The groundhog predicts three more weeks until spring, but we’re going to ignore him for a second. Getting sick can happen overnight, so get healthy now!

Put down the cocoa and grab a glass of water.

It keeps your immune system strong, reduces dry, itchy skin and hair during the winter months and (not to mention) it’s FREE – the golden word – wherever you dine. Water energizes your muscles, so hit the gym while you’re at it during these lazy months.

Tip: Your body is 60% water, so drinking 8 glasses of water a day shouldn’t only apply to the summertime. If you need flavor, then you’re in luck! There’s a tea bag for that.

Eat your fruits, don’t drink them.

Photo by Bari Blanga

Juices taste great, but they’re high in calories. No to mention, many nutrients are lost in the juice-making process. Next time you go to the store, stop by the produce section rather than the juice aisle.

Tip: Many citrus fruit ripen best during the winter. Stock up on oranges, mandarins, grapefruit, lemons and kiwi.

Stop munching on chemicals.

Boost Immune System

Photo by Bari Blanga

We dismiss information like “artificially colored or flavored” because it’s what we’ve seen since we were children. These foods are just highly processed chemical mixtures aimed to taste like something that already exists out there.

Tip: Eat the real thing, not the chemical playing dress-up.

Reality check: Protein isn’t only meat.

Boost Immune System

Photo by Bari Blanga

Somehow everyone thinks that the word “protein” applies solely to meat, yet there’s protein in far more foods than people assume. Being healthy means everything in moderation. Don’t over-consume.

Tip: Protein is found in meats, poultry, fish, tofu, eggs, beans, nuts, dairy (frozen yogurt anyone?) and in some fruit and vegetables.

De-stress by sleeping.

“Good grades, social life and sleep. Pick two in college.” Know that saying? Pick sleep as one of your choices. Time and time again, sleep has been proven to lower stress levels, strengthen the immune system, improve memory and creativity, boost overall performance and lengthen the lifespan. Who doesn’t want to live longer?

Tip: Cut back on caffeine and just sleep, please.

In a nutshell, ignore the groundhog. Keep your immune system strong for the last stretch of winter. Don’t wait until spring. Get healthy now.