finegentleman

Exercising while healing (running, lifting, basketball, etc)

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What's the general consensus about exercising during the healing process? I finished a big upper arm tattoo 2 days ago. Is it cool to run and lift again, or will that fuck up my tattoo?

Are there certain precautions that I can take that will make it okay for me to lift again? Wear long sleeves? Wear no sleeves?

I'd appreciate any comments.

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I usually don't have any type of problem running or lifting about 12 or 15 hrs after getting tattooed... Usually Im still with the initial Tegaderm applied by then and afterwards while showering I take it off and clean it very well, I usually tend to let it dry heal afterwards ...

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I haven't had any issues with working out/sweating post tattoo. I don't know if I would wear sweaty clothes or use any apparatus that rub on a super fresh piece, though, and keep in mind that gyms are a breeding ground for bacteria and germs.

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I usually leave it three days after a tattoo before doing any exercise. For the start of my backpiece, I left it a week, mainly because I didn't want any chafing from my sports bra. I usually exercise 6 days out of 7 (combination of running, weights and yoga) and I've never suffered from having a little break. Maybe it depends how big your new tattoo is - all my sittings have been long ones (5 - 8 hours) so I figure it's best to let my body recover in peace without adding extra stressors, much as I do when I'm ill.

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I stop running for at least a week for the same reason @EmmaB said - chafing. Often it's 10 days for work on the top of my back. No reason to stress the skin when it's trying to heal. Taking a little time off is actually good if you train regularly - it gives the body a chance to heal microtears, etc., and it's good preventive care, especially for us a-tad-older folks.

I would also suggest limiting anything where you will generate a lot of sweat in the first handful of days. Again, no need to stress out the first couple layers of skin and add fluid to the mix that could be a breeding ground. I stay AWAY from gyms and avoid all the clothing I can for the first week. If you do Yoga or something like that, isometric, core stuff, I think that can be done sooner because it can be no/minimal sweat and minimal motion.

Here are some relevant threads:

http://www.lastsparrowtattoo.com/forum/general-tattoo-discussion/4884-heavy-training-exercising.html

http://www.lastsparrowtattoo.com/forum/tattoo-after-care/1874-intense-exercise-new-tattoo.html

http://www.lastsparrowtattoo.com/forum/crazy-tattoo-stories/1887-lifting-thread%3Btraining-tattooed-warrior.html

http://www.lastsparrowtattoo.com/forum/tattoo-after-care/3955-how-long-should-i-wait-after-tattoo-play-sports.html

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I would refrain physical activity that's going to affect the tattoo, sweat contains bacteria, and you don't want to rub that nice open wound on gym equipment countless others have sweated/rubbed on. Plus all of the extra friction from the movement of your skin and clothing is so unnecessary. You paid good money for the new ink that will last FOREVER, taking a week off won't kill you.

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I know this is an old thread but I have a question. I'm going for more work on my upper back Sunday (yippeeyahoooooo) and have Taekwondo class Monday night. I do get sweaty at class. It's not so bad now b/c it's not summer, so it's not 90degrees in the classroom. But I still sweat. The class is an hour, and I can go home and have my husband wash it off when it's done. Would that be ok do you think? Also, I wonder about my uniform top rubbing on it. Should I cover it? I will ask my artist of course, what his thoughts are, but I was just curious. I have to worry about things well in advance, it's how I roll.

I could skip class Mon/Tues but..well, I'm still new, I'm only a yellow belt, and we have our next test on Halloween. I just learned my third yellow belt form tonight and I don't want to miss out on class time.

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I know this is an old thread but I have a question. I'm going for more work on my upper back Sunday (yippeeyahoooooo) and have Taekwondo class Monday night. I do get sweaty at class. It's not so bad now b/c it's not summer, so it's not 90degrees in the classroom. But I still sweat. The class is an hour, and I can go home and have my husband wash it off when it's done. Would that be ok do you think? Also, I wonder about my uniform top rubbing on it. Should I cover it? I will ask my artist of course, what his thoughts are, but I was just curious. I have to worry about things well in advance, it's how I roll.

I could skip class Mon/Tues but..well, I'm still new, I'm only a yellow belt, and we have our next test on Halloween. I just learned my third yellow belt form tonight and I don't want to miss out on class time.

Two things I would worry about, your uniform is likely a tough and rough material, so lots of friction. Also profuse sweating might not be the very best. The times that my tattoos have healed poorly has always been due to friction from clothing. I've learned my lesson, and take it easy for a couple of days post tattoo. I have also become a strong convert to the saran wrap recovering of the fresh piece for the first day or so. Many changes of the saran, with proper washes in between. Cuts the friction, and no scabs.

Good luck!

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@iowagirl - I would skip the class but that's me. (I had to give up running racies for a year to finish my back.) But I am not familiar with what you would be doing at your level to perhaps you really don't stress that part of your back. I'd hate to screw up a lifelong piece of art for a class. Perhaps you can go and watch or doing the less strenuous parts so you don't miss everything?

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I know this is an old thread but I have a question. I'm going for more work on my upper back Sunday (yippeeyahoooooo) and have Taekwondo class Monday night. I do get sweaty at class. It's not so bad now b/c it's not summer, so it's not 90degrees in the classroom. But I still sweat. The class is an hour, and I can go home and have my husband wash it off when it's done. Would that be ok do you think? Also, I wonder about my uniform top rubbing on it. Should I cover it? I will ask my artist of course, what his thoughts are, but I was just curious. I have to worry about things well in advance, it's how I roll.

