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Wearing Your Watch to the Gym

A watch is often an essential accessory that people like to take with them everywhere. This may also include the gym, but is wearing your watch to the gym a good idea? Well, it depends on the workout routines.

You can wear a watch to the gym because it helps you keep track of your activities, heart rate, and rest intervals. This accessory also keeps you connected to the phone’s notifications. However, you may need to drop it during intense workouts like front squats. Otherwise, you may damage or scratch the watch.

There’s a lot to unpack here, so let’s go straight to the topic to find out if it’s a good idea to wear a watch while you work out.

Is Wearing a Watch to the Gym a Good Idea?

Wearing a watch to the gym is a good idea because the advantages heavily outshine the disadvantages of doing it. To give you guys the complete picture, I’ll talk about the pros and cons of taking your smartwatch with you to the gym.

Advantages of Wearing a Watch to the Gym

There are countless reasons why an automatic watch is a terrific accessory to wear at the gym. Since the list is too long, I’ll focus on the three main functions that could benefit you immensely once you start working out with a gym watch.

  • Activity Tracker

A smartwatch is a fantastic device because it tracks almost everything you do, including steps taken, calories burned, and distances traveled. These functions are convenient for workout routines, such as running on the treadmill. 

As pointed out by a Reddit user, smartwatches are great because they’re “good for knowing exactly how well you are pushing yourself on pace on runs.”

  • Heart Rate Monitor

One of the biggest benefits of a smartwatch is the capacity to monitor your heart. 

Even if you go with a model that doesn’t provide 100% accurate results, the variations remain accurate enough to track trends and keep you updated on your heart behavior. If anything is off, only watch the screen to read the notifications.

“I pretty much only use the current HR during a workout, and that only to gauge whether I need to slow down a little or risk blowing up and not be able to finish,” commented a person on Reddit.

  • Rest Intervals

Another fun and useful function of a watch is the option to schedule your rest intervals. These devices have a timer that lets you preset intervals for both resting and working out before even hitting the gym. 

Then, all you have to do is push a button to start the timer that will let you know when to work out and when to rest.

Disadvantages of Wearing a Watch to the Gym

There are a few disadvantages of wearing a watch for working out. Keep this information in mind to know what to expect.

  • Hand Swelling

A common condition you may face while wearing a watch to the gym is hand swelling. 

There’s no clear answer on how this problem takes place, but it seems to appear because of the response by your body and blood vessels to the sudden energy increase demanded by the muscles while working out.

You can prevent this problem by doing the following: loosen the watchband before starting to work out, do some back and forth arm circles, and stretch your hands and fingers.

  • Damage

When you’re exercising around machines, your watch may take a few hits and receive some nasty damage because of it. Considering you paid a considerable amount of money for a luxury watch, it’s a bummer when this issue occurs.

“I work out with my watch. I did ding it a few times against the treadmill handrails, and now it has some nicks on it,” said one gym goer.

The watchband can also get damaged by sweat, so there’s another thing to consider.

  • Uncomfortable

Wearing a watch feels normal during daily life, but it may end up being uncomfortable when you work out. 

When the body is running hot, you may feel the need to get rid of unnecessary accessories to focus entirely on the task at hand. This issue happened to another person who said the following:

“I found it uncomfortable and distracting during work out. I ended up selling mine.”

Doing front squats while wearing a watch can also feel awkward and even hurtful when the watch starts to dig into your wrist. This problem happens to many people, as stated by one lifter.

“The only time I’ve ever had to take it off for weights is for front squats, and really only because I have to use wraps on my wrists once I start going heavy.”

  • Distraction

Another issue people point out is that some watches can activate randomly. For example, a person mentioned how Apple’s virtual assistance Siri constantly came up while working out.

“Siri will randomly go off telling you she can’t understand you.”

Best Watches to Wear to the Gym

Two brands produce the highest quality and friendliest watches for gym workouts: Casio and Apple. Here’s how these companies can make your exercises much more fun.

