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All Posts in Category: Lifestyle

Prepare Your Kids For School Sports Season

More and more parents have enlisted their kids in school sports nowadays. Besides the obvious health benefits, sports teach the players teamwork, communication, and disciplines which will groom them into well-rounded individuals. In order for young athletes to fully enjoy the experience, there are some easy things parents could do. Here are a few of them:

Let the kids prepare their own breakfast

By waking up 15 minutes earlier every day, kids can have enough time to get ready for school and make themselves breakfast. This will tremendously help develop their own discipline, which is critical to any sports team. A team can only be as strong as the players who make it up. It’s not that difficult, and you should encourage your kids to adopt this habit as soon as possible before the school year begins.

Act as a role model

Like father, like son. Your kids most likely adopt your habits and behaviors which include both good and bad ones. If you exhibit a healthy and active lifestyle, that will greatly benefit your young ones. Instead of eating junk/fast food regularly, cook up proper meals. Instead of sitting on the couch watching TV all day, sign up for the gym or go for a run few times a week. Your health, and your kids, of course, will be grateful for that!

Sports physicals

A sports physicals is a series of test to determine any underlying risk of illness or injury before young athletes sign up for sports at school. Almost every school requires this examination from students before accepting them into sports programs. It doesn’t take much of your time and effort and could prevent your kids from getting serious injuries in future.

If your student athlete is joining a sports team this upcoming season, visit FirstCall Urgent Care for a sports physicals.  We also treat common sports injuries such as:

  • Fractures
  • Sprains
  • Cuts
  • Bruises
  • & More

Stop by our urgent care center, or call us at 410-730-3399 for more information.

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Evidence-Based Nutrition Tips to Improve Overall Health

If you’ve ever tried to look up some nutrition info online or asked a friend for advice, you’ve likely heard some conflicting statements. Many of the nutrition tips we’re told are actually opinions rather than evidence-based facts. Today we’re going to share some of our favorite nutrition tips that can actually be backed with solid evidence and science, not just one strong opinion.

Processed Foods are Bad

Many diet plans recommend sticking to whole foods and avoiding processed options, but it turns out that recommendation comes from real evidence. The processed foods we eat are loaded with unnecessary chemicals and sugars that trigger the pleasure center in the brain. That causes you to want to eat more processed junk and ultimately, your health pays the price.

Sleep is Key

Rather you want to improve your mental or physical health, sleep is the answer. Without enough quality sleep your body’s performance begins to go downhill. You’ll be less focused, more likely to eat unhealthy foods, and be at an increased risk for diabetes. Kick-start your new healthy sleeping habits by setting a “bedtime” for yourself each night and avoiding all electronics for one hour prior to that time.

Drink Water Before a Meal

Did you know that drinking more water makes your body begin to burn more calories? In fact, if you drink 2 liters of water per day, your body will automatically be burning 96 extra calories! Enjoy some water 30 minutes prior to each meal time. This habit will help you to feel full faster and gradually lose weight.

Monitor Your Intake

Evidence shows that occasional monitoring of your food and beverage intake is very good for your overall health. Not only does monitoring allow you to know exactly how many calories you’re consuming, but what’s in those calories as well. Once you get in the habit of checking the nutrition label you’re more likely to make healthier choices, even if you aren’t counting calories. Pay attention to your protein, fat, and carb intake to see where you can improve your diet.

Surround Yourself with Positive Relationships

Negative personal relationships in your life could be having a negative impact on your health. Not only do positive personal relationships improve mental health, but physical health as well. Studies have shown that people with positive friends and family relationships take better care of themselves and have a higher life expectancy.

If you’ve heard other help tips that you’re skeptical of, don’t be afraid to ask your doctor or do some research on your own! Evidence-based facts are widely agreed upon and supported by plenty of notable research. Just remember, not every health tip you’re told is actually true!

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What You Need to Know about Swimmer’s Ear

Swimmers Ear or otitis externa can be a common infection, especially during the summer where you are spending a lot of time in the water to cool off from the heat. But by being informed now you can learn quickly what it is, what are the causes, symptoms, and how you can treat it and prevent it from getting too serious. We’ve wrapped all that up into this post for you.

