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Exercising after the Covid vaccine – is it safe to go to the gym?

The Covid-19 vaccine rollout continues to see promising success, with the R rate hitting new lows and over 40,000,000 people now double jabbed.  

People aged between 16 and 17 are the next group to be offered their first doses as the roadmap to near-normality advances.

However, questions still linger around the jab and what you can and cannot do after recieving it.

Like, can you take painkillers afterwards? Is it smart to stave off those side effects with a run?

If you’re unsure whether you need to reschedule that Zumba class after your jab then you’re in luck as Metro.co.uk has spoken to some experts about what is recommended.

Should I exercise after the Covid vaccine?

David Broom, Professor of Physical Activity, Exercise and Health at Coventry University explained to Metro.co.uk that whether people should exercise after being vaccinated ‘should be based on a case by case basis and very much depends on the person’s response to the vaccine.’

He said: ‘If you have been vaccinated and have not experienced any adverse events or symptoms, then light to moderate-intensity physical activity should be fine.

‘High-intensity physical activity does not necessarily need to be avoided but you should be well hydrated, not exercise alone and stop if you experience dizziness, injury, or pain.’

Broom went on to add that you should, however, avoid exercise if you develop a fever – as working out will raise your body temperature even higher.

He explained: ‘One of the common symptoms of the vaccine is febrile illness commonly known as fever which is an absolute contraindication to exercise. So if experiencing fever, exercise is not recommended.’

Andrew Jones, Professor of Applied Physiology at the University of Exeter, also recommends a ‘listen to your body’ approach.

Jones said: ‘It depends on one’s reaction. It might be sensible to take a rest or very easy day on the day of the vaccination and the day after the vaccination.

‘Otherwise, I would just suggest “listen to your body” – if you have cold or flu-like symptoms, don’t exercise; if you have no symptoms, it should be okay to exercise.’

Normal side effects of the vaccine could include fatigue, headaches, injection-site tenderness, and muscle pain.

Exercising may exacerbate these symptoms, causing your body further stress.

If you are itching to attend that spin class then you’re in luck as experts say there is no evidence exercising after getting a Covid-19 vaccine can reduce its effectiveness.

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Exercise before you get a vaccine, however, could actually help improve its efficacy.

Sebastien Chastin, professor health behaviour dynamics, Glasgow Caledonian University shared with The Conversation results that found reliable evidence that regular physical activity strengthens the human immune system.

In randomised controlled trials studied, vaccines appear more effective if they are administered after a programme of physical activity. A person who is active is 50% more likely to have a higher antibody count after the vaccine than somebody who is not active.

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