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According to national surveys, Americans endure a BILLION colds each year with the highest rate of sickness happening between October and May. The flu virus also afflicts many people during these months adding to personal suffering and also a loss of time at work.

Here are 5 Ways to Stay Healthy During Cold & Flu Season

While no one can guaranteed you’re not going to get sick, these tips can help you stop, minimize, and recover faster if you do.

1. Get a Humidifier

The Flu virus thrives in dry-air environments. Using a whole-house humidifier or a smaller unit for your room can increase the humidity in the air which minimizes the the ability for the flu virus to grow.

2. Eat Yogurt for Breakfast

A 2011 study backs this up: Scientists found that people who consumed probiotics via supplements or fermented foods (think yogurt, kefir and kimchi) had 12% fewer upper respiratory infections.

3. Exercise 3-5 days per week

People who exercise get colds less often than those who sit still and don’t move regularly. Consider taking a 20-minute walk, using the stairs instead of the elevator, or stretching during your lunch break.

4. Get More Sleep

Studies show that people who sleep 8+ hours a day are 3 times more likely to avoid catching a cold compared to those who sleep 7 hours or less

5. Wash Your Hands More Often

Old fashioned soap and hot water can be a great way to reduce getting sick. Lather up and wash your skin for at least 20 seconds or more.

Practicing other good health habits like avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and/or mouth can also help avoid germs entering your body.

Following these simple tips can help you keep yourself (and those around you) well this cold and flu season!

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