5 simple ways to stay cold and flu free

You're not sick yet, but flu season is on its way. Add these easy activities to your daily routine and you'll stay healthy through winter.
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Garlic it up

It’s time to start channeling your inner Mario Batali and cooking up some Italian cuisine—or anything with loads of garlic. The potent bulb contains the compound allicin, which is known to have antiviral properties that may prevent colds and the flu, explains Keri Glassman, nutritionist and author of The New You and Improved Diet. So go ahead, grab another piece of garlic bread!

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Sweat it out

The sauna offers more benefits than just relaxation—taking a little steam time on the regular can help ward off sickness.

"Part of the body’s natural detoxification process is through the skin and sweating regularly is really important," says integrative physician Robin Berzin MD. "A passive sweat, like a sauna or steam, actually helps the body release toxins from deeper tissues just as well as going for a run." Yet another reason to treat yourself to a spa day!

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Sleep in

We all love to sleep, but hardly any of us get enough of it. Snoozing a little longer or going to bed a little earlier to get the proper seven or eight hours will not only make you more energized, but also keep you from catching a cold. Glassman suggests keeping your bedtime consistent too—being well rested on the regular helps your immune system better fight those pesky germs

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Sip some soup

You know you’re supposed to eat soup when you’re sick, but having some chicken noodle when you’re healthy can actually make it so you won’t have to. “Chicken soup has natural anti-inflammatory goodness from the chicken and vegetables,” says Glassman. “Which strengthens your disease fighting cells and keeps the viruses from hanging around too long in your nose and throat.” Time to breakout your mom's old recipe—studies show the canned varieties are not as effective as a homemade soup.

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Get cultured

"The probiotics found in yogurt help bolster your immune system by increasing the number of white blood cells in your body," says Glassman. Check the ingredients at the grocery store and make sure “immune support” is listed as one of the yoghurt's benefits. Lactose intolerant? You can buy a probiotic at the drugstore to take daily. Go for one with multiple strands of bacteria—yes, some bacteria is actually good for you!

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