Causes & Symptoms

Swimmers ear is something that won’t show up as often as sunburns or dehydration, however, swimmers ear is still dangerous nonetheless. How swimmers ear comes to be is when water is brought into your ear but remains in your eardrums all the way to the outside of your head in the ear area.

Swimmers ear can be caused by inserting fingers, cotton swabs or any other objects in your ears which hamper your ear’s natural defenses. One cause can lead to that defense system being compromised, that being the build-up cerumen. Cerumen is a type of wax clump that builds up around the ear. It’s similar to earwax however it protects your ears from any kind of infections.

Some other causes of infection can be from excessive moisture in the ear, scratches or abrasions in the ear canal, and even sensitivity reactions.

As far as the symptoms go, they are normally mild at the beginning but get worse over time. You see, the water that’s left there is a perfect grounds for harmful bacteria to grow and spread. From there you can have mild to advanced stages of swimmers ears. On a mild scale, you can experience drainage of a clear and odorless fluid and maybe some itchiness around the area. On an advanced scale, you can experience complete blockage of the ear canal (making hearing muffled or even unable to hear.), severe pain, redness and swelling of the outer ear and fever.

Treating & Prevention

Swimmers ear, when spotted quickly, can be prevented when taking precautionary measures. Furthermore, if you can spot it early on, it can be treated with very little damage being done.

Some measures you can do to better prevent swimmers ear is to make sure your ears are dry or kept mostly dry. This can be done through the use of a blow dryer, drying the outside of your ear and also tipping your head to both sides to help your ears drain the water out.

You can also consider creating a solution of eardrops using white vinegar and rubbing alcohol. Apply one teaspoon of it for each ear and let it drain. Do this before and after swimming. Drug stores will also sell eardrops too.

Some other suggestions are to avoid cleaning your ear with cotton swabs, paper clips or hairpins, using cotton balls in your ears when applying hair sprays and dyes. Furthermore, you can generally swim wisely by looking at the area where you’re going to swim and see if there are high bacterial counts on that day.

If you do happen to get swimmers ear, there are some ways to treat it. First, you need to see a doctor who will do a cleaning of the outer ear. As far as medication goes a doctor will most of the time prescribe eardrops that have a combination of some of these ingredients. These ingredients depend on the severity of the ear infection:

Steroids – reduces inflammation.

Antibiotic – fights bacteria.

Acidic solution – restores normal ear’s antibacterial environment.

Antifungal medication – fights the infection that was caused by fungus.

Finally, it’s also a good idea to ask your doctor what is the best method to take these eardrops as well.

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4 Simple Seasonal Allergies Home Remedy

It is a common problem that we encounter at some points in a year where we spend most of our finances trying to obtain medicines to help us control or treat ourselves from a health issue associated with that particular season of the year. It could come in many forms such as itchy eyes, watery eyes, sore throat, persistent cough, chest tightening, running nose, difficulty in breathing and sometimes rashes. Most of these reactions are often noticed during the beginning of spring when our green environment is replenished. These abnormal reactions we get are known as seasonal allergies and I bet you can understand how unpleasant the experience can be. Here, we have compiled a list of four powerful ways to keep yourself and your family free from the awful experience of seasonal allergies all season round. These are some simple home remedies and what we need are natural things we use in our homes on daily basis, no more spending on pharmaceutical products, just follow the simple tips and say goodbye to the irritating seasonal allergies.

Four things to do in order to prevent seasonal allergies:


To get natural antihistamine and its accompanying benefits, this herb is a very great option, you can make tea from its dried leaves and on the same note nettle capsule can also be made available from the herbs, continuing its intake through the allergy period keeps you free unwanted allergies.


Unmixed honey is very excellent in the fight against allergy at least many people have testified to it. Just understand that too much of everything is bad, so the dosage should just be optimum, a teaspoon three times a day will go a long way to keep you free from allergy throughout the season of allergy.


