As the temperatures drop it becomes harder and harder to avoid those winter time colds. These tested tips for fighting colds can help you stay healthy all season long.

1. Meditate: In addition to the psychological benefits, meditation can be a great way to ward off colds during the winter. When you meditate, you reduce stress while enhancing your immune system.  If you feel like a cold coming on, meditation can actually be an effective way to fully avoid it.

2. Exercise: Research has shown that moderate exercise — 30 to 90 minutes most days of the week — increases immune function and reduces your chances of catching a cold. It boosts blood flow so that the immune cells circulate throughout the body. However, if you are already feeling under the weather, make sure you listen to your body and know when to rest.

3. Wash (and dry!) your hands often: Cleaning your hands frequently—especially after touching anyone or anything that may be germy—is key to defending yourself against cold and flu viruses. But drying hands thoroughly is just as important, because germs cling to your skin more easily when it’s wet.

4. Get Enough Sleep: Your immune system needs rest to keep you healthy. Getting at least seven hours of shut eye is the easiest way to steer clear of the common cold. To make bedtime even more healthful, try using a protective pillow cover that can help prevent a stuffy, runny nose.

5.  Drink Enough Water: The right amount of water will help get your heart pumping your blood more effectively. Water can help your blood transport oxygen and other essential nutrients to your cells and help in sickness prevention and recovery.