HomeHealth & Wellness11 Simple Tips for Preventing a Cold or Flu 1. WASH AND DRY YOUR HANDS REGULARLYIt goes without saying that washing your hands with soap and warm water is the most important thing you can do to prevent getting sick. But did you know that drying your hands is just as important? Germs cling to skin more easily when it’s wet. 2. COVER YOUR SNEEZES AND COUGHSBut don’t cover them with your hands. Instead, sneeze into a tissue, or the inside of your elbow. 3. DON’T TOUCH YOUR FACECold and flu viruses enter your body through the eyes, nose and mouth. 4. EXERCISEAerobic exercise speeds up the heart to pump larger quantities of blood and can increase the activity of a type of white blood cell that attacks viruses. 5. EAT GOOD FOODProper nutrition provides the body with the elements it needs to fight the battle. Cut back on sugary and fatty foods, and increase your intake of fruits, vegetables and lean protein. 6. DON’T SMOKEHeavy smokers get more frequent and severe colds, because smoke dries out nasal passages and destroys cilia, the hair-like fibers in your nose that sweep cold and flu viruses out of the nasal passages. 7. CUT OUT ALCOHOL AND INCREASE WATER CONSUMPTIONAlcohol suppresses the part of the immune system that protects you from getting sick and the part that fights germs already in your system. Instead, reach for water, which is especially important to fight the dehydrating effects of dry winter air. Immune system cells need sufficient moisture to work optimally. 8. SMILE AND RELAXResearch has found that happiness, laughter and pleasurable activities boost the immune response. So participate in relaxation practices, such as meditation, and get a massage. 9. GET ADEQUATE SLEEPWhile you sleep your body repairs cells and injuries from a normal dayâ€™s wear and tear. Seven to nine hours of sleep a night allows your body to repair and heal itself and ward off infections. 10. BREAK YOUR GERMY HABITSNo double dipping in the chip and dip bowl. Or biting your fingernails. Or licking your thumb to clean the smudge off your childâ€™s face. 11. SANITIZECertain places are known germ hotspots. Clean and sanitize purse handles, door handles, stair railings, computer keyboards, phones, toothbrushes, restaurant menus, grocery carts, gas pumps and remote controls.