Exercise right after vaccination, to get the most out of your COVID vaccine

By: | February 19th, 2022

Image courtesy : Wikimedia Commons

The relationship between exercise and immunity is well established

Exercise has many proven health benefits, from reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, reducing stress hormones to improving your mood — and even strengthening antibodies to help fight infection.

Now researchers from Iowa State University have found a link between the COVID-19 vaccine and exercise

The study conducted by researchers showed that a long bout of moderately intense exercise following COVID-19 or influenza vaccination can strengthen the body’s immune response. As per researchers, 90 minutes of exercise immediately after vaccination increased antibody responses to help fight infection four weeks later.

Single bouts of exercise can influence the efficacy of vaccination

Researchers conducted this experiment on a number of healthy subjects. They were immunized with one of three different vaccines (2009 pandemic influenza H1N1, seasonal influenza, or COVID-19). Each subject was then randomly assigned to one of three groups – no-exercise control group, or 45 minutes exercise, or 90 minutes of moderate exercise. The exercise commenced within a half-hour of receiving the vaccine.

To track the effects of exercise on antibody levels, blood samples of the participants were taken before the vaccine, then two and four weeks after the vaccine.

It was found that those who exercised for 90 minutes right after receiving a flu shot or the Pfizer COVID vaccine produced more antibodies in comparison to those who did not exercise after the vaccines.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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