Just a few days before Thanksgiving, I received something really cool in the mail: a GelPro Anti-Fatigue Floor Mat. Yes, I was really excited. If you have ever had knee problems (or hip problems, back problems, or foot problems), you'll understand why. And if you're obese, odds are you've had some kind of pain in one of these areas. If not, you just wait.
For me, the main source of discomfort has been my knees. I have severe degenerative arthritis and some other knee problems that cause me a lot of pain, especially if I stand for long periods of time (or even short periods. It depends on the day). So, Thanksgiving for me has been a mixed bag. I love cooking, but standing in the kitchen all day by the sink and stove has *always* landed me in trouble. I end up limping around for the rest of the evening and the next day, popping pain medication and feeling 90 years old. This has happened every single year since I got fat. Over a decade. So when the GelPro mat came in time for Thanksgiving, I was thrilled! I could give it a REAL test: cook Thanksgiving dinner on it, standing all day, and see if it lessens my pain at all.
The GelPro mat has a patented, shock-absorbing gel core. The site explains: "Everyone can benefit from the comfort provided by a GelPro mat. There are, however, millions of individuals that are especially susceptible to hard, unforgiving flooring. Chief among them − young and old alike − are those with painful arthritis, lower back pain, foot pain, plantar fasciitis, and diabetes. These conditions, along with foot pain, plantar fasciitis, and diabetes are all exacerbated by standing on hard flooring. GelPro mats have unique and unsurpassed ergonomic properties to help counter these irritating and disabling pains."
The site goes on to explain that the mat helps prevent muscle spasms and tension by promoting blood flow. It also works by lowering the impact forces to the body and joints. You can read on the site about a scientific study which concluded that anti-fatigue mats reduced discomfort and fatigue by as much as 50% when standing on concrete floors for several hours.
So how did it work?? Well, I put it on the floor between my kitchen sink and stove, so I could stand on it while cooking AND washing dishes. I stepped onto its cushy goodness and my bare feet just relaxed right into the mat. It seriously feels SO GOOD. I would carpet my house in this stuff if I could. Anyway, I was standing a LOT, as I do every Thanksgiving while I make a million different dishes. And at the end of the day, I noticed I had no pain at all. Now, let me say I *always* have knee discomfort. They ache even if I sit all day long. But like I said, I used to be limping and/or immobile after a day of cooking. So this was a HUGE improvement to me. I felt like I hadn't even been standing all day. No limping, no pain. Seriously impressive. I love this thing. And no, I'm not getting paid for this review so if it sucked, I'd be sure and let you know. This mat has really helped me with being able to stand and cook or wash dishes without being sore later.
The mat comes in two sizes: 20" x 36" and 20" by 72". It comes in a ton of colors, textures, and patterns to match any decor, and it comes with a one year warranty.
Now for the best part: You can win a beautiful 20" by 36" GelPro mat in the Basketweave pattern for YOUR kitchen, for free, right here! In order to win, you need to leave a comment stating two things: 1) Why would you like to have a GelPro mat? (do you have knee pain? plantar fasciitis? sore legs? just think it's cute? want to give it to grandma?); and 2) your color preference if you win. Go here: GelPro Basketweave Color Choices and decide which of the six colors you like best. This contest is open to residents of the USA *and CANADA* and your mat will be shipped to you free of charge if you win. You must leave me a way to contact you if you are the winner. Good luck! I *know* you will totally love this mat! A winner will be chosen on January 25th.