Exercising before or after the flu shot may improve effectiveness

While it is difficult to exercise after getting a vaccine, researchers at the University of Sydney in Australia have found that it might be worth the effort. According to scientists, people who did some activity before or after taking the flu vaccine had better results in terms of the formula’s effectiveness.

550 adult patients were followed, and 382 of them exercised for 15 to 50 minutes before or after getting the vaccine. The rest of the participants did nothing for the same time. Scientists took blood samples four to six weeks after the injection to check antibody levels.

Among the volunteers, 61% were already physically active and continued to do at least 2.5 hours of moderate activity per week during the study period. These people had a better immune response than the sedentary ones, and they recorded an even better result if they exercised right before or after the vaccine.

Participants who performed strength exercises in the upper limbs had better results than individuals who chose another type of physical activity, suggesting that the situation of the muscle that receives the immunizer makes a difference in the immune response.

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“We believe that the damage that the muscle suffers during exercise activates danger signals that stimulate some immune cells and promote the body’s response”, says researcher Erika Bohn-Goldbaum, the study’s lead author, in an interview with the website New Scientist.

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