Can exercising after a Covid-19 shot boost immunity? An expert reveals

Published on: 17 February 2022, 12:00 pm IST

A new study suggests that mild to moderate intensity exercise post a Covid-19 shot may boost antibodies in the body. Can it be true?

Covid-19 and exercise
Getting a Covid-19 vaccine is important! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

The internet is loaded with information about Covid-19, and sometimes, you may feel utterly confused about its validity. Of course, we are all looking at enhancing our immunity in every way possible, and this new study makes us ponder. A recent study published in the journal Brain, Behaviour and Immunity suggests that mild to moderate exercising for 90 minutes after getting a Covid-19 vaccine may boost the levels of antibodies in the body.

The findings showed that those participants who cycled on a stationary bike, or took a brisk walk for 90 minutes after vaccination produced more antibodies in the following weeks, as compared to those who didn’t exercise. But is this really true?

exercise and immunity
Exercise everyday to maintain immunity. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Does exercises after a Covid-19 vaccine boost immunity?

To understand this better, HealthShots got in touch with Dr Dipu TS, Associate Professor, Division of Infectious Diseases, Amrita Hospital, Kochi.

Here’s what he had to say!

“The simple answer here is that mild-to-moderate exercise after taking Covid-19 vaccine will not boost your immunity. By exercise, what we mean is the continued, prolonged, and sustained systematic activation of the musculoskeletal system. So, the persistent amount of work that is being done in a systematic way will lead to the burning of calories, activation of skeleton muscles, and then a series of events follow.”

The link between exercise and immunity

All this happens in a cellular way, which brings about certain changes in the body. The changes which have been made via exercise are not a one-point event. You need to exercise for a prolonged period. So, the exercise and the related metabolic changes that exercise can bring about will be sustained, and will lead to a positive impact on our system eventually.

Dr Dipu TS explains that exercise-induced positive changes in the body happen over a period of time. In the case of the Covid-19 vaccine, it happens at a point in time, but the activation of the immune system has to happen eventually, and it has very little to do with the general status of the patient’s metabolic measure. But it certainly has everything to do with a patient’s immune status.

Also Read: Can Covid-19 vaccine cause your periods to fluctuate? An expert answers

Covid-19 antibodies
The vaccine will equip your body with antibodies. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Also Read: Should you really exercise if you are Covid-19 positive?

The last word

Although a lot more research needs to be done in this regard, Dr Dipu TS reiterates that exercising is important, but do NOT expect instant results. The impact of exercise on the immune system happens over a period of time, and it is non-specific and general in nature.

“Vaccine-induced immunity is targeted against specific cells of the body. It is very specific, and the immunity is also very specific. But it is not going to protect you against a whole lot of infections or viruses; it will only protect you against a specific virus,” he concludes.

Geetika Sachdev Geetika Sachdev

An independent writer and journalist, Geetika loves sharp and fresh humour, just like her coffee! If not writing, you'll find her cafe-hopping and raiding the best book stores in town.

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