May 4, 2021

Can You Exercise Before or After You’re Vaccinated for COVID-19?

Get the short answer from a pulmonologist

woman exercising at home yoga

Q: Will working out before or after we get vaccinated for COVID-19 make the vaccine less effective?

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A: The level of concern is low. People who are experiencing more side effects from the vaccines tend to be younger, so they’re people who are more likely to exercise regularly. Many were worried about how long the side effects would last. But in reality, we know that when it comes to this population, the side effects of the vaccines are typically very mild and last about a day or so.

In general, it’s hard to predict how someone will respond to the vaccines. What we’ve seen so far is that younger and healthier people have experienced vigorous immune responses to them. As for now, no evidence suggests that if you exercise before or after getting vaccinated for COVID-19 it will make the vaccine less effective.

Some evidence shows that people who maintain healthy lifestyles and exercise regularly seem to have enhanced responses to vaccines. Their bodies create more antibodies compared to people who are not as healthy or in good shape. So, there’s some proof that by having a healthy lifestyle and exercising regularly, you might boost your immune response to the vaccine.

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As for exercising after getting the vaccine, I recommend listening to your body. You might find that after you get your shot, it could be a good day to just rest or do something less strenuous like just taking a walk. Recovery is part of exercising, too. It’s not a bad thing to have a lighter workout day.

You may be able to exercise as you normally do after your vaccination but if you don’t feel up to it, don’t push yourself.

— Pulmonologist Humberto Choi, MD

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