Going to the gym is usually a part of your daily or weekly routine for looking and feeling good, right? And as well as exercising, that means having your hair looking good, your skin feeling clear and fresh, and your nails looking pristine.
But when it comes to working out, protecting your nails can be a challenging task. They’re on the frontline, so to speak, with whatever you do, and the gym presents lots of obstacles that can easily damage and break them.
So how do you protect your nails at the gym? Here are a few simple tips.
Choose your workout carefully
Certain workouts, exercises and movements are more conducive to damaging your nails than others. Anything involving press ups, planks, squat thrusts or burpees is going to put repeated pressure on your hands, and potentially your fingernails.Every time your hands touch the floor, you’re in danger of catching your nails, especially as the workout continues, you grow tired, and your form becomes less precise.
Lifting any kind of weight, whether your swinging a kettlebell in the gym or curling a barbell in a pump class, can harm your nails. You could catch them on the bar, or lose your grip and end up bending them backward. Not only will this ruin the nail, it will also cause you some serious pain.
The key is keeping nails short and trimmed wherever possible. Cut off any loose nails before working out, as these will catch more easily.
And where possible, avoid workouts or exercises that could damage the nails. That means foregoing a pump class and skipping yoga, where constant movements pose a problem.
Instead try a Pilates workout which is gentler on the hands, or cycling (a spin class) where your hands are kept relatively free from movement.
Be wary of nails drying out
This is often a key reason behind damaged nails. Sweat in particular will limit the longevity of any manicures you’ve had, and ultimately dry out your nails making them cracked and weak.Soap and hand sanitiser, a must after a workout, will have the same impact over time too, but the biggest culprit is swimming.When the chlorine in the pool dries on your nails after a swimming workout, you may experience a gentle corroding of the nail, whether it’s your natural nail or a fake one.
Acrylic nails can often get mould underneath them and turn green, if you do not dry them carefully, because your natural nails are not properly ventilated.
Moisturise your nails at every opportunity, and be sure to re-hydrate after a workout – especially if you’ve been on a wooden floor in a yoga, abs, or HIIT class. Steam rooms are great for this, so take some time after your session and treat yourself to a bit of relaxation in our thermal suites.
Take care of your nails
As mentioned above, keeping you hands and fingernails moisturised is key; so is ensuring they’re cut and trimmed and in tip top shape.
Getting a regular manicure, to nourish your fingernails and file & polish them can make all the difference between maintaining a great looking set on your hands and having damaged and broken nails that you desperately try and hide.
Bright nail polish can also make a big change too. Not only does it help your nails look great, but bright colours have been proven to boost your mood as well. And when you’re in a happy mood and exercising, your workout will benefit too from a boost in energy!