Winter is on the horizon, but frigid temps and icy roads aren’t the only things you’ll need to survive this year. Along with blizzards and bonfires, winter also brings cold and flu season – and this year, Covid-19.

While these illnesses are highly contagious and infect millions of people each year, you shouldn’t resign yourself to the dreaded fever and fatigue just yet. A preventative approach can help protect your family from illness and safeguard your health all season long – and it starts with these seven strategies.

Get Vaccinated.

Vaccinations are the number-one way to safeguard against viruses like the flu and Covid-19. These vaccines are widely available in pharmacies and health clinics across the country, often for little or no charge. Although no medication is without risk, vaccines are considered safe for most people and studies have shown that the benefits far outweigh any potential side effects.

Wash your hands well (and often).

Most infections stem from touching an infected surface, so you should pay particular attention to good hand hygiene. Wash your hands with soap and water frequently, especially before eating, after shaking someone’s hand, and anytime you use the restroom. Remember to wash for at least 20 seconds, or the time it takes to sing through “Happy Birthday” twice.

Avoid touching your face.

When you’re on-the-go, try to touch your face as little as possible. Doing so gives germs a free ride to your nose, mouth, and eyes (then onward into your body). If you have to touch your face, wash your hands or apply an alcohol-based sanitizer first.

Clean common surfaces.

The common surfaces in your home are often coated in germs (yuck). While you may stay on top of the floors and furniture, most people overlook surfaces like doorknobs, faucets, remote controls, refrigerator handles, and even kitchen counters. During cold and flu season, disinfect these areas regularly to get rid of germs.

Get enough sleep.

Getting enough sleep is great for your overall health, but it’s especially important for your immune system. You don’t function well when you’re running on fumes! Experts recommend that adults sleep for 8-10 hours every night, so practice good sleep hygiene and stock up on your zzz’s during cold and flu season.

Stay active.

Working out regularly does wonders for the body, especially when it comes to fighting infections. Studies have shown that people who are physically active are less likely to fall victim to viruses like cold and flu, especially if they exercise outdoors. Aim to spend 30 minutes every day doing moderate activities like walking, hiking, or yoga.

Stay away from people that are sick.

You knew “keep your distance” was coming. If you have to venture out, stay at least six feet away from other people and avoid crowded areas. You should also protect others by staying home if you aren’t feeling well.