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Medical News & Updates

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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gastric reflux

How To Prevent Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a digestive disorder that is caused by the return of the stomach’s contents back up into the esophagus. This usually happens when the lower esophageal sphincter, or the ring of muscle between esophagus and stomach.

There are several ways you can do to prevent the reflux of stomach acid into the esophagus, which can permanently damage the esophageal lining. While taking medication or surgery might be necessary for some people, following these diet and lifestyle habits will help relieve GERD:

Lose weight

One of the leading causes of GERD is being obese. When you are overweighted, your abdomen is pressed by extra stomach fat, pushing gastric fluid up into your esophagus. If you are obese or at risk of obesity, losing a few extra pounds might help you prevent GERD.

Avoid food that causes reflux

These foods below should be avoided when you are at risk for GERD:

  • Fatty foods
  • Spicy foods
  • Acidic foods, like tomatoes and citrus
  • Mint
  • Chocolate

  • Onions

  • Caffeinated drinks
  • Carbonated drinks

Eat smaller meal

Divide your food intake throughout the day. Instead of having two big meals for lunch and dinner, consider having 4 -5 smaller meals per day. This will help relieve pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter.

Don’t lie down after eating

Normally, gravity helps keep acid reflux from developing in your stomach. That’s why you shouldn’t lie down immediately after you eat. If you stretch out for a nap after your meal, chances are you are harming your esophageal sphincter.

 Elevate your bed

Similar to the previous tip, elevating the head of your bed can also help prevent acid reflux building up by utilizing gravity force. Make sure that your whole upper body is elevated and not just your head.

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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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Tips For Healthy Holiday Travel

holiday sicknessKEEPS STRESS AT BAY

Food and nutrition are among things you should keep eyes on during the holiday season.  Help keep stress levels down by maintaining a healthy diet, staying hydrated with water, exercising, and getting enough sleep.


One of the best ways to stop the spread of germs is to practice frequent hand washing. Use soap and wash for at least 20 seconds. You can also refer to our other guide on how not to catch the flu this season here.


If it’s convenient to wash your hands, use hand wipes or sanitizer to minimize germs. Carrying a pack of hand wipes in your backpack or purse doesn’t take up a lot of space, and it can come in handy quite often.


If you or someone you are around is sick, don’t hug or kiss. Cough and sneeze into your elbow to avoid. We know it’s the holiday season, and you just wanna express your love and gratitude, but spreading sickness would not make a great holiday season.

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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You Should Get A Flu Shot Before The Holiday Season

flu shotIt’s almost that time of the year when you can smell the delicious turkey and hear the Christmas jingles in the air. It’s also that time of the year when you’d better watch out for flu season. It’s not fun getting the flu: you will be lying in bed for days, possibly for weeks, coughing with fever, sore throat, and body aches. However, for people with certain medical conditions and in the high-risk group, the flu can cause serious complications and sometimes, deaths. That’s why we take the flu very seriously at First Call Urgent Care.

Due to its seriousness, everybody is expected to take precaution against the flu. For people in the high-risk group, they themselves and their families need to understand the steps to prevent and treat someone with the flu virus. It’s very likely that you know or are in frequent contact with someone in this group, and you should do your parts to minimize the risk of spreading the sickness. It’s simple: Take a flu shot.

The flu season usually peaks during the winter. Getting a flu shot now can certainly minimize the risk of you getting sick. You need a new vaccine every year, and getting one now will do yourself and your family a huge favor before the holidays when people are getting together and sharing food.

If you happen to catch the flu, please stay home and don’t go to work or school. You will do everyone a big favor. It’s your responsibility to keep the germs and virus contained and stop it from spreading further to other.

The best way to avoid getting sick from the flu this season is getting a flu shot. Visit First Call Urgent Care today for your annual flu vaccine!

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

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How To Avoid Catching The Flu This Season

vaccination-2725065_1920Several health experts have been predicting that this flu season will be one of the bad ones. They also heavily advise against being exposed to some certain locations and items to prevent the outbreak of the contagious illness.

Public ATMs

When using an ATM in the public, you should use your knuckles to navigate the buttons instead of your fingers. A lot of people use the machine throughout the day, and if somebody sick transfers germs to the keyboards and card slots, you might be at risk of catching the flu.

Public pens

Similar to the ATMs, pens lying around in public might also be fully covered in germs and bacterias from sick people using them. If you need to write something down, try to keep your own pen with you at all time.


This is a difficult one. It’s not very polite not to shake people hands when you greet your friends or people you are associated with. However, you may want to avoid shaking hands during the flu season to prevent flu virus to spread. If you absolutely have to shake hands, wash and sanitize your hands afterward.

Personal electronic devices

Phones and tablets are also common spots that influenza virus likes to linger. Start wiping them with disinfecting wipes to avoid catching the flu.

Gas Pump

The gas nozzle is also commonly covered with germs from servicing hundreds to thousands of people everyday. Now using a paper towel or tissue, which you almost always have ready on you, could solve the problem of being exposed to the flu virus.

The best way to avoid getting sick from the flu this season is getting a flu shot. Visit First Call Urgent Care today for your annual flu vaccine!

