The average gymnastic mat lasts about three years. To get the most out of your inflatable mat and possibly extend its lifespan, be sure to follow these four simple steps. These straightforward and easy steps will help you stick to a regular maintenance routine.
You live for gymnastics. You love gymnastics. Your kids live and breathe gymnastics. Or, maybe, it’s simply a fun and exciting way to exercise.
No matter what level you practice or compete at, knowing how to maintain inflatable mats is essential for your health and safety.
Listen, we’ve all been there. You or your child just spent hours upon hours mastering that Produnova or Backbend Kickover. You probably have a million other things to do after practice like groceries, laundry, or homework and the last thing you want to think about is the inflatable mats. But, we’ve all heard horror stories because of improper inflatable mat care. All it takes is one time for you or your kids to be seriously injured.
So, let’s talk about best practices for maintaining your inflatable mats. It may seem like a hassle at the time, but you will be thanking yourself later.
Why Should You Know How to Properly Maintain and Care for Your Inflatable Mats?
Like everything else in life, the better you take care of something, the longer it lasts.
Inflatable mats are like a new car. You want to keep that new car smell and spotless interior for as long as possible. The same thing with gymnastic mats; you want to keep them looking and feeling new for as long as you can.
Just like that new car, the better you maintain it and keep up with the recommended care tips, the longer it will last. Inflatable mats are not inexpensive, and the longer you can safely use the one you have, you can hold off buying one for a long time.
By maintaining your mat, you are less likely to suffer any kind of malfunctions, such as holes, slippery surfaces, or tearing. Avoiding these malfunctions by practicing proper maintenance can also help to prevent injuries in the long run.
How To Properly Maintain and Care for Your Inflatable Mats?
The average gymnastic mat lasts about three years. To get the most out of your inflatable mat and possibly extend its lifespan, be sure to follow these four simple steps.
These straightforward and easy steps will help you stick to a regular maintenance routine.
Step 1: Keep the surface clean and dry after every use
After each use, it is ideal that you give your mat a good wipe down and make sure that it is thoroughly dry before putting it away.
Wiping down your mat can remove any harmful bacteria or germs that cling to your mat. You most certainly do not want to bring those germs home with you!
By ensuring your mat is completely dry before storing, you eliminate the chances of mold or bacteria growing on your mat.
Step 2: Fold the inflatable air track into thirds lengthwise
This step is essential to remember to avoid damaging your mat. In addition, folding it with the shape of the mat helps to prevent tearing and extend the life of your mat.
You will notice seams alongside and across your inflatable mat. It’s essential to fold with the seams to not crack or rip your mat. Think of your mat as a stiff piece of leather; if you try to fold it against the seams, the leather will split.
Folding your mat correctly is going to prevent soft spots. However, when a durable fabric undergoes constant stretching, the material will eventually lose its firmness. That means creating weak spots on your mat that won’t support any weight at all and instead just cave in.
Step 3: Store in a dry location and avoid direct sunlight
Most inflatable mats consist of vinyl material for optimal support and durability. However, did you know that humidity and sunlight can actually shorten the lifespan of your mats?
Sunlight and humidity eat away at the durability of the vinyl material, leaving room for a malfunction to happen at any time.
Over time, sunlight can warp the shape of your mat, causing it to be damaged and unsafe to use.
Step 4: Don’t use it when it’s worn or some parts are missing
Using a worn-out or broken mat can be hazardous for your health and safety. It’s a good idea to always inspect your mat before and after each use to avoid injury. Safety first!
Be sure to check for even the smallest of holes or tears. An ideal way to do a safety check is to run your hands over every inch of the mat. Sometimes, your hands will find something that feels weird that your eyes can’t see.
Final Thoughts on Caring for Your Inflatable Mat
Hopefully, this article was helpful and informative on how to care for your inflatable mats and the importance of doing this simple task every time.
Proper maintenance of your mat can keep it feeling like new, extend the lifetime use, and can help to avoid injury.
Caring for your mat is such a simple process. All you need to remember is to always clean and dry your mat, fold it into thirds lengthwise, store it in a dry location and avoid sunlight. It’s also essential to note that you should inspect your mats closely before and after each use and never use them if there’s any sign of damage.
Let us know what you think! Leave a comment and be sure to share with your friends so we can all be safe out there.