When you walk into a gym and look at the floor, I can guarantee you that you’re probably not going to see carpet. There’s a reason for this, and simply put: carpet and exercise don’t go well together. When your workout space is your home though, this can become more problematic.
However, there are many issues that arise from working out on carpet, and likewise—several possible solutions to make your carpeted room into a true exercise studio.
Carpet + Exercise = Problems
If you choose to work out on your carpet, there are a couple of things you should keep in mind:
You’re Damaging Your Carpet — Maintaining a clean carpet and one that’s in good condition can be a difficult task when you have kids, pets and dirty shoes tracking dirt inside. Add to this a daily workout routine and your carpet will begin to experience additional wear and tear. If you workout on your carpet in shoes, every time you exercise you are gradually wearing out your carpet by doing repetitive actions that dull the quality of your carpet in the same spot. Multiply this over multiple days a week and your carpet will quickly start to deteriorate in quality.
How Clean is Your Carpet Anyway? — Unlike tile or wood flooring, carpet can be better at masking stains, dirt, and food hidden in it. If you do sit-ups, push-ups or other exercises on the floor, you might just be exercising in cat urine, a spilled drink, or dirt tracked in from your shoes. Likewise, when you sweat your carpet is absorbing all of that. Not pleasant to think about, is it?
Certain Exercises Are More Difficult — The material of carpet simply doesn’t facilitate easy exercises. Certain exercises such as yoga can be more difficult because carpet sinks under your weight, meaning you lose your balance much more easily. Additionally, many exercise junkies complain that some exercises, such as pivots in kickboxing, are not as easy to do on carpet as they are on hard surfaces. Moreover, some exercises which require exposure to the carpet may cause painful carpet burn on your knees or other body parts. Ouch!
What Can I Do?: Possible Solutions
Invest in a Mat — Many former carpet exercisers have had positive experiences by investing in some sort of mat, such as a yoga mat. This will allow you to maintain a workout space in your home, without causing damage to your carpet. As an added bonus, most of these mats are much more conducive to doing exercises on. Most retailers carry yoga mats or interlocking foam mats for affordable prices.
Exercise Barefoot — Though it may not solve every problem with exercising on carpet, working out barefoot can cause considerably less damage to your carpets than exposing the rubber of your shoes’ soles to your carpet.
Exercise Outside Your Home — Though it’s not always ideal, sometimes the best solution is to head outside or to the gym. Gym memberships can be costly, but so can carpet replacement, and gyms usually contain many more workout resources than your home exercise studio can. A cheaper alternative can be to exercise outside in your yard or neighborhood, but some parts of the country are less favorable when it comes to working out year round. It can be too hot in the summer, or too cold in the winter. Regardless, for some people this can be a possible solution.
Jon Bibb is the owner of Steamer’s Carpet Care, a locally owned carpet, tile, and air duct cleaning company serving the San Antonio and New Braunfels, TX areas. A veteran of the industry, Bibb has seen many a carpet falling apart in home exercise studios, and enjoys helping people prevent ruining their carpets while supporting a healthy lifestyle.