Solving the Problem of the Gym Mat

One of my biggest pet peeves at every gym I’ve been to is that people don’t wipe down their mats after they use them. (Or before, for that matter, which is just…eeeewww!) Last week I was grumbling to myself that at least when I worked out at home, I didn’t have to worry about cleaning my exercise mats…and than I had one of those V8 moments.

There wasn’t any reason I couldn’t bring my very own mat to the gym with me!

Life just really, really doesn’t have to be as hard as I make it sometimes. (I’m thinking of getting that tattooed on the back of my hand.)

mat sling and mat

Today I dipped into a Christmas gift card (bye-bye, new lamp I’ve been sale-watching!) to take advantage of Target’s Gaiam sale* and buy a mat sling! I’ve never been able to get my yoga mat back into the narrow mesh bag that came with it, and I’m tired of wrestling with it.

I like this sling because it not only holds my yoga mat (as shown), but the velcro straps are large enough for my thicker exercise mat, too. Versatility is always good in a product!

So no more scouring unwashed gym mats (before and after my workout) and hoping for the best–now I’ll have only my own sweat to worry about. But then one quick post-workout wipedown, plop it in the sling, and I’m done!

If you’re not already doing so, have you considered taking your own mat to the gym?

*FTC and other interested parties: I have no affiliation with Target or Gaiam. I just like them.

But if they wanted to hand me a wad of cash, I’d take it.

15 thoughts on “Solving the Problem of the Gym Mat

  1. I love how you call your brilliant ideas V8 Moments!!! Sometimes the simplest ideas are the smartest! I often ask my daughter for solutions kids don’t “over think” stuff!!! I’m glad you only have to lay in your own sweat now!!! :)

  2. I should.
    the other day for the first time in a long while I flopped on a mat without looking and was slathered in someone elses sweat.

    I threw up a little in my mouth.

  3. The gym where I used to take classes, strength training and yoga, had wipes in a dispenser and I used them before I got on a mat! But where I work out now with my mom and trainer there are none. I try not to think of it… I am rather a germaphobe.

  4. I’ve decided to forgo my gym membership renewal given my problem with lymphedema (in my chest!) postop. Gyms are notoriously not clean because of just those kind of behaviors – ever see anyone wipe down a barbell?

  5. We are letting our gym membership go at the end of the month to tighten our budget and keep our daughter in college! I will miss it very much.

    While I have never seen anyone wipe their own mats, there is staff that comes trough and cleans the equipment, including the barbells, throughout the day. It is attached to and affiliated with a hospital, so they are very concerned with cleanliness.

  6. i do have (and bring) my own yoga mat to class..but never thought of the mat strap!!
    after rolling, re-rolling, straightening, and then trying to shove it into a yoga bag, i feel like i’ve done a whole other workout!!

    great idea! (as usual!)

  7. Even though there are wipes in my gym, I take my own mat. These days, I’m doing more yoga than anything else…so makes sense to me. I’m far from germophobe, but somehow, it just feels better knowing I’m the only one who lies/stands/sweats on it. (and it’s a jaunty shade of burgundy too….none of this dull black or grey for me! Except in my wardrobe! :) ) have a great day Cammy.

  8. I used to take my own mat and placed it on top of their thicker “mattress” type mats for Pilates classes. It’s much nicer!

  9. I have never used a mat at my new gym, but I have noticed people rarely wipe them down. A lot of people don’t wipe down the equipment either. I do wipe down the equipment after I use and would if I used a mat.

    I bring my own mat to yoga, but have been known to use their mats as well. I believe a certain amount of germs are good for keeping the immune system on alert. 😉

    Now, if we could get rid of the smokers in my building who pollute the halls it would be golden. Note to self…get weatherstripping for the door stat!

  10. First, I love Target. Second, yes, if I were going to use a mat at the gym, I’d take my own. It’s bad enough to use machines that other people have left their sweaty secretions all over. I’d never trust that the gym properly cleaned the mats available for public use.

  11. COOL!!!!!!!!! I have my own mat at home but don’t take it to the gym. I do, however, put a towel ALWAYS on any mat I use & I know which side touches the mat… BUT I love this idea & will check it out.


  12. Hi Cammy! You are smart to keep wiping those yucky mats down. I have athlete’s foot on my elbows right now from fungus-y gym mats. It is a real sucker to get rid of it. I’ve been using Tinactin morning and night for the last 30 days. And it is NOT so “tough actin'” as it claims :S

    :-) Marion

  13. I used to work at a studio (which shall remain unnamed!), and totally agree with you — those mats would get washed maybe once per month. Now I always bring my own!

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