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Six great ways to stay healthy

smiling african american mother and daughter looking at cookbook together in kitchenAre you looking for ways to boost your immune system and protect yourself from getting sick? Here are some simple —yet highly effective — ways to stay healthy:

Wash your hands. You’ve heard this many times, but it bears repeating. Frequent hand washing is critical. Aim for a 20-second hand wash before eating and touching your face and after touching a contaminated surface and using the restroom. Use hand sanitizer after touching any public things or places, such as pens, doorknobs, handrails or elevator buttons. Most people don’t wash their hands long enough ( for the recommended 20 seconds) or thoroughly enough. Here’s how and when to wash your hands.

Stay hydrated. You may not feel thirsty, but you still need to drink enough water. How much is enough? Check out this guide for how much water you should try to drink each day.

Get exercise. Research shows that moderate exercise year-round can help prevent sickness by providing a boost to the immune system. Even small amounts of moderate exercise — such as walking — can help ward off colds and the flu. Exercise outside and you also can get some Vitamin D, which also has been shown in studies to boost your immune system.

Get enough sleep. Many people don’t get enough sleep. Yet adequate sleep can actually help your body fight against common sicknesses. Turn off the electronics at least one hour before bedtime and create a soothing bedtime ritual.

Get a new toothbrush. When was the last time you replaced your toothbrush? It’s always a good idea to replace your toothbrush regularly, especially after you’ve been sick.

Try to stay positive. Believe it or not, our thoughts play a major role in how we feel and how our bodies function. Taking time to relax and do things you enjoy is an important part of staying healthy and happy.

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