Casio G-Shock Series

The G-Shock series from Casio is a favorite pick for gym enthusiasts. These watches come with an easy-to-read LCD. 

There, the device shows you information about elapsed time, your heart rate, distance traveled, calories burned, and much more. 

This outstanding performance is possible because Casio watches have five sensors: a heart rate monitor, accelerometer, digital compass, altimeter, and a thermometer or barometer. 

Another advantage of wearing this watch is the urethane band. This band ensures a proper fit on most wrists, whether they’re small or large. Plus, it also absorbs impacts decently while dealing with sweat just fine.

Apple Watches

An Apple watch is the ideal ally if you’re starting your way into the gym. This device does it all, including tracking the minutes you’ve been working out, storing historical data, and setting goals for the day. And if you wear Airpods to the gym, you can even pair them together.

Apple watches also feature two useful apps if you’re into fitness: Activity and the Workout App. 

The first will keep you updated about your movements, and the Workout App tracks activities like running, cycling, or working out. All of the information picked goes to your iPhone for later review.

The Apple fitness watch also excels in two other areas: checking blood oxygen levels and irregular heart rhythm. These functions work either at the gym or outside, allowing you to know your health condition at all times.

Things to Consider Before Wearing a Watch to the Gym

The watchband or strap is an essential part of any watch, more so if you intend to use it for working out. Therefore, the material used to make the strap indicates how comfortable it would be. Here’s a list of the most common watch band materials.

Look for Rubber or Nylon Straps

The rubber strap is lightweight and flexible, two things that come in handy for working out. Additionally, this material doesn’t absorb sweat, meaning you won’t have a hard time cleaning the strap after getting home. 

Watch straps made with fabric feature nylon, which is durable and has excellent airflow. As a result, this material makes the watch feel comfortable for outdoor activities, gym exercises, and more.

Don’t Wear a Leather Strap

Leather makes luxury watches, but they’re not suitable for the gym. This material absorbs sweat, and it tends to smell very often. 

Another downside of leather is that sweat will discolor it unevenly, mainly around the area that touches your skin. Over time, sweat will weaken the leather material inevitably.

Other Straps You Can Try

NATO and metal bracelet straps. Just make sure to wipe them down using a cleaning cloth after working out.

Mechanical Watches Are a No-No

People that own a mechanical watch know how classy and stylish this accessory can be. 

However, you may want to leave it at home or take it off before starting your workout routines at the gym. 

Primarily, there is one issue that could ruin this type of watch: shocks caused by impacts.

Impacts can cause your mechanical watch to fall out of sync, leading to inaccurate readings. Imagine you’re working with dumbbells, and you hit the crow of the watch. A simple and quick impact could damage the winding stem or the seal.

Tips for Wearing Watches to the Gym

  • Leave the watch in the locker room area before lifting weights. Otherwise, you’ll risk damaging it inadvertently. 
  • Consider wearing a long-sleeve workout shirt to keep the watch protected from scratches.
  • Comfortable watch bands are a must, more so during long workout sessions.
  • Wear the watch at a minimum distance of two fingers over the wrist bone. Also, make sure the watch remains snug on the wrist but not tight enough to block your blood circulation.
  • Make sure to wash the watch and strap after working out. Use hand soap and water, rinse, and wipe down using a towel or cloth.
  • Keep in mind that you could deal with irritated skin if you wear the watch for a long time on the same wrist. Take it off if necessary, or change it to the other wrist.

Finishing Words

As you can see, wearing your watch to the gym brings many benefits that are difficult to ignore. You do have to be careful, but taking good care of your watch will pay off satisfactorily. 

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About Ben Adler

I'm Ben, a passionate fitness enthusiast on a mission to help you achieve your fitness goals. With a love for lifting and building a well-rounded physique, I founded Swole Class to provide beginners with the guidance and knowledge they need to navigate the gym and embrace a healthier lifestyle. Join me on this journey as we unlock our potential and inspire greatness together. Learn more about me