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Can You Work Out After Getting a Tattoo?

Here's Why You May Need to Avoid Working Out For a Few Days After Getting a Tattoo

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As inspirational and meaningful as tattoos can be, the process itself can be pretty painful, and your skin will take some time to heal. Until then, you'll need to keep the area clean and moisturized — and that may mean skipping your workout in order to prevent infection.

"It's probably not ideal [to work out], but it does depend on the location of the tattoo and type of exercise," Anne Laumann, MD, a dermatologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, told POPSUGAR. Since tattoos are like fresh wounds, you want to avoid dripping sweat, which may carry germs to the area. Even if your tattoo is covered, the moist atmosphere can become a breeding ground for bacteria.

That means it's best to break from hot yoga, instead sticking with light exercise like walking. (You'll be grateful you did, since you also can't shower at first. "Showering without rubbing should probably wait 24 to 36 hours," Dr. Laumann said.) Even then, you should probably only exercise if there's no risk your tattoo will rub against anything, she explained. Take note of whether that part of your body will be mobile, and plan to wear baggy clothes rather than fitted tops and leggings.

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If there's any question in your mind about whether you can work out safely, take a few days off.

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