Don't Do This for 2 Days After Your COVID Vaccine, Doctors Say
You could wind up feeling worse if you don't wait to do this, experts warn.
Doctors and experts across the nation have been offering advice on what to do before and after getting your COVID vaccine. Whether you get the jab made by Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson, there's a good chance you'll experience some side effects in the hours or days after getting your shot. In fact, based on the data from clinical trials, approximately 50 percent of people who get vaccinated against COVID develop side effects. With 16 percent of the U.S. population—more than 53 million people—fully vaccinated against COVID, many Americans still waiting are wondering how their bodies will react to the shot. It turns out, according to the experts, some behavior is best to avoid in the aftermath of your vaccine, lest you want to feel worse. Read on to find out what you should hold off on for 48 hours after your shot, and for more on vaccines, check out The CDC Says You Should Immediately Do This Once You've Been Vaccinated.
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You should wait for at least two days to resume exercise.
Matthew Laurens, MD, of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, told WTOP News that he recommends waiting until any side effects lessen before jumping back into your normal exercise routine. He notes that side effects—including headache, chills, muscle pain, nausea, fever, and tiredness—will probably last about two days, during which you shouldn't do any difficult workouts.
"Plan to avoid any strenuous activity on those days; not because it would make the vaccine work differently for you—it would just help to minimize any discomfort that you might be feeling," Laurens said.
Laurens also warned against long road trips or anything that needs a significant amount of focus and concentration. "Plan to lay low for the next few days after vaccination," he said.
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Working out after your vaccine could result in discomfort.
Purvi Parikh, MD, an allergy and immunology specialist in New York, told Popsugar, "Exercise should be avoided after the vaccine and can resume when feeling back to normal the next day or day after." She notes that working out too hard can trigger a rise in inflammation in the body.
Blanka Kaplan, MD, an allergy and immunology specialist at Northwell Health in New York, told WebMD to avoid strenuous activity before the vaccination, too, noting it can trigger allergic reactions in some patients.
And for more signs of allergic reactions to the vaccine, know that If 1 of These 3 Body Parts Starts Swelling Up After Your Vaccine, Call a Doctor.
High-intensity activities could "do more harm than good."
Although experts say there's no evidence proving physical activity can reduce the vaccine's effectiveness, it's certainly a lot of strain to put on your body. "The most important thing to understand is that if you are showing signs or symptoms of being sick, this is your body working overtime to make you well again. Any extra high-intensity activities would be adding to that stress," Damien Evans, a certified personal trainer in Southern California, told Verywell Fit.
"If your body is under large amounts of stress already—in this case the immune system is working hard and firing on all cylinders as it processes the vaccine—then throwing extra stress through exercise will be doing more harm than good," Evans added.
And for more on what to avoid after getting vaccinated, check out Doing This After Your Vaccine Can Make Side Effects Worse, Doctors Say.
However, you should exercise your arm to reduce pain in the injection site.
The most common side effect, one you can practically guarantee you'll experience, is pain at the injection site, which is why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises you to "use or exercise your arm." "Not necessarily go and lift weights, but just move it around," Laurens told WTOP News. "Because the muscle, as it moves, helps to alleviate any stress and helps to move fluid into that area to help it recover more quickly."
And to find out how many more shots are in your future, check out Moderna CEO Says This Is How Often You'll Need A COVID Vaccine.