Why should I exercise before I get the flu shot?

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Dr. David L. Katz, MD, MPH
Preventive Medicine
Some recent research suggests that if you exercise the body part receiving the flu vaccine -- generally the shoulder -- you can increase blood flow to the site, and, as a result, enhance your response to the vaccine. In essence, you wind up making more antibodies, which should translate into better protection against the flu.
 
The idea is to exercise before you get the flu shot, so the site is “primed.” This exercise can be some calisthenics or a vigorous work around the house. If you feel that burn in your shoulder, it means you’ve stressed the muscle enough to get the potential benefit of enhanced protection against the flu.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.