There’s something really bittersweet about the fall and winter seasons. On one hand, the air is cooler, the leaves are falling and in time, we may even catch a snowfall or two. On the other, that officially marks the beginning of another kind of “season” as well: flu season.

While you may be thinking in your mind, “No problem, I’ll simply get a flu shot”, wouldn’t it be great if you could take other steps to prevent yourself from contracting the virus along with finding a few natural remedies to fight it as well? Below are some tips on how to do just both, because while a shot is “cool”, natural remedies can prove to be even better.

Ways to Prevent the Flu

We all know the saying: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” It’s definitely words to live by when it comes to taking preventative measures to keep the flu virus at bay. Some great precautionary measures that you can incorporate into your daily routine include washing your hands with soap and warm water (especially after sneezing and coughing), keeping your hands off of your face, using a tissue to cover your nose and mouth when you do sneeze or cough (and immediately throwing the tissue into the trash afterwards) and keeping a safe physical distance from people who are sick (especially if they have a fever).

Ways to Fight the Flu

Of course, sometimes life happens and we end up getting the flu, anyway. A traditional way of fighting the flu is to set up an appointment with your doctor or health care practitioner so that they can prescribe some antiviral medications (and honestly, if you’ve been sick for an extended period of time, you should probably see your doctor just to be on the extremely safe side). However, even a physician or doctor of pharmacy will tell you that there are some things that you can do at home to combat the virus too.

Three of the most important things that you can do are to eat well, drink plenty of fluids (to flush out the toxins within your body) and to get plenty of sleep. When you have the flu, that is definitely not an optimal time to load up on sweets. You need as many vitamins and minerals as possible, which brings us to the second point. Vitamin C and zinc are both great for building up your immune system while garlic serves as a natural antioxidant, so those are definitely vitamins that you’ll want to add more into your diet during this time.

Also, as much as you may not feel like doing it, exercise is another way to get kick your body’s defense system into overdrive. You may be too physically drained for a full workout session, but if you can walk on your treadmill for a good ten minutes, it can make all of the difference in the world.

And finally, don’t forget to keep some Lysol nearby. A lot of people find themselves having the flu for a longer period of time than they ever should and it’s because they keep exchanging germs with people in their home and office. So, make sure to periodically spray the air around you throughout the day and to keep some antibacterial wipes well within your reach. You (and everyone around you) will be glad that you did.