How to Supercharge Your Flu Shot
Emerald Catron | My Body
So you made the decision to get the flu shot just in time to let the antibodies develop in your body and protect you against our flu season. By most estimates, the flu shot prevents infection 50% to 70% of the time. And even if you do get sick, the shot can make your milder than it would have been if you hadn’t been vaccinated.
Every year, the flu shot is evaluated and reformulated for maximum effectiveness against what researchers think will be making people sick in the upcoming flu season. Sometimes the vaccine is hit or miss, so you will hear a lot of news coverage about how the flu shot is ineffective,
However, if you did get the shot, here are some ways to supercharge your defenses against getting sick this season. If you boost your immunity, the shot can work better, and even if you didn’t get the shot, you can still help yourself.
Feed the Force Field
Just because you got a flu shot doesn’t mean you should be asking strangers to sneeze in your face. If you really want to avoid getting flu, eat more healthy fats like avocados (in case you needed a reason to eat more avocados). Vitamin D is also a natural immunity booster, so if you aren’t taking it, you might consider adding it to your daily routine.
Pump It Up
One surprising way to really get the most out of your flu shot is to exercise the day you get the shot. Researchers found that going for a 90 minute jog after getting the flu shot doubled the number of flu antibodies people created after getting vaccinated compared to people who remained sedentary. If a 90-minute jog is out of the question, a 15-minute bike ride was also fairly effective, as was lifting weights for 20 minutes before getting the shot.
Researchers think that the exercise might help disperse the vaccine throughout the body, in addition to boosting the body’s immune system naturally. So, try to schedule a trip to the gym or maybe even bike home after getting a flu shot.
Lastly, you might also choose rest – get seven to nine hours of sleep a night – and reduce alcohol consumption to make the most of your flu shot. Both those habitual changes, especially during flu season, can boost the shot and help you stay healthy overall.