Exercising After COVID-19 Vaccine: What You Need To Know

Exercising After COVID-19 Vaccine: What You Need To Know

With the reopening of gyms and continuous rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, people are eager to get back to regular exercise. If you’re waiting until you receive the vaccine to head back to the gym, you might be wondering how long you should wait before exercising post-shot(s). Is it necessary to wait a certain amount before breaking a sweat? It’s good to stay active and get in some exercise, but health experts say that it may depend on how you feel. 

It’s a well-known fact that the most common side effect of the COVID-19 vaccine is site pain. This means that your arm or muscle is sore in the area where you receive the shot. There is also occasional swelling or redness, but this varies from person to person. It’s important to remember that these symptoms are not specific to this vaccine. People who receive flu shots or tetanus boosters in their upper arm can experience that same arm pain. The pain can linger for a few days after receiving the shot. So is it wise to get a pump in if you still experience some pain?

Potential COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects

If you plan on getting the COVID-19 vaccine, keep in mind that some side effects may be in store for you. Some people experience lethargy or muscle soreness the morning after, while others have a fever and chills. There are some, though, who are briefly affected and then do not experience any side effects. The point is that it varies depending on your age, gender, and health. Common side effects include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Arm pain or swelling at injection site
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Grogginess 

Can You Exercise After Receiving The Vaccine?

The short answer is: yes, so long as you feel up to it. Of course, health experts don’t have specific guidelines for post-shot exercise. The main takeaway for everyone is that they need to use common sense, paying attention to how they feel. In the immediate hours and days after receiving the shot, it will be easy to know how the body reacts and feels. An interview with many registered dietitians, who follow an active workout regimen, catalogued different reactions. Some were more prone to symptoms, while others were able to resume regular exercise the next day. These dietitians recommended that people modify workouts to avoid injury and encourage immune recovery.

Will The Vaccine Affect Your Workouts?

The two primary vaccines, Moderna and Pfizer, involve two doses. Several reports from people who received the Pfizer vaccine noted different reactions. One female dietitian, for instance, continued her same workout regimen after the first dose. After the second dose, however, she was unable to exercise for two days. Another nutritionist only experienced mild symptoms after both the first and second dose. She was listened to her body, rested for two days after each shot, and then resumed her regular workouts. 

Some dietitians and nutritionists who received the Moderna vaccine reported mild site pain and no extreme or mild fatigue. One nutritionist had mild arm pain, but she only waited one day before resuming her regular workouts. The injection site pain did not inhibit her strength or physical ability. A different nutritionist had no real fatigue after the first injection and was able to resume her workouts without any problems. She has yet to receive the second dose. 

Is It Dangerous To Workout After A COVID-19 Vaccine?

Health experts agree that there is nothing dangerous about exercising after receiving the vaccine. Even though you may experience some uncomfortable side effects, they should subside and you can resume workouts after. As a rule of thumb, it’s always best to listen to your body. If you don’t feel like your normal self, wait it out and rest. The body’s natural way to rejuvenate is by resting, so take your time if you aren’t 100%. Consider lighter workouts like yoga, walking, or even a long stretching session. Lastly, an infectious disease specialist noted that there’s nothing stopping the body from exercising post vaccination. If you can tolerate the side effects and make it through the workout, that’s completely fine and safe. 

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