Humans have been wearing jewelry for thousands of years. For most of that time, we’ve worn rings forged from a variety of metals. Throughout history, these metals have been prized for their rarity, hardness or aesthetic value. Silicone rings are now gaining popularity, but they’re more than just the trend du jour. With unique material properties, these rings are a great alternative to metal versions for busy personal trainers.
Problems With Metal Rings
More than 5,000 years ago, the Indus River Valley housed a thriving civilization with walled cities, extensive trading networks and sophisticated agricultural practices. In its ruins, archeologists have discovered some of the earliest known jewelry: earrings, necklaces, bracelets, bangles and rings forged from gold, silver, copper, ivory, pottery and beads. Metalworking endured through the centuries, with many of its basic methods unchanged from ancient times.
Many metals are beautiful and durable, but the rigors of modern life present new challenges. Metal allergies limit some people’s wearable options, and wearing rings on the job isn’t practical or safe in some occupations. People who work with machinery, around live electrical currents, intense heat sources or chemicals risk several serious ring-related injuries. Rings can also hide harmful pathogens, a huge concern for food service workers.
Personal trainers don’t necessarily face the same injury or illness risks from wearing rings on the job. But there’s one other major problem: swollen fingers. Increased circulation is one of exercise’s desirable benefits, with additional blood flow to the heart, lungs and muscles being worked. To ensure adequate supply, your circulation system channels less blood to your extremities. Blood vessels open wider to compensate, and more blood flows through the vessels closest to your skin. Add some minor fluid leakage between cells and you have the perfect recipe for swollen fingers — and a metal ring that won’t budge.
Benefits of Silicone Rings
Sure, metal rings have their drawbacks, but you’d rather not take your wedding or engagement ring off when you’re on the job. Silicone rings naturally stretch, so they expand as your fingers swell. The result: no more prying a stubborn ring off your finger. Silicone rings’ strong and flexible materials are also soft to the touch, so they won’t develop nicks or leave scratches on gym equipment, free weights and bikes’ handlebars.
When your work or play includes extreme sports or takes you into the great outdoors, silicone rings go the distance. Although they’re soft and supple, they also gently grip your skin and aren’t as slippery when they get wet. With their lack of conductivity, they also reduce your risk of temperature-related injuries and electrical shock. Best of all, a silicone ring doesn’t trap your finger when it catches or snags. Most rings break after between 15 to 30 pounds of force, and they’re also easy to cut off in emergencies.
Jewelry on the Job
No one’s suggesting you ditch your metal wedding band entirely. But when you’re on the job instructing clients and working up a sweat, safety and comfort are key. Offering durability and flexibility, silicone rings‘ unique properties give them an edge over metal.