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10 Tips For Safely Working Out After a Tattoo

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10 Tips For Safely Working Out After a Tattoo

Getting a new tattoo is always an exciting experience, symbolizing self-expression, memories, or simply the love for art. However, as much as you’re eager to flaunt your new ink at the gym, it’s crucial to understand the need for proper aftercare, especially when it comes to working out. Let’s dive into how you can maintain your fitness routine without compromising your tattoo’s healing process.

Understanding Your New Tattoo

A fresh tattoo is more than just a beautiful piece of art; it’s an open wound requiring careful attention to heal properly. The healing process involves several stages, each demanding specific care strategies to prevent infection and ensure the best aesthetic outcome.

Before You Hit the Gym

Before lacing up your sneakers, it’s essential to consider a few key points to protect your new tattoo during workouts. To protect your new tattoo during workouts, wait at least 48 hours before exercising, opt for light activities to minimize sweating, wear loose, breathable clothing to avoid irritation, keep the tattoo clean, and stay hydrated. Always listen to your body and pause if you feel discomfort around the tattoo area.

Listen to Your Tattoo Artist

Getting a new tattoo is an exciting experience, but it often comes with a set of precautions, especially when it comes to maintaining your fitness routine. To ensure your new ink heals properly and doesn’t affect your physical activities.

10 Tips For Safely Working out After Getting a Tattoo

1. Follow Your Tattoo Artist’s Advice

Your tattoo artist is your first source of advice on aftercare. They know how deep the ink goes, the size of your tattoo, and your skin type. They will recommend how long you should wait before resuming any physical activity. This advice varies, usually ranging from 24 hours to several days depending on the tattoo’s location and size.

2. Keep It Covered

For the initial few workouts, keep your tattoo covered with a breathable, non-stick bandage. This prevents direct contact with gym equipment and protects your tattoo from bacteria and excess sweat, which can lead to infection or irritation.

3. Avoid Direct Sunlight

Sunlight can cause fading and damage to your fresh tattoo. If you’re exercising outdoors, make sure your tattoo is covered or thoroughly applied with a high-SPF sunscreen. However, applying sunscreen on a new tattoo is not recommended until it has significantly healed.

4. Stay Hydrated

Hydration is key to healing, so make sure you’re drinking plenty of water before, during, and after your workout. Well-hydrated skin will heal faster and maintain the quality of your tattoo.

5. Avoid Submerging Your Tattoo

Pools, hot tubs, and natural bodies of water can be breeding grounds for bacteria that can infect your new tattoo. Additionally, chlorine and saltwater can be harsh on your healing skin. Avoid these until your tattoo is fully healed.

6. Wear Loose Clothing

Wear loose-fitting clothing around your tattoo to prevent friction and allow your skin to breathe. Tight clothing can cause irritation, delay healing, and even lead to ink distortion.

7. Cleanse Gently Post-Workout

After exercising, gently cleanse your tattoo with lukewarm water and fragrance-free soap to remove any sweat or bacteria. Pat it dry with a clean towel and apply the recommended aftercare cream or moisturizer.

8. Limit High-Impact Activities

Activities that stretch, pull, or impact the skin around your new tattoo can alter its appearance. Limit high-impact exercises or those that heavily involve the tattooed area until it has healed.

9. Listen to Your Body

If your tattoo becomes excessively red, swollen, or painful during or after a workout, take it as a sign to slow down. Your body’s healing process should not be interrupted by your fitness routine.

10. Keep the Area Moisturized

Keeping your tattoo moisturized is crucial for healing. Use the recommended ointment or lotion to keep the skin supple and prevent cracking or flaking. However, avoid over-moisturizing as this can clog pores and lead to other issues.


Balancing your fitness routine with the healing process of a new tattoo requires patience and care. By following these tips, you can ensure your tattoo heals perfectly while maintaining your physical health. Always prioritize healing to enjoy your new art for years to come, and consult with your tattoo artist or a healthcare provider if you have any concerns about your tattoo or fitness activities post-ink.


1. When can I workout after tattoo?

The recommended waiting period before resuming workouts after getting a tattoo varies, typically ranging from 24 hours to several days, depending on the tattoo’s size, location, and advice from your tattoo artist. Always prioritize gentle, non-irritating activities initially.

2. How long should I wait before working out after getting a tattoo?

Ideally, you should wait at least 48 hours before engaging in any form of exercise, and even then, stick to light, non-impact workouts initially. The specific time can vary depending on the tattoo’s size, location, and your personal healing process. Always consult with your tattoo artist for personalized advice.

3. Can I go swimming after getting a new tattoo?

It’s best to avoid swimming in pools, oceans, or any bodies of water for at least 2-3 weeks after getting a tattoo. Submerging your new tattoo can expose it to harmful bacteria, potentially leading to infections, and can also interfere with the healing process.