It's that time of year again- time to bust out the fall clothes, watch the leaves change, curl up on the couch with the family watching Sunday afternoon football, and break out the pumpkins and scarecrows. The last thing that anyone wants to worry about is getting sick. Now, you may not be able to rid of colds and sniffles completely, but by taking extra precautions and practicing good hygiene, you can keep them to a bare minimum.

  • Justin Sullivan, Getty Images
    Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

    Get a Flu Vaccine

    Getting a flu shot is the most effective way to prevent flu this fall season. Head to your doctor early on in flu season (as soon as the vaccine is available) and get yourself vaccinated. And while the vaccine can't rid of any chance of catching the flu. You may still get sick but it will drastically lessen the severity and duration of the symptoms.

  • Sathi Sen, Flickr
    Sathi Sen, Flickr

    Wash Your Hands

    The most simple and obvious way to stop the spread of germs this season is to wash your hands. When you go to the bathroom, before and after eating, basically anytime you do something that could cause/receive germs, wash your hands. You should also keep a bottle of hand sanitizer around. This is one of the smallest yet effective ways to prevent spreading germs.

  • myheart4him, Flickr
    myheart4him, Flickr

    Wipe Down Areas With Germs

    A recent study looked for viruses on school classroom surfaces and found that the flu virus was found on 50 percent of surfaces. Take an extra few minutes at home or at work to wipe down surfaces where germs are most likely: light switches, door knobs, phones, remotes, etc.

  • Dmitry Mordolff, Flickr
    Dmitry Mordolff, Flickr

    Drink Plenty of Fluids

    By fluids I don't mean a lot of sodas, tea, or sugar. You should drink a whole lot of water. Keeping hydrated helps can boost a particular immune response to help your body fight viruses better. You should aim to drink about 6-8 glasses a day.

  • lululemon athletica, Flickr
    lululemon athletica, Flickr

    Exercise, Exercise, Exercise

    Not only does exercising keep you feeling great and in shape, it also helps boost your immune system. The more fit and in shape you are, the healthier your body is, and the more immunity you grow to catching viruses. Exercising is good for your body in many other ways, not just preventing sickness, so you should exercise year round!

  • culinary artisan, Flickr
    culinary artisan, Flickr

    Eat Healthy Foods

    A healthy diet consisting of a lot of fruits, veggies, protein, and carbohydrates are key to having good nutrition and staying healthy, which in turn will boost your immune system.

  • kendal7, Flickr
    kendal7, Flickr

    Get Plenty of Sleep

    Getting enough sleep at night is vital to proper immune function. We all know life can be crazy, but to obtain a healthy body and protect against viruses you need to get a good amount of zzzz's.

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