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


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What You Should Know About Swimmer’s Ear

swimmerNothing is better than spending a hot summer day swimming around in the pool. It helps cool your body down and you will always climb out of the pool feeling refreshed after a long day at work. It is obvious swimming is one of the most popular activities people participate in during the summer.

Swimming sounds amazing and all, but there is always a catch. While swimming is considered relatively a low-risk activity, the risk is still there. One of the most common health conditions associated with swimming is Swimmer’s Ear. Swimmer’s Ear isn’t usually serious. However, if not being treated properly it might cause some unnecessary complications.

What is Swimmer’s Ear?

Swimmer’s Ear (Otitis Externa) is an infection in the outer ear canal. This infection is often caused by water remaining inside your ear after swimming sessions, which created an ideal environment for bacteria to grow. In addition, scratching or poking the inside of your ears with your fingers can damage the sensitive skin there and cause the infection.

Symptoms of Swimmer’s Ear

While Swimmer’s Ear is not always serious and shows mild symptoms, improper or late treatment might worsen the symptoms.

Mild symptoms

  • Itchy ear canal
  • Slight red inside ear
  • Some clear fluid
  • Discomfort when pulling the outer ear

Moderate symptoms

  • More itching
  • More pain
  • More redness in ears
  • Excessive fluid or pus
  • Blockage of ear canal by swelling, fluid, and debris

Advanced symptoms

  • Severe pain that might spread to the sides of your head
  • Fever
  • Complete blockage of ear canal
  • Reduced hearing ability


Swimmer’s Ear is usually not a dangerous condition and could be easily treated with proper care. Depending on your case, your doctor might prescribe different types of treatments. First, they may clean the ear carefully to relieve irritation and pain. After that, antibiotic ear drops might be used to treat the problem. Some additional medications taken orally might be needed and prescribed by the doctor.

If you are experiencing Swimmer’s Ear, visit our FirstCall Urgent Care facilities today for testing and treatments.

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

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3 Natural Remedies To Help You Fight Off Allergies

BeeIt’s August, which means the Fall Allergy season is coming around the corner. Allergy is one of the most annoying things in the world, we get it. While allergy is not curable, you can take control and treat your symptoms. It is also noteworthy that preventing yourself from being exposed to your allergens is always better than spending efforts dealing the outbreak. If you do, unfortunately, get caught up in this nightmare, here are 3 simple remedies you can take to ease the symptoms and speed up the recovery:

Neti Pot

Always being brought up in any allergy remedy discussion nowadays, Neti Pot has grown very popular. Although this tradition has been practiced in Asia from long ago, it has only become mainstream to Western medicine in recent years. Neti Pot can clear your nasal passages and get rid of allergens and irritants, which will reduce the duration of symptoms. Keep in mind that, since the water will irrigate throughout your sinus, make sure that it is distilled and sterilized as much as possible.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar is a godsend to modern medicine. It is a widely used natural remedy and effective in treating health conditions including allergies.  It consists of various of compounds, such as acetic acid, vitamin A, vitamin Cc and many others, that help fight off allergy symptoms. To benefit from this natural medicine, you can simply take 1 to 2 teaspoons a day. If the sour taste of it is too much to handle, you can mix it with lemon juice, honey or water to get a more enjoyable taste.

Local honey

Using bee honey as a supplement for medication has been around for way too long, dating back to the ancient years. There is a reason that this remedy has always been popular, and it’s because honey certainly works. Taking a tablespoon of honey from your local farm daily could help you build up a tolerance towards the local allergens that like to mess with your sinus. It also goes down very easy compared to Apple Cider Vinegar. What’s the catch? There is none!


If you are suspecting or suffering from some allergy symptoms, visit our FirstCall Urgent Care facilities today for testing and treatments.


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

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How To Prevent Sports Injuries


sports injury treatment in Laurel, MD

While your young one is still growing at a fast rate, they are at a higher risk of becoming injured, possibly leading to long term health problems, if they are physically active in sports.  

If your child is active in sports, here are a few tips to consider in order to prevent injury.

Get a Sports Physical

If your child participates in a sport, it is beneficial to have a physical examination prior to the start of the season to check for any predispositions, underlying issues or risk factors that may cause harm or long-term damage. Awareness of sport injuries can reduce injury in athletes and promote emotional wellness.

Nutrition and Wellness

Proper diet and nutrition is required to excel in performance, recover and grow strong. Poor nutrition can lead to a decrease in bone density, thus increasing the risk for overuse injuries and stress fractures. Try to ensure that your student-athlete is eating at least three meals a day, consisting of fruits, vegetables and lean meat.

Invest in Proper Equipment

Every sport has different equipment to protect athletes from injury.  Make sure that your student athlete’s equipment and clothing if well-fitted and appropriate for their desired sport.

Don’t Overdo It

Have a maximum number of sports or teams your child can join each season. Playing two different sports that are physically demanding. During year-round sports, it is crucial to take well-deserved breaks. Although most athletes may experience a sports-related injury at some point, further injury or overuse can be prevented by taking the right precautions.

If your student athlete gets injured on the field or court, visit FirstCall Urgent Care for treatment.  We 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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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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