With the cold winter months comes a lot of illnesses: strep throat, influenza, colds, gastroenteritis (aka the stomach flu) and we often get questions about how to avoid these illnesses or ways to “boost” the immune system. The answer: an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure. Here are some simple tips to help keep you and those around you well.

  • Get your flu shot and stay current on any other vaccines your health care provider recommends.
  • Make water your drink of choice-avoid drinking your calories.
  • Concentrate on whole foods-fruits and vegetables are natural sources of vitamins and minerals to aid your immune system. Avoid processed foods and fast foods as much as possible.
  • Wash your hands and carry hand sanitizer in your car or bag-use especially after being in public places.
  • Get moving! Exercise has many benefits-such as helping maintain a health weight and regulate sleep.
  • Get adequate sleep. For adults, on average, this means 7-9 hours per night-and when you are sick, your body needs extra rest.
  • If you smoke, visit with your healthcare provider about quitting-there are many options out there.