Flu Shots Work Better With Exercise

Working out for an hour and a half the same day seems to boost the protection, research shows.

Flu Shots Work Better With Exercise Photo (cc) by USACE Europe District

From The New York Times’ wellness blog

Researchers at Iowa State University in Ames recently had young, healthy volunteers, most of them college students, head out for a moderately paced 90-minute jog or bike ride 15 minutes after receiving their flu shot. Other volunteers sat quietly for 90 minutes after their shot. Then the researchers checked for blood levels of influenza antibodies a month later.

The result? The active group saw twice as much antibody response as the “lazy” group. Further research suggests 90 minutes of exercise the same day as getting the shot is ideal. There’s no clear evidence for whether before or after is better, but exercising for too long – three hours – seemed to diminish the effect.

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