A healthy immune system is the best protection against common cold and flu season. Keep your family's natural defenses strong with these simple tactics:
- Avoid stress.1 Studies show that stress hampers your ability to stay healthy, especially during common cold and flu season, so anything you can do to combat stress helps fight germs. Try taking a mini meditation break during the day—simply close your eyes and focus on breathing in and out for a few minutes.
- Stick with a bedtime.2 When you consistently log seven to eight hours of sound sleep a night, your body has the chance to repair cells and maintain your immune system.
- Eat right and exercise.3 Nutritious foods, such as a healthy variety of fruits and vegetables as part of a balanced diet, give your body the nutrients it needs. Also, physical activity may help. A common recommendation is to shoot for 30 minutes of moderate activity at least three times a week.
- Get flu shots.4,5 According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the single best way to prevent getting the flu is to get a flu shot each year. Flu vaccination can be an effective means of preventing infection, particularly for those over 65, pregnant women, and anyone with a compromised immune system. The best time for vaccination is in early autumn, when the flu season starts and supplies of the vaccine are more readily available. Your doctor or healthcare provider can offer advice on vaccination for your family against currently active strains of flu.