HoMedics Stretch Mat – The Easy Way to Stretch Your Body & Relax Your Mind

I have had problems with my back on and off for a few years, not helped by the fact that I had my kids by caesarian just 18 months apart.  Eventually, after much grumbling – from me and my back, I was sent to a physio who gave me a program of exercises and a stern talking to.

Not only was my physio (who I was lucky enough to see on the NHS) a firm advocate for the importance of stretching the back, he is also a football referee and a keen sportsman.

As well as giving me a set of exercises to do, many of which are based on Pilates, he told me two things which have stayed with me.

  1. Back pain is helped by exercise.  Bed rest is not the answer unless you really can’t move at all.
  2. You should not spend longer than 45 minutes sitting down.

I’ve read quite a lot in recent months about the fact that many health practitioners consider sitting to be the new smoking but many of us struggle with a sedentary lifestyle and its effects.

Even our kids do a daily mile walk in school because they are being taught how important exercise is for their health.  Not only that but their headmistress wisely says that whilst they’re walking they have a golden opportunity to sort out disputes and petty arguments and become friends again.

With shame I have to admit that my kids are far healthier than I am.  I walk the kids to school and back and do a weekly pilates class but that’s it.

The rest of the time I am sat in armchair blogging.

No, it’s not doing me any good and yes I really should do something about it but time just runs away with us, doesn’t it?

It’s quite interesting that, now many of my friends are over 50, as I am, how many of us are recognising we need to do more exercise just to get moving in the morning.

In fact, I was recently gobsmacked when a male friend of mine confessed his new passion was yoga and he did a basic sequence every morning to ease himself into the day! This is someone who spends the rest of his time biking around the UK in full leather regalia.

I was recently sent an innovative new product by HoMedics to try out – the STRETCH mat which promises to put you through a selection of yoga stretches without you having do much other than lie there and relax – sounds ideal, right?

The idea behind the STRETCH mat is to bring the benefits of yoga into your day, helping you to release tension and improve flexibility with immediate benefits for the shoulders, hips and back.

It is not what I was expecting.  I envisaged lying on something extra padded whilst drifting off to the sound of Whale song but actually the mat puts you through a work-out – albeit a gentle one.

The mat mimics yoga style stretches by inflating precision controlled air chambers in sequence to encourage your lumbar region to stretch, release and relax.

The STRETCH mat is easy to set up – simply unfold it, position the headrest and plug in.

 

It is operated by a handheld control and there are 4 pre-programmed sequences to choose from.

    • Twist – A short session that focuses on relieving tension in shoulders and hips.
    • Flow – A progressive flow of stretches that gently mobilise the whole length of the spine, leaving you feeling refreshed and supple.
    • Energise – An uplifting program designed to help you refuel and boost your energy levels.
    • Stretch – An ‘all-round’ treatment to provide a refreshing antidote after staying seated for a long period of time.

The sequences are of varying duration and you can pause, play and customise the intensity of each one to suit your flexibility.

When you’ve finished using the mat, simply fold it away again. It has a handle so you can carry it from home to the office.

After using the mat for the first time you are advised not to use it again for 48 hours to give your muscles the chance to recover and I can certainly see why.

I tried the gentlest stretch programme and although it is relaxing I really felt it in my back afterwards.  I felt taller, which is good, but slightly achey as though I had had a good exercise session.

I will be testing the HoMedics Stretch Mat for the next 4 weeks to see what difference regular yoga stretches make to my daily routine and I can already see that it will be really easy just to lay the mat out and take advantage of 10 – 15 minutes or so of stretching to ensure that my back doesn’t seize up.

Take a look at the video below for a clearer idea of what the STRETCH mat can do.

The mat requires very little space – just access to an electrical socket – and you don’t need exercise gear or any other accessories.

The HoMedics STRETCH Mat is currently on offer for £199.99 (RRP £249.99) and is available to buy from HoMedics.co.uk ,Very.co.uk, Argos and Amazon.

Look out for my next post where I’ll be talking about the benefits of stretching in more detail.

