Nobody likes getting sick, especially during a time where spreadable illnesses are more present than ever. Luckily, there are ways that people can prevent themselves from getting colds. Here are five things that anyone can do to prevent themselves from getting sick:

1. Get Enough Sleep. Most people don’t know that getting enough sleep is an important part of keeping a good immune system and not catching colds. Interestingly enough, people who have been exposed to viruses are better able to fight them off if they have been getting enough sleep regularly. This is because the immune system is strengthened through good quality sleep and is then better able to fight off any harmful germs that the body encounters. If a typical adult wants to prevent themselves from catching colds as often, they should get a good night’s sleep of at least 8 hours every day.

2. Take Vitamins. Vitamins help the body to function at its best and fight off viruses and infections when encountered. This is especially true of vitamin D, which can help support a strong immune system. Helen Schifter takes many vitamins to protect herself from getting sick and finds that it really does work! People can get a good range of vitamins by eating fruits and vegetables and by getting out in the sunlight for a little every day.

3. Washing Hands Regularly. People who wash their hands regularly are also at much less of a risk to catching colds. Washing hands gets rid of any germs which can easily be spread to the nose or mouth or to other people around. Hand washing should be prioritized by everyone especially in times where infectious illnesses are present. Hand sanitizer is a good alternative for when there are no sinks around and is good to carry around for on-the-go use.

4. Eat Healthy. Eating healthy foods is another great way to prevent colds and sickness. A good diet should consist of plenty of vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, fruit, nuts and seeds, and enough water. Food is what fuels the body and is the energy behind the body’s immune system so without eating healthy foods the body isn’t as capable of fighting off bacteria and harmful germs. Avoiding processed foods, fast food, and foods with high amounts of sugar are also important in protecting the body from getting sick.

5. Don’t Drink Alcohol. Alcohol is not a great idea for anyone who is looking to protect themselves from getting a cold. Drinking alcohol especially to excessive amounts weakens the body’s immune system and hinders the body from being able to get good quality sleep. People are much more likely to catch a cold if they are drinking or have recently drank alcohol. Additionally, vaccines are sometimes less effective for people with alcohol addiction.

Helen Schifter wants to remind us that not catching colds mainly has to do with one’s ability to take care of their body so it can perform its natural immune response against anything harmful that comes its way. With these five steps, anyone can be much more healthy and less likely to get sick.