.5â€ square which easily (and seamlessly) interlock, allowing you to create smaller or odd shaped areas. These tiles are also popular in garages and dog runs because, if one were to be damaged, it can easily be removed and replaced. I personally want to use these interlocking rubber floor tiles in my flower beds. My dogs love laying in the dirt and in always ends up in my house. All I would have to do is drill a few holes for water drainage. That would solve my mud problem!
January 11th, 2013 by Stag
Well it is a new year officially, no denying that now.Â So as many of you out there I have made resolutions to become more active.Â Give this working out thing the â€˜ol college try sort of speak.Â Now after taking the first week and a half of the new year sitting and watching TV contemplating my plan of attack in regards to my new found â€œmotivationsâ€ to become more healthy and active; I finally ventured into the local gym.Â I did my sign up, paid my fees, signed my Faustian deal in blood, and the inevitable sweat and tears and now I am on my wayâ€¦hopefully.
Adjusting to a new environment can be unsettling naturally, especially to a gym with its variety of different exercise accessories, where you are the obvious â€œNew Guyâ€.Â Though I must admit, I love to see the people at the gym and their mannerisms when they think that no one is watching.Â To see all these hyper-motivated people, dressed in their spandex and sporting their cross training exercise gloves, running, lifting, bending awkwardly over their exercise ball, over-posturing and in general just showing off; it is quite entertaining.Â That is until you realize that you are hyperventilating and look like you just got hit by a semi-truck after 5 minutes on the treadmill.
So I decided after my 30 minute brush with death, thanks to the treadmill and elliptical that I would move onto some more strength based exercises.Â So I grabbed some of the resistance tubes, which are essentially large rubber bands, and surprisingly very difficult to stretch and bend.Â So definitely a good warm up that was to get on the larger machines.Â Now there I was, camo-cut off shorts and old Metallica t-shirt lifting 80 pounds, and watching everyone else do at least twice that.Â So with my spirit broken I decided to find the nearest yoga mats and catch my breath before calling it a night. Though I pushed through the first night, I am committed to many more.
No grand finale this time dear readers, no real climax, just grinding through and staying on track for now. So wish me luck and with a little luck and lot of work, in the next few months there will be less of me, yet more to write.