Washington: Mild- to moderate-intensity exercise for 90 minutes after getting a flu or COVID-19 vaccine may boost the levels of antibodies in the body, according to a study. The findings, published in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, could directly benefit people with a range of fitness levels. Participants who cycled on a stationary bike or took a brisk walk for an hour-and-a-half after vaccination produced more antibodies in the following four weeks compared to those who did not exercise.
The researchers at Iowa State University in the US found similar results when they ran an experiment with mice and treadmills.
Our preliminary results are the first to demonstrate a specific amount of time can enhance the body’s antibody response to the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine and two vaccines for influenza, said professor Marian Kohut from Iowa State University.
A total of 36 individuals that received the Pfizer vaccine between March 2021-June 2021 were enrolled in the study. 28 participants were enrolled in the trivalent seasonal influenza vaccine experiment.
Nearly half of the participants in the experiment had a body mass index (BMI) in the overweight or obese category.
During 90 minutes of exercise, they focused on maintaining a pace that kept their heart rate around 120–140 beats per minute rather than distance.
The researchers also tested whether participants could get the same bump in antibodies with just 45-minutes of exercising.
They found the shorter workout did not increase the participants’ antibody levels.
Marian Kohut said there may be multiple reasons why prolonged, mild- to moderate-exercise could improve the body’s immune response.
Working out increases blood and lymph flow, which helps circulate immune cells, according to the researchers.
As these cells move around the body, they are more likely to detect something that is foreign, they said.
Data from the mouse experiment also suggested a type of protein produced during exercise helps generate virus-specific antibodies and T-cells, the study found.
But a lot more research is needed to answer the why and how. There are so many changes that take place when we exercise — metabolic, biochemical, neuroendocrine, circulatory, said Marian Kohut.
“So, there’s probably a combination of factors that contribute to the antibody response we found in our study,” the scientist added.
The researchers are continuing to track the antibody response in the participants six months post-immunisation and have launched another study that focuses on exercise’s effects on people who receive booster shots.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, that is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.