Fighting the flu, or preventing it from spreading to you or others, includes a simple, tactical plan — adopting healthy habits and boosting your immune system. Check out our flu-fighting tips — or “life hacks” — to help you thrive during flu season and beyond.

Let’s give your immune system a boost to help fight the flu!

What is influenza (flu)?

To understand why we need to fight it, let’s first define it. Influenza (flu) is an infection caused by a virus that makes you feel very sick, often with fever, headache, body aches and coughing. In other words, it can make you miserable and even cause other health complications.

Doesn’t my body naturally boost my immune system? 

The immune system is the body’s natural defense system that helps fight off viruses and bacteria to protect you from getting sick. The immune system recognizes a foreign substance (such as a virus or bacteria) as potentially harmful and sends antibodies (proteins made by the immune system) to destroy it.

Where to Get Your Flu Shot


Your local retail pharmacy or community flu clinic.

Other locations near you:

Think of the immune system like the inner workings of a car or truck. When you keep a vehicle running well with healthy habits by taking it for regular oil changes and tune-ups, keeping the air in the tires and getting parts replaced when they wear out — you get the idea — it runs at peak performance. That’s what we should aim for with our immune systems – to keep them running at peak performance by boosting them with healthy lifestyle habits.

Immune-boosting life hacks

  1. Eat healthy. Look for foods rich in nutrients like Vitamins A, C and E which can help your body fight off illness. Think of red and orange fruits and green, leafy vegetables. Vitamin D, which is found in fatty fish and milk, also gives a boost. In addition to healthy nutrients, talk with your health care provider before adding any supplements to ensure there are no medication or health condition interactions.
  2. Exercise. Use exercise as a tool in your immune system’s arsenal to fight the flu! As long as approved by your health care provider, you should get at least 30 minutes of moderate cardio like walking, biking, jogging, swimming or running at least five times per week. Aim for 150 active minutes each week.
  3. Wash your hands. Don’t take this simple gesture for granted. Washing hands saves lives. Not sure you’re washing them long enough? Sing a tune in your head (or out loud) while washing for 20 seconds. The chorus of “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees or “Take on Me” by A-ha will cover you.
  4. Sleep well. People who don’t get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after exposure to a virus, such as the flu. Getting plenty of sleep helps prevent the flu since it helps sustain the functioning of your immune system. When your immune system is more robust, you will feel less fatigue.
  5. Get sunshine. Vitamin D reduces infections such as the flu, and you’ll get more of it by getting more sunlight. Vitamin D helps the immune system fight off bacteria and viruses, like the influenza virus. Don’t forget your sunscreen and yes, you will still get Vitamin D from the sun while wearing sunscreen!
  6. Drink more water. Staying hydrated helps keep mucus membranes of your nasal passages moist so they can catch viruses before they invade your body. It also helps flush out toxins and keep your immune system running smoothly.
  7. Avoid alcohol and cigarettes. Over time, alcohol can weaken the immune system. Smoking can make the body less successful at fighting disease and increases the risk of immune system problems.
  8. Get the flu vaccination. The flu vaccination has historically been the best way to reduce the risk of seasonal flu and its potentially serious complications each year. The CDC has recommended everyone six months and older receive the flu vaccination, especially those ages 65 and older.

Flu Vaccine Finder

Schedule your vaccines with a ChristianaCare primary care provider here or call 302-777-0643.

To find out where you can receive your flu vaccination at ChristianaCare visit Get Your Flu Shot. You can also receive your flu shot at local retail pharmacies, community flu clinics and other locations. To locate other flu vaccine options near you, check out

Learn more about enjoying a healthy lifestyle, flu vaccinations and so much more by scheduling a primary care appointment today. Connect online with Dr. Steven Breslow’s staff at ChristianaCare Primary Care at West Grove or call 610-806-5450. For other primary care locations, visit us online or call us at 302-777-0643 and we’ll be happy to help.