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[Study] Cardio Post-Flu Shot May Double The Vaccine’s Effectiveness

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If you’re one of many yet to get your annual flu shot, listen up before you run over to CVS — a simple trick may double the effectiveness of the influenza vaccine, which is typically only 50 to 70 percent effective.

A sweaty, post-flu shot cardio session.

As reported by the New York Times, researchers at Iowa State University recently put exercise under the microscope and examined its precise impact on the body’s immune response. Specifically, they had a group of healthy subjects go for a 90-minute, medium intensity jog or bike ride 15 minutes post-flu shot. Conversely, the control group sat sedentary for 90 minutes. To test the impact, researchers examined the blood concentration of flu antibodies one month later. The results were rather profound.1

The test group, which performed the 90-minute post-flu shot cardio session, displayed “nearly double the antibody response of the sedentary group,” according to the Iowa State researchers heading the study. It’s speculated that the augmented antibody response is the result of increased circulation, which may help spread the vaccination away from the point of entry and into the far ends of the body.

While 90 minutes of straight cardio might seem arbitrary, daunting, and ridiculously excessive, in this particular case it’s the necessary dose. Researchers tested the length of post-flu shot cardio to determine the effectiveness of various durations — both 45-minute and 180-minute sessions produced an antibody response far below that of the 90-minute protocol.

It’s hard to say that the 90-minute rule can be considered a hard-and-fast fact after one study, but for my money it’s totally worth it once per year for the potential of any extra protection against the flu. Plus, I love burning cals — it’s another phenomenal excuse to let your inner, neurotic, fit side take over.

[Suggested Read: Prevent A Sad, Sick Winter With The Top 39 Vitamin C Foods]

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Bryan DiSanto

Founder & Editor-in-Chief at Lean It UP
ELLO ELLO I'm Bryan DiSanto. I'm the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Lean It UP, a CPT/CSN/Fitness Coach, Chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu – Paris, NYU graduate, ex-fat kid, and all-around fitness junkie.

I also contribute to Men's Health Magazine.

When I'm not working on my abs (or somebody else’s), whipping up avocado roses and avocado toast, or running a Tough Mudder, I'm probably yelling at a Carolina Panthers game somewhere.

Come be friends with me on Instagram (@BRYDISANTO) & Snapchat (BRYDISANTO).
Bryan DiSanto
  1. New York Times WellBoosting Your Flu Shot Response With Exercise []
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