Is It Okay To Lift Weights Right After Getting Your COVID-19 Vaccination?

If you get the COVID-19 vaccine, should you hit the gym on your way home? While there are some potential side effects to the vaccine, most experts agree that working out after receiving the vaccine gets a green light, with a few small caveats.

If you aren't experiencing any of the potential negative side effects of the vaccine, hit the gym. "You can work out right afterward if you want," Thomas Russo, M.D., professor and Chief of Infectious Disease at the University at Buffalo in New York, told Shape. But keep your workout to your normal routine: Don't try to add extra sets or use heavier weights than usual.

"Your exercise regimen should be in the framework you've developed given your known limitations," Russo added. "I don't think there's anything dangerous about exercising after you get the vaccine," infectious disease specialist David Wyles, M.D., told Health. You may not have your best workout, and you should probably skip high-intensity workouts for a day as your body adjusts, but in general, go ahead and get that workout in.

Is there any reason to skip a workout after being vaccinated?

You may want to plan to avoid arm day around your vaccination, since the CDC lists side effects including redness, swelling, and pain at the injection point (typically your arm). You may also experience some all-over side effects, including fatigue, muscle pain, and chills. If that's the case for you, it's probably a good time to take a rest day. 

However, it's worth noting that you may want to take it easy the day or two after your vaccination: It's probably not the time to achieve a personal best on your heaviest lift ever. "Even if you don't feel like you're experiencing severe symptoms (beyond fatigue, muscle soreness, and body aches), your body is still working to mount an immune response," registered dietitian Cara Harbstreet, told VerywellFit. "You might feel like forging ahead with your usual workouts, but you can also adjust as needed after you start to accommodate how your body responds. A rest day is not a wasted day when it comes to fitness and overall wellbeing."