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.

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.

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.)

FWIW I always feel icky after a flu shot but not until the next day.

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 :slight_smile: If you start feeling poorly BEFORE the workout, then fine, skip it, but why borrow trouble? If it happens, it happens.

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.

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.