A cold can make you lose your training goals, a flu even more so. A flu vaccination can possibly save you from the disease. This is because your body deals with the (influenza) virus after the injection even before you are ill and forms antibodies.
Problem: This can also lead to side effects that can affect you while you are exercising and may even make you worse. How long should you take care of your body after the vaccination? You can find out here.
When will I be allowed to do sport again after my flu vaccination?
In general, there is no clear period of grace that has to be observed at least – rather, you should decide with your own well-being in mind. For this purpose it is helpful to know what happens during the vaccination.
The flu vaccine contains parts of the flu virus, which forces your immune system to build up protection against it in the form of antibodies. This can cause flu-like side effects for a few days: Headaches and aching limbs as well as fatigue and mild fever are the most common symptoms. In addition, pain may occur around the vaccination site.
However, you will not really get the flu, as no live viruses are administered – the possible symptoms of the vaccination last much shorter and are usually less pronounced.
A vaccination first weakens the immune system, therefore: Do not overexert yourself in sports. © Maridav / Shutterstock.com
Is it better not to do any sport after vaccination?
Eventually, yes. Since your immune system is busy producing antibodies, even if you feel healthy, you should take it easy at first. Extreme physical exertion, such as weight training in the gym, further weakens your immune system and could affect it. In the following days, you should avoid competitions and take a rest.
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Is exercise basically okay after a flu shot?
Of course, after your influenza vaccination you can go home at a moderate pace by bike or take a walk to get some fresh air – especially as your well-being should be the deciding factor for the intensity of the strain.
Dizziness or aching limbs can be a signal to push the bike or to take a short break. If you notice after a few days that you have tolerated the vaccine well, you can slowly increase the physical strain and finally resume your usual sports programme when you no longer have any complaints.
Are there differences to other vaccinations?
As with the flu vaccination, vaccinations against HPV or the measles kills the viruses or components of them, so that the body is busy building up an immune system in the days following the injection.
That is why you should avoid extreme stress for a few days even after other vaccinations, although you can of course engage in light physical activity depending on your well-being.
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Should female athletes be vaccinated against flu?
In principle, flu vaccination is recommended for all those who want to be prepared for the flu season and are not allergic to components of the vaccine. In order to be able to expect the best possible protection, you should also plan a few months in advance.
The Standing Commission on Immunisation (STIKO ) particularly advises some risk groups to be vaccinated against influenza: persons aged 60 and over, residents of old people’s and nursing homes, chronically ill persons, “pregnant women from the 2nd trimester” (i.e. second third of pregnancy) and persons who are regularly in direct contact with the above-mentioned risks should definitely be vaccinated.
Influenza vaccination is equally important for people who are exposed to an increased risk due to their profession, i.e. “medical staff” such as doctors and nurses, or “persons in institutions with extensive public access”. In addition, each vaccinated person naturally reduces the risk of infection for others.
This is how you find out if you need a flu shot
Sport immediately after vaccination is not a good idea. You should take it easy and wait and see how your body reacts to the vaccine. This way your immune system will not be overloaded and you can soon return to your usual sports routine.