It is very important to note the significance of keeping hydrated during the allergy season. More water in your system always goes a long way to keep the bodily activity smooth and steady, flushing out the effects of allergens and keeping you free from seasonal effects allergens throughout the season of the allergy. Just keep a level of more water and you will never regret the having the season come around.


The season of allergy is equally a season you may need to take extra care of your body and hygiene. Apart from your intake of natural substances that will help keep you free through the allergy period, there are other cautions you need to keep during this period that will equally give you an edge to keep living your normal life during this period rather than going down on an awful allergy. Among the caution you need to take is having a steady bathe is recommended each night; this ensures that any residual pollen on your hair or skin that can severe the effect of an allergy is washed off during bathing. Another thing is having to change your clothes to a clean one after the day’s work outside.

With these tips a successful season free of allergies is rest assured!

Visit First Call Urgent Care today for your urgent care needs!

Visit our urgent care center, or call us at 410-730-3399 for more information.

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Why Spring is The Best Time to Take Your Workout Outdoor

workout outdoorGoodbye snowy winter and welcome, lovely spring. It’s that time of year again, when spring’s warmth melts Maryland’s lingering snow/ice, bare trees bloom beautiful flowers and the great outdoors beckons once again. Now is the time to take your workouts outside and boost your fitness. Spring offers considerable benefits when it comes to an outdoor exercise regimen.

Push It Real Good

The outdoors has a magical way of getting people to put more effort into their workout without even recognizing it. Recent studies have provided evidence that suggests that participating in physical activity in a natural environment, may help an individual achieve a greater intensity of exercise without the perception of effort changing, partly because the outdoor environment increases enjoyment, offers social interaction and increases the frequency of physical activity.

Nature’s Refreshing Appeal

The outdoors screams natural, green, sunlight and open, which is good for both the mind and body. In spring, you can find the beautiful sounds of birds and the ocean, sights of exquisite blooms of flowers and wildlife, and calming spaces to rejuvenate the body and spirit. The Institute of Medicine contends that exposure to plants and flowers nourishes a sense of well-being, by enabling people to feel calmer and more relaxed. Spring is the season of refreshment and revival.

Natural Setting is Better than a Gym

The gym can be a dull, crowded place, and can stifle enthusiasm. Taking your workout outdoors is more enjoyable because it allows you to be more dynamic with your exercise programs and you can avoid gym equipment altogether. One review of studies comparing participation in physical activity in natural environments with physical activity indoors, confirms that participants reported greater enjoyment and positive engagement exercising outdoors.

Jazz up Your Mood

The link between outdoor exercise and mental health is a positive one that continues to be proven. Simply being in nature, you realize its calming effect; add exercise in that environment and you boost that benefit significantly. Doing your workout outdoors helps with short-term recovery from stress or mental fatigue, according to one study, and in effect, improves mood. This amounts to a natural way to lift your mood in a natural environment.

Cheaper than a Gym Membership

Some of the gym memberships out there are just too expensive. Working out outdoors saves you money because you don’t have to worry about a monthly membership fee. A better investment would be to buy a good pair of running or walking shoes or exercise mat.

Exercising in the natural environment has many wonderful benefits that a typical gym may not provide. It pushes you to work harder, leaves you feeling more refreshed, and is capable of jazzing up your mood, cost-effective and far more pleasant than the inside of a gym. Spring is the ideal time to get outdoors and sweat up a storm.


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4 Simple Home Remedies for Common Cold

ginger-1918107_1920Common cold is a terribly annoying illness. While it is usually not fatal, having to miss work or school for a few days is not fun. Also, spending days with a sore body is miserable. Fortunately, there are easy home remedies that you can use to speed up the recovery process. Take a look at these 4 simple home recipes:

Tulasi & Pepper

1 handful of Tulasi (holy basil) leaves & 10 black peppercorns (milagu). Mix both ingredients, grind them together and consume thrice a day. This preparation relieves cough & cold.

Karpooravalli & Pepper 

7 Karpooravalli (Anisochilus Carnosus) leaves & 10 black peppercorns. Mix both ingredients, grind them together and consume thrice a day. This preparation relieves cough & cold.

