It’s never a convenient time to catch a cold, but when it happens during the winter, it’s even worse. The chilly months keep seniors bundled up inside looking for ways to keep busy. But it should not force us to burrow under the covers with a cold. With a healthy immune system, all of us – including seniors – have an excellent chance of warding off germs that cause a cold. What can you do to keep your immune system healthy?

Take your vitamins. From Vitamin C to Vitamin B12, Echinacea and more, these nutrients are beneficial to fighting infections. Always ask your doctor for recommendations!

Eating well can also prevent sickness, so pick up those fruits and veggies. Incorporate ones rich in nutrients in every meal such as citrus, cabbage, broccoli, pumpkin, sweet potato and spinach. Zinc found in fish, oysters, poultry, eggs, milk, unprocessed grains, and cereals also helps fight infections.

Sleep is one of the best natural immune system boosters. It helps us respond better to stress and inflammation.

Exercise is another effective way you can boost your immune system. Exercise does this by flushing bacteria out of the lungs and slowing down the release of stress hormones.

Drink hot tea and plenty of water to help ward off germs. Fluids help us stay active and hydrated and in turn helps our immune system stay healthy.

Our bodies become more susceptible to disease and infection, and seniors in particular are at serious risk of getting ill during this time of year. There are many things you can do to improve your immune systems like simply remembering to wash your hands more. If you make an effort to take good care of your body, you will be better off for it this winter. Prevention is the best medicine!