When it comes to seasonal illnesses, there are none more dreaded than the flu. With aches and pains, a high fever, and an upset stomach, the flu can leave you feeling your worst. In fact, about 200,000 Americans are hospitalized because of flu complications each year. Because of this, it’s important to do everything you can to protect you and your family from one of the worst common illnesses. To help you keep your family health in top shape, consider following a few of these tips.

Get enough sleep: Without sufficient sleep, your immune system will begin to weaken. Sleep allows your body to refresh and rejuvenate itself. Everyday wear and tear can take a serious toll on your body if it doesn’t have time to repair itself. So because of that, getting enough sleep is one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself against illnesses.

Soak up the sun: If you spend a good amount of time indoors in artificial lighting, this will begin to affect your immune system. Your body needs plenty of vitamin D in order to have a properly functioning immune system. While too much sunlight is bad for your body, it’s important to allow your body to soak up a little bit of sunshine each day.

Wash those hands: While this may seem like an obvious suggestion, diligent hand washing is crucial to keeping your family health in check this flu season. Most infections are spread through sneezing, coughing, and touching surfaces. If you come into contact with the flu virus and then touch your face, there’s a good chance you’ll get sick. So before eating or drinking and after touching shared surfaces, it’s important to get some suds on your hands.

Stay active: Regular exercise can help increase the activity of white blood cells responsible for attacking viruses. So not only does your overall health benefit from exercise, but your immune system does too. Furthermore, regular stress can weaken the immune system. And because exercise relieves stress, that’s yet another reason to get active on a regular basis.

Drink plenty of water: In order to maintain its normal functions, your body requires water. Because you lose water through breathing, digestion, and sweating, it’s important to rehydrate by drinking a good amount of water every day. This is especially important if you live in a dry climate or work out a lot. Your immune system cells require water to work, so drink up.

Unfortunately, even when you do everything right, you can still get sick. So if you or your children do catch the flu, it’s important to find quick help. An urgent healthcare facility can offer quick and efficient family health care that you can feel good about.