Ginger Kashaayam

4 teaspoon ginger Juice + 4 teaspoons honey + 2 teaspoons lemon juice + 3/4 cup water – mix & consume

Honey Ginger 

This recipe is similar to the Ginger recipe above but simpler. Mix 2 teaspoon of ginger with the same amount of honey. This mixture helps reduce mucus and relieve common cold, cough or a sore throat.

Visit First Call Urgent Care today for your urgent care needs!

Visit our urgent care center, or call us at 410-730-3399 for more information.

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Protect Your Skin In The Summer

Summer Health, Urgent Care Treatment in Laurel MD

Although the sun shines more in the summer, too much Vitamin D can be detrimental to your skin and health. Overexposure to heat and the sun’s rays can lead to heat strokes, exhaustion, burns, skin tumors and wrinkles. Here are a few ways you can protect your skin in the midst of the blazing summer sun.

Wear Sunscreen

During the Summer it is always important to manage your exposure to the sun and intense temperatures that come with the season. Your body’s core temperature rises significantly when you are outside, and you should always wear sunscreen to protect harmful effects from the sun’s rays.  

Enjoy the AC

When you can, try to stay indoors during peak hours of midday, when the sun is at its highest.  Make good use of your air conditioning and try to reserve cooking and baking for the night time where the outside temperature is cooler. 

Perform Regular Skin Checks 

Along with the summer comes insects such as bees, mosquito, and ticks. Ticks are smaller than a mosquito and can hide in clothing easily. They carry an array of harmful, some diseases such as Lyme disease. Be sure to check for them after outdoor activities. Don’t let those pests ruin your season!

Also, be sure to check for changes with moles and freckles, and check in with a dermatologist.

Wear Layered Clothing

Despite the heat making you want to wear a tank top and shorts, you should wear protective layered-clothing when you plan on being outdoors for activities such as hiking or camping.  Wear light clothing that will not overheat your body, but will protect you from the harmful UV rays.


If you’ve faced a painful sunburn, or you think you’re having an allergic reaction to an insect bite, be sure to visit FirstCall Urgent Care for treatment.  For more information about the services we provide, please call to speak with one of our medical professionals at 410-730-3399.

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The Role of Urgent Care in Today’s Health Care System

urgent care in Laurel, MD

When you’re in need of immediate medical attention, you’d more than likely visit the emergency room if your primary care physician is out of reach.  However, many patients forget about using urgent care centers as an alternative to a costly emergency room visit or scheduling an appointment with a family physician.

Urgent care centers provide convenient, affordable, and high quality medical care for a variety of non-life threatening injuries and illnesses.

If you have doubts about when to visit an urgent care center, here is an outline of what urgent care centers offer:

Urgent care centers treat non-life threatening injuries and illnesses

Urgent care centers are equipped to handle immediate, but not life-threatening emergencies.  Urgent care centers usually treat:

Urgent care centers offer lab testing and digital x-rays

Having an on-site lab and digital x-rays takes the hassle out of patients driving all over town receive quality care.  This guarantees fast results for lab testing services.

Our lab performs testing for:

  • Strep Throat
  • Mononucleosis
  • Drugs (Pre-Employment Drug Screen, DOT Testing, etc…)
  • Sexually-Transmitted Diseases
  • Tuberculosis
  • Pregnancy
  • Hepatitis
  • Glucose

Urgent care centers have flexible hours and low wait times

With having a busy schedule between juggling work and family, urgent care centers offer the convenience of being able to head to a nearby center during lunch hour, or after dinner time.  Urgent care centers also offer the convenience of weekend hours, so it adds comfort knowing you don’t have to wait a day or more for medical care.


At FirstCall Urgent Care, we treat a variety of non-life threatening emergencies seven days a week on a walk-in basis.  We offer numerous medical services and procedures all under one roof to make sure patients receive the most convenient experience.  For more information on the services we provide, please call to speak with one of our medical professionals at 410-730-3399.


*If you’re facing a life-threatening emergency, do not hesitate to call 911 and visit your local emergency room. 

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