I could skip class Mon/Tues but..well, I'm still new, I'm only a yellow belt, and we have our next test on Halloween. I just learned my third yellow belt form tonight and I don't want to miss out on class time.

I can relate...I've been training kung fu - 3x a week, 2hr classes + solo training - since I started getting major work over 10 years ago. I've trained the day after getting a knee tattoo (wasn't very fun jumping and running), done sticky hands sparring within days of getting sleeve work (just trained my good arm). Gone to class the day after I got major shading done on my back. Trained all through stomach and chest tattoos. I had my first exam 1 week after getting a dragon on my ribs. Big tattoos, small tattoos. I'd say I'm pretty experienced at the tattooed ninja game by now, so I know where my limits are both with healing a tattoo and how to slow things down to not disrupt my healing or training regiment. Everything healed fine and I've never gone for any touchups. I'm pretty hands off and dry heal for the most part and i don't really baby my fresh tattoos anymore.

I just dial down the intensity of my training in the week following. I don't skip class, I just modify my workout. My formula is I need to maintain my training so my body stays in shaolin-power-mode, it speeds up my healing. I'll dab a small amount of lotion on the tattoo right before class to make sure i don't crack any scabs when I stretch and jump. I'm cautious to avoid skin contact/rubbing/grips and certain types of drills and sparring with my training buddies. I'll wear those wick-away long sleeve sport shirts underneath my jacket for added peace of mind. Just make sure you dry off the tattoo afterwards, maybe take a rinse off. Just be protective of the tattoo and don't let somebody round house kick you in the fresh spot. It will suck!

My homeboy has a bodysuit in progress by Paul Jeffries...he got his ass cheeks tattooed (with a 6hr round trip driving) and was in class the next morning, running, doing floor stretches, jumping, kicking and mooning us in the changeroom. My other buddy got tattooed on his arm in the afternoon and was in class that evening with a squishy saniderm bandage. He just beat everyone up with one hand that day lol. Everyone's different, but kung fu guys would rather risk a touchup than miss training lol.

- - - Updated - - -

I concur...we can learn a lot by watching. Just sit out a drill or sparring and take the opportunity to watch. You're still in class. You will still pickup on details.

Good luck on your exam !

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Oh thanks so much guys, I feel better now! My artist does..ugh I don't know how to spell it. Mai Thai. Mui Thai? One I think is a drink tho..shoot, it's some sort of martial arts he does anyway, so he should have some input for me too. And I will ask my instructor-she's really laid back about that stuff and I know she sees how hard I try so I think she'd let me sit out part of class for a couple days. What really makes me sweat is when we do combination kicks. (part of it I admit is "brain sweat"..crap what two kicks are we doing? which way am I turning first?) I had a laser peel done on my face a couple times-the first time was after I'd just started so she and I stood in the back by the fan and watched the class, and worked one on one w/some techniques.

I've got three forms to do for test, Dan Gun and Palgwe 1 and 2, so I could work on those for a while I bet. And I've got one step sparring I could work on as well if she gives me a higher color belt to work with. I'd saran wrap it for sure b/c the top is heavy and thick. It would be nice if I could leave it uncovered and wear a tank top but take one shoulder off..but that might be pushing my luck into disrespect and I don't want to do that. For the first class she lets you wear whatever b/c that's when she works w/you and you decide if you're going to like it or not, then you get your uniform your next class if you come back. I know you're not supposed to wear things on your feet but she had told me for my plantar fasciitis if I needed to wear an arch support around my feet she would allow that. (I've not had to so far) But I don't want to push the boundaries either..

I probably could work on basic techniques and things too, trying to tighten and clean them up, work on my pivoting for kicks. It's hard for me to rotate/pivot my feet.

Haha tattooed ninja, I like that.

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You want to mainly be careful of anything robbing your new tattoo. It is a lifetime investment, when you get tattooed.I mean once you leave the shop you are in control of your own healing. But you have to do your part in taking care of your peice as well.

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Just a note, it's been good! I think when I go back for the next couple sessions, I will have to cover it and possibly skip that first class after, but w/just the outline, it was hardly a blip on my radar the next day, so class went well, no issues w/rubbing or being uncomfortable. When I had the other side done tho, I was really swollen and red/bruised, so if it is like that on this side w/the shading/color sessions, I'll have to either slow down or skip.

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Wouldn't it matter where the tat was and what you are doing? I had a full ankle tattoo done that goes around the entire ankle. I am not sure whether it's good to be on it. I'm trying to take it easy. I normally walk eight to ten miles a day. I don't even know whether I should be wearing actual shoes at this point.

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Anybody have experience with healing and aftercare of big back tattoos and grappling (e.g., wrestling, jiu jitsu, etc.)? How long did you wait until you got back to the mats?

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For me personally it's not so much the exercising that's the bad part it's being in a gym with a fresh new tattoo. That's the last place I wanna have it rub up against or touch something!

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I'm big on fitness and my artist told me at the end of our first session "J, I know this is going to be rough but I'm gonna ask that you stay out of the gym for two weeks". I figured a day or two maybe but my jaw freaking dropped when I heard two weeks... I lasted 1.5 and when I went back for my 2nd session he complimented how well I'd taken care of it. After the second session though I went out and ran a 10k 4 days later. I had anxiety the whole race. I have two more sessions back to back of 8-10 hours each this week and I have a rather important race on Sunday... I think I'm going to skip it though. That's a lot of tattoo time and I really want to baby it.

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I took a couple of days off from the gym with my inner bicep tattoos from last May. I wasn't comfy with a shirt rubbing on the area and I was worried about infection.

Do you think it helped? Looking at getting one there soon and was curious about lifting after.

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