Don’t Let COVID-19 Derail Your Exercise Routine! Working Out May Boost Your Vaccine Response

If you are an athlete, you may gain greater immunity from a flu shot than people who are less active, which bodes well for the highly anticipated COVID-19 vaccines.

Gretchen Reynolds of the New York Times has reported on two new scientific studies of exercise and vaccination. The studies, which looked at elite runners, swimmers, wrestlers, cyclists and other athletes, suggest that vigorous training amplifies our vaccine response. This of course is especially welcome news as the world waits for an effective COVID-19 vaccine.

In general, Reynolds reports, exercise aids immunity: people who work out often and moderately tend to catch fewer colds and other viruses than sedentary people.

The athletes in the studies showed a more pronounced immune response to vaccination than the non-athletic young people in the control group, says Martina Sester, an immunologist at Saarland University (Germany) and study co-author. Being in shape is likely to increase our protection from a vaccination, no matter how intensely or when we work out before the shot, she says.

Even with restricted freedom of movement, we all should take note and work to maintain or increase our fitness levels.