Exercising for 90 minutes after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine shot could provide an enhanced antibody response, a recent study has found. 

Researchers at the Iowa State University looked at 70 healthy adults and 80 mice who were given both doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine or the influenza vaccine jabs. The results showed that those who exercised for 90 minutes right after their shot produced more antibodies than people who did not — without any side effects from the physical workout.

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The kinds of exercises that the study examined included cycling on a stationary bike, brisk walking, and with mice and treadmills, according to a report by The New York Times. 

Published in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, the findings are preliminary at best and need to be tested in a large group. But they do indicate that physical activity could be beneficial in the body’s fight against the coronaviruses causing these infections.

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The study revealed that 45 minutes of exercise was not enough to increase the antibody response significantly. Instead, the response was the highest after an hour and a half of moderate exercise — consistent among people irrespective of their fitness levels.

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Carmine Pariante, a professor at King’s College London who is the editor of the journal the study appeared in, said, “It is important to remember that quite a sustained effort was needed, 90 minutes at an increased heart rate. The combination of three different vaccines in humans and in an animal model is a unique strength of this study,” according to the New York Times. 

The team hopes to study the effectiveness of a 60-minute workout or exercises of varying intensities on the immune response after vaccination. But for now, it is clear that physical activity immediately after the jab could prove beneficial for individuals.

“If you have the time and a safe place to exercise after your vaccination,” a moderate 90-minute exercise session may could aid your vaccine response, said Marian Kohut, a professor of kinesiology and member of the Nanovaccine Institute at Iowa State, who led the research.