Taking supplements is a great option for keeping your family's immunity strong throughout the winter months. But there are also some simple (and free!) solutions to help increase the defense against cold and flu season. Use these four tips to help your family stay healthy this winter.

1. Keep Moving

The cold and dark days can sometimes force us indoors for long hours. Finding fun ways to incorporate exercise and movement into those days will prepare your body to fight off germs. Gather the family for a dance party, jumping jack contest, or a Saturday morning yoga session. Or simply set a timer and walk laps around the house. Exercise has been linked to many benefits that support immune health, such as flushing out toxins, increasing antibody circulation and lowering stress-related hormones. Just 10 minutes a day can make a difference!

2. Cut Back on Sugar

The holidays bring us an array of sweet treats, but over indulging can hinder our immune system from doing it's job. Sugar competes with vitamin C for the attention of your white blood cells. The more sugar you consume, the less vitamin C can be absorbed by those cells. The result is a weakened defense system. While cutting out sugar all together may not be a choice for everyone, monitoring the amount of sugar your family consumes will be helpful in setting limits. My family's rule: five sweets or less per week during winter months.

3. Embrace Hibernation

Sleep is the time when your body hits it's natural reset button. Getting a healthy amount of sleep, on a regular basis, helps your body to stay strong against germs and infections.

4. Eat Nutrient Dense Foods

Diet plays a huge role in boosting our immunity. Adding vitamin rich foods into your family's diet will help to keep everyone healthy all winter long. Find ways to incorporate orange fruits and vegetables (packed with beta carotene and vitamin A), dark greens (full of vitamin E), and red and pink foods (loaded with vitamin C) into your weekly meals. All of these nutrients help to fight off those nasty viruses and bacteria that make their rounds this time of year.

Don't allow cold and flu season to be a bully! Take control of your family's health this winter.