 

 

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linda

Ex marketing professional turned family lifestyle blogger. I live in Cardiff with hubby Mat, Caitlin (10) and Ieuan (8).

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Facebook

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Sarah Bailey
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This sounds like a really interesting mat, I love that it helps you relax and hopefully realise some tension. I would love to see if it helped ease some of my pains.

Kara
Guest

This looks like a fab mat, I often suffer with back pain so stretching seems an obvious way to help stop this

Patrick
Guest

You look so happy and relaxed on your mat. Glad it worked and helped you feel better. Those long walks also do the same as well….this looks to be a worthwhile product to look into…

Helpful Mum
Guest

The mat looks amazing. I have definitely found that exercise helps my back. I used to be in a lot of pain with it, but rarely so since I started exercising regularly.

Ana De- Jesus
Guest

Its true I used to be far more active when I was younger but blogging definitely means you spend a lot of time sitting. I like the sound of the stretch mat x

Rhian Westbury
Guest

It’s great to know how much stretching can help, I really need to do something like this in the morning to set myself up for the day x

Stephanie Merry
Guest

Love the sound of this mat, I find stretching helps me a lot with my back issues x

melissa major
Guest
melissa major

This sounds like an amazing mat, my back has been sore on and off for a few years and I will have to give this a try

Fritha Strickland
Guest

this is such a timely post as I’m really suffering from back pain a lot these days! x

Emily Leary
Guest

I do worry about how much sitting I’m doing on the days where all I’m doing is catching up on emails! I think I usually manage to get little breaks in but it can be hard to remember!

Angela Ricardo Bethea
Guest

This is very timely for me … I am about to have a little one in 3 weeks. While so far I am scheduled for normal delivery, I still have back pains … and this should help me a lot.

Melanie
Guest

This mat is a fab idea and im sure that many will benefit from this – such a good quality item too 🙂 x

Chrissy Faery
Guest
Chrissy Faery

This sounds amazing! I have back troubles too, and find that doing yoga and using a back roller helps so much! I think this mat would be really helpful too! xx

Ting
Guest
Ting

Wow, this sounds really interesting. Especially as I have back pain.

Kirsty
Guest

I’ve had some back pain and hip pain since my c section 7 months ago and I’ve been doing exercise and stretching but still get twinges sometimes. I love the sound of the mat and the results seem to be good.

lisa prince
Guest

oh this looks great , ive not seen one like it before and looks just what you need

Rebecca Smith
Guest

This sounds great, I definitely need something like this as I sometimes have back troubles.

Baby Isabella
Guest

My mummy could do with a better stretching routine and she sits for far too long. Exercise really does help with pain and the more active she is the better she feels x

Lilinha
Guest

Stretching is so important. I had no idea such a wonderful mat like this one existed. Sounds fantastic! 🙂

Elizabeth
Guest

Looks like a great mat. Might have to give this a go!

Laura H
Guest

Omg this looks amazing and so comfy! Think I’ll put this on my list of things for my mum this Christmas – I know she’d love it!

Sally Akins
Guest

I have had back problems all my life, and 2 c-sections in 20 months didn’t help! I’m definitely intrigued by this, can’t wait to see how you get on

Yaya
Guest

This is brilliant! My other half suffers from sciatica and though he does follow the advice of the GP and moves as often as possible, it can sometimes prove hard with an office job. This is something that I know he’ll want!

Anosa
Guest

I love how the mat helps to relax and release tension in a persons body. I know I will be needing this for sure. Hopefully I can score one so I can have as a gift for myself.

Dannii
Guest
Dannii

I really need something like this. Since having a baby I need to have some relaxing time.

Lubka Henry
Guest

With the breastfeeding and the time I spent with a baby in my arms, my back hurts constantly. I really can do with this stretch mat right now!

Candice Nikeia
Guest

Wow this looks incredible! I would love to try this after my yoga sessions!

WhatLauraLoves
Guest

I started doing yoga while in Bali earlier this year and really should get back to it because the stretching left me more energised on a morning- I definitely need more of that in my life! xxx