No matter your level of affinity for pumpkin spice and slouchy sweaters, we can all agree there鈥檚 one thing autumn brings with it each year that no one likes: cold season. With our swimsuits and flip-flops now stuffed in the backs of our closets, the question of how to avoid those dreaded sick days has moved to the front of our minds. Luckily for us, many day-to-day habits can help us stay healthy without us even realizing. Read on to find out how you can boost your immune system by basically just living your life!

Two friends laugh and hug

1.聽Laugh.聽Turns out being not-so-serious can have serious benefits for聽your immune system. Laughter reduces stress levels within the body and stimulates white blood cells into fighting infection. So keep watching those reruns of The Office or listening to Chelsea Handler鈥檚 stand-up routines, because apparently laughter really is some of the best medicine.

2.聽Foster friendships.聽Friends 鈥 they enable your shopping addiction, indulge your obsession with The Bachelor, and, last but not least, keep your immune system strong. Say what?! Much like laughing, maintaining meaningful social connections decreases your levels of stress, which in turn positively affects your immune system. Essentially, people who feel a strong sense of community have stronger immunity than those who do not.

3.聽Exercise.聽As if we needed another reason to stick to our New Year鈥檚 resolution, exercising 鈥 even moderate activities such as walking for an extended period of time 鈥 can improve the body鈥檚 immune system through聽its indirect effects. By improving circulation, helping normalize sleep patterns, and contributing to general good health, exercise is a real savior when it comes to staving off sickness.

4.聽Drink tea.聽Green and black teas are bursting with disease-fighting antioxidants that can build up your resistance to colds. So, yep, even your Teavana Shaken Pineapple Black Tea Infusion from Starbucks is, in its own way, helping you stay healthy. (Pro tip: If you鈥檙e already under the weather, stick to hot tea. Its steam can reduce congestion, and the warmth will soothe your throat.)

5.聽Eat lots of different foods.聽What do yogurt, granola, and kiwi all have in common (besides being the makings of a bomb breakfast parfait)? They all actively improve your immune system. The cultures in yogurt combat disease-causing germs. The oats of granola boost immunity, as well as the effectiveness of antibiotics. And the vitamin C in kiwi boosts white blood cells, which your body uses to fight off infections. In addition, a slew of other foods you probably already regularly eat produce similar end results 鈥斅爄ncluding chicken, almonds, and citrus fruits. Keeping variety in your diet will ensure you get the maximum benefits.

What steps are you taking to stay healthy as cold weather approaches? Share your tips with us @BritandCo!

(Photo via Getty)