No one wants an extra step in their “getting-ready-for-the-gym routine” that’s going to prevent them from going in the first place. Wearing jewelry to the gym doesn’t have to be a no-no. Take precautions, wear the right jewelry and you won’t even have to think about it.
You’re most likely not choosing jewels specifically for your workout, but with so many pieces of casual fine jewelry made to be worn 24/7, you may even forget you’re wearing them while working out. So, which pieces can be safely drenched in sweat? And which pieces should you avoid exercising in?
Jewelry that’s Safe to Wear to the Gym:
- Solid Gold Jewelry
- Sterling Silver
- Silicone Jewelry
- 14-18 inch Chain Necklaces
- Stud Earrings
Jewelry You Shouldn’t Wear to the Gym:
- Gold-Plated Jewelry
- Gold-Filled Jewelry
- Brass Jewelry
- Copper Jewelry
- Nickel Jewelry
- Long Necklaces
- Dangle Earrings or Large Hoops
And, the long version...
Wearing Bracelets to the Gym
Your best bet for bracelets are lightweight dainty bracelets, chain bracelets or braided thread and leather bracelets for the gym. Any bracelet that is chunky, too big on you, or that has charms dangling from it should be avoided. They can potentially get stuck on the equipment and cause injuries.
Wearing Earrings to the Gym
Earrings are one of those pieces that most people put on and never take off, even when going to bed. Your go-to option for working out are dainty stud earrings, lightweight and small. Specifically any stud earrings that are between 8mm to 12mm in size.
Earrings you should avoid at the gym are any chunky earrings, or earrings that dangle long off of your ear. Even hoop earrings that are too large in diameter. They will distract you while working out because of their large size, and they may also potentially get caught in gym equipment, causing injuries.
Here are some of our favorite gym-friendly stud earrings that can be mixed and matched together for a chic everyday look.
Wearing Necklaces to the Gym
When it comes to wearing necklaces at the gym, it’s all about the length. 14K Gold chain necklaces are perfect for working out in as long as they are in the 14-18 inch range. Longer than that and they can potentially dangle in front of your eyes, pull up against your arms, or worse, get tangled in gym equipment causing serious damage.
If you have a pendant attached to your chain, make sure it is lightweight and easy to carry on your neck. The heavier the pendant, the easier it is for it to move around while you are working out.
How to Protect Your Engagement Ring at the Gym
Large gemstones like diamond engagement rings are definitely at risk of being damaged at the gym. The best way to protect your engagement ring is to wear a special wristband that safely holds the ring while you’re working out. This way it is directly on you, making sure it doesn’t get stolen in the locker rooms, and you are protecting the ring itself from any dents/markings that can happen if you wear it without protection during your workout.
A nice bonus is that you won’t forget it anywhere as it’ll be right there with you the whole time!
Can You Swim with Jewelry On?
Swimming with jewelry on is unfortunately something that should be avoided at all costs. Chlorinated pool water can be very harsh on all types of jewelry, even solid gold. If you forgot your necklace on after jumping in the pool just once, you may not notice a difference. However, if you repeatedly expose your gold jewelry to chlorine, the chemical will slowly react with the metals in your jewelry and can cause holes in your pieces in the long run.
A mild jewelry cleaner is a great way to clean your jewelry if you forgot to take it off in the pool. Gently scrub your piece to mitigate the damage. Avoid using harsh cleaners like baking powder, toothpaste or detergent because these can be even more damaging to your pieces.
Can You Do Cardio With Jewelry On?
You can definitely do cardio while wearing jewelry, especially if it is solid gold or other materials that don’t tarnish from excessive sweat. Stick to body hugging pieces that won’t dangle around and avoid any jewelry with sharp edges that can hurt you while running, jogging, or dancing.
Can You Do Kickboxing with Jewelry On?
Kickboxing safe jewelry can be considered a lightweight dainty necklace that’s not too long, or lightweight stud earrings that don’t have any sharp edges or that dangle from the ear. Stacking small stud earrings looks cute and can be worn while kickboxing.
The major pieces to avoid are rings--especially ones with gemstones as they can easily get dented or marked up with a blow to your fists. The ring structure can also be affected by strong blows.
Can You Do Weight Lifting with Jewelry On?
Weightlifting is another type of workout that you want to avoid rings with at all costs. The metal structure of your rings can be mis-shapen from the pressure of dumbbells or other gym equipment. Gemstones will also be damaged if you accidentally knock them against equipment.
Short gold chains around 16-18 inches in length that stay close to your neck are perfect; as well as dainty charm pendants that don’t move around too much. Dainty stud earrings are another favorite for this category.
Can You Do Floor Work with Jewelry On?
Floor workouts are generally low impact and very slow paced so wearing jewelry while doing a floor workout is not a bad idea. If you’re doing yoga for example. Layering chain necklaces that stay in place can work well, or solid gold rings and bracelets that fit comfortably.
How Working Out Can Damage Your Jewelry
Sweat is the culprit here and only certain types of jewelry can handle sweat without tarnishing or getting damaged. Namely, solid gold, sterling silver, or silicone jewelry. Other types of jewelry such as gold-filled, gold-plated, copper, brass or nickel-based jewelry will corrode over time. Just like they would in chlorine-filled pool water.
Sterling silver may also oxidize if exposed to too much sweat and oils from your skin, but luckily that can easily be scrubbed off with a toothbrush, some lukewarm water and a mild soap.
Another type of damage to be weary of is dents or scratches to your rings. These can easily happen with metal based jewelry by lifting weights or using the machines at the gym. Take rings off before using dumbbells, kettlebells or barbells.
How Sweating with Jewelry Can Damage Your Skin
Not only does sweating in your jewelry potentially tarnish and corrode your favorite jewels, it can also have a negative effect on your skin health.
Changing Skin Color
Cheap fashion jewelry made of low-quality base materials such as copper, nickel and brass can actually end up staining your skin a blackish or green color. The same is true for gold-plated jewelry that has a very thin layer of gold on the outside or sterling silver jewelry that sometimes contains copper.
The reason this happens is that copper has a chemical reaction with oxygen in the air, creating a compound known as copper oxide deposit that leaves a green or black residue on your skin. The sodium chloride found in your sweat can also create the same reaction with your jewelry while you’re working out.
Some people may also have allergies to certain metals such as nickel, that worse than a black residue, can cause seriously irritable rashes and skin reactions. Typical jewelry allergy rashes present as bumpy, light pink or red, rough, swollen and itchy.
The friction from sweating can cause certain metals to leach out of jewelry causing you to react even more to jewelry you may be allergic to, worsening the condition known as allergic contact dermatitis.
Protecting Your New Piercing at the Gym
If you’ve just gotten a new piercing, you may want to stay away from the gym or working out until your piercing has fully healed. Even if the jewelry piece isn’t inside your piercing, sweat by itself can irritate a new piercing and cause it to flare up or delay proper healing.
Overall, it is possible to workout with your favorite jewelry pieces on. As long as you’re wearing a high quality metal such as 14K Solid Gold, dainty pieces that don’t dangle around and stay in place, you’ll be fine to wear them 24/7–even during your workout.