It’s been at least three years since I’ve had a cold or been wiped out by the flu (knock on wood). I don’t take a crazy amount of vitamins, I don’t get flu shots and I don’t live in a bubble. What’s my secret? Allow me to share…

1. Eat fruit. At least two whole pieces of fresh fruit each and every day. You know the phrase, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away?” Whoever said it was on to something. It doesn’t matter if it’s a banana, apple, bunch of grapes, berries or an orange. Fruit is fruit, and it is so good for you. The vitamins and nutrients in fruit naturally keep you and your immune system healthy.

2. Sleep. Rest. Repeat. Most people need about eight hours of sleep per night. I function better when I get nine, but it’s not always possible. If I get less than seven several nights in a row, it definitely catches up to me. That brings us to rest. On weekends (or whenever I have downtime), I have to allot time for myself to decompress. With our busy lives and jam-packed schedules, it’s easy to let yourself get run down, and that’s when colds and viruses strike. Sometimes you can’t do everything. Learn how to identify your body’s limits and say no when you reach them. Now, I know this advice isn’t an especially feasible if you have a busy social life but it’s all about finding your balance.

3. Stay hydrated with water. Drink lots of it throughout the day. Here’s my daily breakdown: I have a tall glass with breakfast, my big Nalgene throughout the day (32 oz), a tall glass when I get home, one with dinner and one or two more before bed. Some people count tea, juices and such as hydrating, but I say keep it simple. Water is what our body runs on.

4. Wash your hands. I might be borderline OCD on this one, but I swear by having clean hands. When you think about all the things you touch every day, it’s pretty gross. Keyboards, keys, door knobs, remote controls, your trusty phone (eek!). Bacteria lives on everything. Avoid transferring to your insides by washing your hands with antibacterial soap as often as you can. No matter where I’ve been, it’s always the first thing I do when I walk in the door, and I always do it before eating.

That’s it. Four simple tips to keep you on your feet. Of course, mixing in some yoga or your exercise of choice doesn’t hurt, either. Obviously I’m not a doctor, nor can I guarantee that this will work for you like it has for me, but it’s all basic health recommendations so it can’t hurt to give it a try.

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