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Chug the OJ ... and 5 other things you shouldn't do when you're sick

Cold and flu season has arrived in the Puget Sound and the Inland Northwest. When sickness hits, most of us know we should increase our hand washing, water consumption, and rest in order to get better and prevent spreading illness. But what should you NOT do? MultiCare Indigo Urgent Care’s team of experts weighed in.

1. Ignore it

Colds are never convenient, but continuing your regular routine will likely hurt your body more than help. Instead, take a sick day and reschedule plans so that you can rest and put your energy toward getting better.

2. Stay inside all day

A bit of brisk, fresh air can be good to promote relaxing breaths, vitamin D and mental clarity. We don’t suggest going to busy parks or anywhere else you might spread germs to others, though.

3. Go for a tough workout

It may seem like a good idea to sweat out your cold with an epic workout, but it’s not. Consider a light workout such as swimming, yoga or walking to increase blood flow and initiate endorphins. If you can’t stay away from the gym, do your fellow fit fam a favor and make sure you thoroughly clean any used gym equipment.

4. Take leftover or shared antibiotics

As urgent care providers, we first have to say that you really should have completed that old round of antibiotics. And you should never share medication. That being said, it’s important to understand that antibiotics only help when your illness or infection is bacterial. Viral infections, such as the common cold, will not be cured by antibiotics.

5. Chug orange juice

Orange juice is a yummy way to hydrate, but there’s conflicting research on whether it can help your cold. The acid can irritate a sore or inflamed throat. Many store-bought orange juices are also high in sugar, which is not recommended for treating cold symptoms. Stick with water and clear liquids, such as broth, instead.

6. Drive

Drowsiness and lack of sleep from a bad cold can make for dangerous driving conditions. If you’re unable to get a ride from a friend or family member, MultiCare offers Virtual Care services via email or video chat from the comfort of your phone or computer.

When should you see a doctor?

Colds happen, but if your symptoms are getting worse or won’t go away, it's time to get checked out by a trusted  Indigo Health provider. If you experience a fever, shortness of breath or other more serious symptoms, you should consider seeing a doctor as soon as possible. 

MultiCare Indigo Urgent Care is open every day, 8 am to 8 pm to help you get better.


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