How to Exercise After Getting a Shot

British nurse giving injection to senior woman
Getting a shot should not greatly affect your exercise routine. (Image: monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images)

There are many different kinds of shots with varying side effects, though there is no medical evidence that indicates exercising after getting a shot is harmful. In fact, exercising boosts your immunity and may help you fight the infection, illness or disease the shot was given to prevent. For example, an article on the Rice University Wellness Center website indicates that those who exercise moderately before and after a flu shot develop a higher immunity. Since different shots have different side effects, talk to your doctor about your desire to exercise after getting a shot.

Step 1

You may have to perform a less-intense version of your normal exercise routine so you don't feel sore and feverish. If you exercise too hard when you don't feel well, it may cause fatigue and damage your immune response. However, if you do not feel ill, you should go ahead and exercise. Some studies have shown that cardiovascular exercise can actually improve the immune system response for better protection from certain vaccines, such as the flu vaccine. Side effects from shots usually last one to two days. When they subside, you can continue your normal activities.

Step 2

Keep your injection site bandaged while you exercise. This may help reduce discomfort during your exercise routine if you are experiencing pain and inflammation.

Step 3

Drink plenty of water when you exercise so you don't become dehydrated. Water can help your body heal and quickly recover from mild fever and inflammation.

Tip

Don't be afraid to get needed shots and boosters. Most reactions are mild and do not prevent you from continuing your normal activities, including exercise.

Read all the information that you get from the health care facility where you get the shot. The information will often tell you about typical side effects and warning signs. If you don't get information about your shot, ask your doctor or another health care professional if exercise is okay.

Take an over-the-counter medication like ibuprofen to reduce soreness and a possible low-grade fever before you exercise. Some shots will cause mild soreness and inflammation and a mild over-the-counter medication should help.

Warning

If you experience a severe physical reaction after getting a shot, like chest tightness, shortness of breath, or facial swelling, contact your doctor immediately.

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