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Due to the spread of COVID-19 and the upcoming flu season, it is important to maintain our health and our immune system to the best of our abilities.

According to the Harvard Health Publishing website, the consumer health education division of Harvard Medical School, boosting our immune system sounds like a great idea but, for it to function well, we must have balance and harmony.

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An overall healthy lifestyle is key to a healthy immune system. Here are some healthy-living strategies to help maintain a strong immune system:

Exercise Regularly: This means aiming for at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity activity, including cardiovascular and strength training. That’s about 20 minutes per day to break it down.

Eat a Healthy Whole Food Diet: Increase your intake of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds daily; these are high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals.

Maintain a Healthy Weight: Aim for a body mass index (BMI) below 25.

Get Quality Sleep Regularly: Adults should aim for at least seven hours of sleep per night and teens eight to 10 hours nightly.

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Find Ways to Reduce Stress: Ideas include practicing meditation, going for a walk, keeping a journal, practicing yoga or talking to a loved one.

Quit Smoking: Ask your doctor about ways to quit.

Drink Alcohol in Moderation: Women should have no more than one drink per day and men should have no more than two drinks per day.

Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19 is to:

• Wash hands often
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick and maintain social distance
• Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others
• Cover coughs and sneezes
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily
• Monitor your daily health

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Bridgette Bostic, R.D.N., is the community nutrition educator in the Tevis Center for Wellness