Many people have tattoos on their biceps and all those big muscles. But can you work out after getting a tattoo?
One would think yes, as tattoos can not be related to workouts. Workout is related to the physical body, whereas a tattoo is on the surface of the skin of a particular body.
The simple connection between the two is the stretching of the skin. It does not matter whether you are trying to lose weight or build muscles, there is stretching of the skin, and it usually happens all over the body. Therefore, you must wait some time before resuming your workout after getting a tattoo.
Is It Dangerous?
The extent to which exercising with a tattoo can be dangerous depends on the post-care. It is recommended to at least not work out for 48 hours after getting a tattoo, while you should also keep in mind not everybody doesn’t have the exact requirements. Also, if you want to, you can work out before getting a tattoo.
A tattoo forms after puncturing your skin layer with a small needle and having the ink injected into the skin layer. The tattooed area is then protected by applying a type of gel and keeping it covered for 24 hours. Since that area is sensitive to the outer environment and thus needs protection. Many people even get recommended not to expose the tattoo to harsh environments and not to exercise for 4-6 weeks.
Whatever kind of exercise you do in between that time, you should ensure that the tattooed area doesn’t come in contact with any bacteria and that the skin in that area does not get stretched. The easiest way for the tattoo to contract any bacteria is with the help of sweat.
While working out, people sweat a lot, which could cause skin infections, which later on will leave scars and whatnot, depending upon the intensity of the infection. You should also not pick on any scabs around the tattoo, as they would easily come off later on.
What Kind Of Exercises Can You Do?
The kind of exercise depends on where your tattoo is situated. For example, if your tattoo is on your thigh or calf, then you can do any training related to your upper body that doesn’t require the movement of your lower body.
Doing so will ensure that the tattooed area doesn’t come in contact with sweat and bacteria present in the gym. When exercising with a tattoo, the primary problem that people come across is preventing the spread of bacteria from sweat.
Other than sweat, there could also be issues with tight-fit clothing. Tight-fit clothing naturally doesn’t give the body much area to breathe and also rubs a lot on the skin. It is the easiest way to spread bacteria to wear tight-fit clothes, not to mention that they can pick on your scabs which will later hinder the healing process of your tattoo.
While exercising after getting a tattoo, one must ensure that there is no stretching of the skin, which could hamper the ink of the tattoo. Getting your tattoo infected just because of a small mistake and the tattoo area becoming inflamed is hazardous and very costly. Therefore, it doesn’t depend on the kind of exercise but with which you can exercise.
Precaution For Exercise After Tattoo
Whatever your goal may be for exercise, what matters is what you come in contact with, your training, and your clothing.
When a person visits the gym, there are times when it’s the most occupied. When a lot of people are exercising in the gym, the equipment gets sweaty and becomes the number one area for the accumulation of bacteria. When using this equipment, the bacteria can get attached to your body; later on, if you mistakenly touch your tattooed area, it can get infected. In a gym, hygiene is compromised when you are working out, you can maintain hygiene after and before your workout, but it’s not possible during a workout.
After coming back to the gym for exercise, there is still time for the tattoo to heal. During that time, too much stretching of the skin can lead to inflammation and a longer time needed for healing. Therefore when exercising, try not to move that area as much as possible. Moving the tattooed area while exercising would cause weight loss or muscle building, which will cause skin changes.
The kind of clothing you wear, whether simple or complex when working out or even in everyday life, try to avoid wearing clothing that is very close to the skin. In simpler words, tight fit or skin-touching clothes. The reason for the same is that wearing those clothes can lead to rubbing on the skin, and in the gym, there is a significant possibility for contamination with bacteria. It can pick on the scabs formed around the tattoo, and all of this would result in a longer duration of healing time for the tattoo.
Not everyone who gets a tattoo goes to the gym, and not everyone who goes to the gym gets a tattoo. It’s all about what you like and what you want. Therefore those who do get a tattoo need to be aware of things that can cause harm to them after getting a tattoo. Also, any special requirements and post-care should be known before getting a tattoo.
Those who get a tattoo need to be aware of the post-care, depending on the size and where the tattoo is situated especially remembering that the healing time is not the same for everyone. Hence should wait from 2 days to a few weeks before resuming any exercise which requires the use of the tattooed area.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the recommended initial waiting time after getting a tattoo?
Initially, the recommended time is at least two days to the time it takes to heal that tattoo. The tattoo can take anywhere from 4 – 6 weeks to heal.
If the tattoo is tiny, do we need to wait for more than two days?
The intention for not exercising is for the skin where the tattoo is not shrinking nor stretching. Therefore you should not move the area where the tattoo is till it’s healed. Though getting professional advice from a tattoo artist is better.
Lazar Sretenović, an IFBB and REPs Level 3 certified trainer, specializes in personalized fitness programs encompassing weight lifting, EMS, and endurance training. With a focus on tailored nutrition and holistic well-being, Lazar Sretenović guides clients through transformative health journeys, emphasizing safety and individual goals.