Illness Prevention

As fall and winter roll in, the chance of getting sick drastically increases. Whether it’s a cold, the flu, or bronchitis, wouldn’t it be nice to avoid feeling like garbage this cold rainy season? There are several different things you can do to help support your immune system and hopefully prevent getting sick.

First and foremost, a healthy lifestyle will go a long way towards illness prevention. A poor diet and lack of exercise puts you at risk for other diseases that lower your immunity and rob your body of important nutrients necessary to prevent infections. Healthy living strategies include:

  • Eat a healthy diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins
  • Stop smoking
  • Exercise regularly (at least 150 minutes/week of moderate intensity exercise or 75 minutes/week vigorous intensity exercise)
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Control your blood pressure
  • Alcohol in moderation
  • Get adequate sleep
  • Get regular medical screenings appropriate for your age group and risk category
  • Infection Avoidance Steps:
    • Wash hands frequently
    • Fully cook meats
    • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze
    • Wash and bandage all cuts
    • Don’t share dishes, glasses or eating utensils

Taking a high quality multi-vitamin and mineral supplement can also be helpful. There is some evidence in animal studies that deficiencies in vitamins A, B6, C, and E, selenium, iron, copper, and folic acid can alter immune function although more research in humans is needed. A multi-vitamin and mineral supplement can also be extremely helpful to make sure you have adequate nutrients if you don’t like certain foods, such as vegetables. The elderly are more susceptible to nutrient deficiencies so a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement is very important in this age group.


Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, Center for Disease Control. (2016, November 29). Current Physical Activity Guidelines. Retrieved October 27, 2017, from

Harvard Health Publishing. (2013, August). How to prevent infections. Retrieved October 27, 2017, from

Harvard Health Publishing. (2014, September). How to boost your immune system. Retrieved October 27, 2017, from