Can You Exercise Right After You Get A Tattoo?

by Lauren Turner

The moment after you get inked, you probably aren't asking yourself, "How long do I have to wait to exercise after I get a tattoo?" Instead, you're thinking about how you're going to show it off to your friends or what your parents will say (if they ever find out). But when I got my second tattoo — a little thing on the right side of my ribs — I was high in my werkout phase. And missing a week of my exercise routine was not really an option, so for me, I was back at it after less than a week.

Here's what I learned: it wasn't such a good idea. The band of my sports bra sat right on top of my fresh ink, so there was that problem. Plus, every time I did something that stretched the skin around that area (think: oblique crunches), I died. And although it depends on where you get tatted, I would recommend giving it a full week before you start to work up a sweat.

If you simply can't wait that long, I've got some exercises that you can do without bringing on the pain. But here's something to remember: always properly care for your tattoo. That means you should make sure it's covered during your workouts and always clean it — very gently — after. After all, it's going to be with you for the rest of your life (but you knew that, right?).

1. Elliptical

This is always a good go-to because this machine allows you to stand up and maintain one steady motion. And even though it may seem like you're not getting a hard enough exercise, you'll be seven miles into a workout before you know it. Of course, if you get a foot tattoo, then I really don't recommend that you work out. At all.

2. Planks

Anyone who's done a plank knows that this move is actually pretty difficult because your whole body starts to shake. Still, for a fresh tattoo, no matter where you have it, it's actually a pretty pain-free exercise (for the most part). You're only using your hands and toes, so the rest of your skin can chill.

3. Walking

Similar to the elliptical, walking is a great workout that won't hurt because you don't have to move around too quickly. And if you live somewhere where you're doing a lot of walking anyways, you're basically working out every day. Who needs the gym when you the have the streets?

4. Lunges and Squats

Lunges and squats are some of the best exercises you can do, even though it requires so little movement. Now, that's not to say that neither lunges nor squats are easy. Because they're not. You definitely don't need to get on Jack Black's level, but you shouldn't have to worry about hurting your tat.

Images: Fotolia, Giphy (4)