If you’ve heard anything like these please email me your stories.
The rest of you have probably heard these, though.
1. Getting vaccinated gives you the flu.
One reason this is nonsensical is because it ignores the very basic idea behind vaccinations to begin with: vaccinations are an administration of an inactive form of what you’re trying to vaccinate against. That means you can’t catch anything from the vaccine.
You may say, “But Joel, I got sick right after I got vaccinated!”
And I’ll ask you, “Where did you get vaccinated? The doctor’s office? Where you sit around other sick people? And read magazines that sick people put their snotty hands all over? And interacted with a doctor who’s been in contact with these people?”
Correlation doesn’t mean causation.
2. You’ll catch the flu going outside in the cold.
Going outside in the cold really sucks. Especially if you’re a little crazy and do it with minimal clothing. I’m sure every one of you has heard, “Don’t go outside without a coat, you’ll catch cold!” like the cold is going to be thrown at you. This isn’t how it works, either.
It just so happens that the most common time influenza is going around happens to be when you need to wear jackets outside.
Again, correlation doesn’t mean causation.
3. Eating chicken-noodle soup will get rid of the flu.
I’m a huge advocate for eating chicken-noodle soup when you’re sick. Not because I think it gets rid of whatever virus you’ve got, but for its other qualities.
You’re most likely dehydrated, eating less than you’re used to eating, can’t stomach solid food, and usually have a fever. It’s nice to have sodium to speed up the rehydration process. It’s also nice to have a convenient mix of carbohydrates, fats, and protein to give you the calories you need in a warm, easy-to-eat meal. Besides this, no, you can’t eat anything to get rid of the flu. Speaking of which,
4. Taking Vitamin-C, or any other “immune system boosting” supplements to get rid of the flu.
If you’re about to go on a hike, would you pack before the hike? Or try foraging for snacks and water while you’re out there?
Having a strong immune system helps maintain your health, fight off sickness, and when you do get sick, helps you recover faster. It takes a lifestyle of healthy habits to build a strong immune system, and yes, supplementing with certain things can assist. Getting sick means you’ve already had an immune system issue, and trying to take things to boost it then is too little too late.
The bottom line about this article is to remember; in the gym, you can’t get a six-pack if you’re busy eating 12-packs, and in life you can’t have a strong immune system without living a life-style that warrants one.
If you don’t believe me, check out this infographic I received (and fact-checked for my own sanity) from Bankers Healthcare Group. They are a company whose purpose is to help medical professionals find financial solutions, and their connections with doctors has led them to developing this myth-busting infographic for you to read through. You’ll wish you did!