The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > In My Humble Opinion (IMHO)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 10-09-2012, 04:11 PM
Roderick Femm Roderick Femm is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Exercise after a flu shot? (need answer today)

My company is giving flu shots this afternoon. Normally, this is a day I go to the gym and do cardio after work. Should I skip the gym today, or will cardio exercise have zero effect on any chances I might have of feeling sick-ish afterwards?

I usually don't get flu shots, but I'm getting up there so I thought I probably should this year; so does my doctor. I have heard anecdotal evidence that some people get mild flu-like symptoms after a flu shot, which is what is leading to this question.


Roddy
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 10-09-2012, 07:01 PM
Ferret Herder Ferret Herder is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
I've always been told that you should at least stretch and flex the arm muscle that you get the shot in, to reduce the chance of it being painful later on.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 10-09-2012, 07:49 PM
Senegoid Senegoid is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Sunny California
Posts: 7,496
Probably too late today -- you've probably already done or not done your gym workout by the time you read this.

Since this is your first flu shot, I'd suggest take it kind of easy for the rest of the day, since you just don't know how you might react. Skip the cardio workout -- but don't just go to bed early and turn into a pumpkin either. Just take it kind of easy, read a book, or watch a video. Simple bending/flexing/easy-exercise of that arm is almost certain to be helpful to prevent some soreness afterward, or at least isn't likely to hurt anything.

In any case, it's highly unlikely that you'd have any really really obnoxious reaction. I think when they say a possible mild flu-like response, they really do mean mild.

Next year, you'll have a better idea of how you respond. Then you'll know if you can go to the gym and have your full-blown cardio extravaganza.

My personal experience: I've been a little squeamish about shots most of my life. When I got my first flu shot (about 10 years ago), I sat in the waiting room a while to see if I would feel faintish. When that didn't happen after a while, I went out for a hike up a mountain (which I did a lot in those days), just "to take my mind off of it". That succeeded, and I had no problem -- just the very slightest "lightheaded" effect for a while, not at all enough to be any "problem".

(In contrast, the first time I got a tetanus booster as an adult, in 1975, I felt so faint that I had to sit in the waiting room, or lay in a spare exam room, for about 3 hours. I know, and knew then, that it was entirely psychological, but knowing that doesn't seem to help. I've had no such problems at all with the 3 tetanus boosters I've had since, nor with the shingles shot I recently got. The pneumonia shot I got last year was a different kettle of toxin. I really did faint after that one -- after I had gotten out the door and was sitting in my car, but before I drove off.)

Last edited by Senegoid; 10-09-2012 at 07:53 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10-10-2012, 10:31 AM
ZipperJJ ZipperJJ is offline
And Finn The Human
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Northeast Ohio
Posts: 18,829
FWIW I always feel icky after a flu shot but not until the next day.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 10-10-2012, 10:34 AM
Taomist Taomist is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
I'd carry on as normal; you'll know if you feel badly, regardless of your activity level. It's not like NOT working out will make you feel better If you start feeling poorly BEFORE the workout, then fine, skip it, but why borrow trouble? If it happens, it happens.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 10-10-2012, 10:36 AM
DMark DMark is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferret Herder View Post
I've always been told that you should at least stretch and flex the arm muscle that you get the shot in, to reduce the chance of it being painful later on.
I hope you don't mean to flex the muscle WHILE you are getting the shot! That is a very bad thing to do - you should relax the muscle as much as possible. My older brother just had his flu shot a couple days ago and flexed...and his arm hurt like hell for two days after!

For what it's worth, I have had a flu shot every year for at least the past 8 years or so and I have never had any pain in the arm, nor felt a single bit ill or nauseous afterward.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 10-10-2012, 03:12 PM
Senegoid Senegoid is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Sunny California
Posts: 7,496
Quote:
Originally Posted by DMark View Post
I hope you don't mean to flex the muscle WHILE you are getting the shot! That is a very bad thing to do - you should relax the muscle as much as possible. My older brother just had his flu shot a couple days ago and flexed...and his arm hurt like hell for two days after!
Is a flu shot intra-muscular or sub-cutaneous? IM is a deeper jab, isn't it?

After my flu shot (last Friday), my arm became slightly sore for several days (just getting over it now). We're talking about 0.8 on a scale of 10, so no big sweat there.

Last edited by Senegoid; 10-10-2012 at 03:12 PM..
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:36 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.