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Cold and Flu season is still underway, and you may be wondering how you can keep yourself healthy, and avoid getting sick. For many, the winter and spring months bring on at least one dreaded head cold, or worse, the flu. However, it’s important to remember that your immune system is your body’s natural form of defense from sickness, and making sure it’s functioning properly is the first step to avoiding feeling under the weather. This season, here are a few great ways to give your immune system the boost it needs.

Don’t Miss Out on Sleep

Sleep deprivation is one of the main things that can contribute to a lowered immune system.  Think about when you’re not feeling well and your body’s decreased energy level. When you’re sick, your body desires sleep due to an automatic response and immune defense.  In other words, when you sleep while being sick, your body essentially kicks into overdrive and increases its healing process.  With that said, sleep is also a preventative measure you should always take to avoid getting sick.  It provides your body with downtime and gives it the opportunity to restore and repair itself.

Have a Well-Rounded Diet

Eating the right foods provides your body with tons of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that directly contribute to keeping your immune system functioning properly.  You’ll want to focus on natural foods such as fruits, vegetables, and grains and avoid processed foods that hold little to no nutritional value.

Wash Your Hands Thoroughly

Washing your hands is essential to maintaining a properly functioning immune system, and during cold and flu season, can be one of the best ways to avoid getting sick.  Make sure you wash your hands regularly, especially after leaving public places where you may have touched things that others have. A great form of practice is to wash your hands immediately after you return your home from being out at work, shopping, or in any other public places.  If you want to be extra cautious, you can carry a small hand sanitizer to use before you make it home.

Incorporate Exercise

For your general health and well being, incorporating exercise holds many benefits.  However, aside from keeping off the unwanted pounds, exercising regularly can also boost your immune system and improve its overall function.