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The only thing worse than rain on your wedding day? A bad case of wedding day sniffles. These expert-backed tips will keep your immune system strong so you can fight off whatever bugs get sneezed or coughed your way and feel your best on your big day.
Get your shut-eye.
Sleep is perhaps the most important thing you can do to keep your immune system chugging along well. In a well-known study, scientists from Carnegie Mellon squirted cold viruses into a bunch of people's nasal passages and found that those who'd gotten less than 7 hours of sleep a night for two weeks were almost three times more likely to get sick than those who rested for an average of 8 hours or more. You might think you can scrape by on less, but most adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep a night, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
Move your body.
Exercising regularly strengthens your immune system so that your body can better shrug off cold and flu germs. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says we all need at least 2.5 hours a week of moderate aerobic activity like brisk walking (or an hour and a quarter of vigorous aerobics like jogging or running), plus two days a week of strength training. But don't overdo it: Working out too much can do the opposite, wearing you down until you're more likely to get sick.
There's some evidence that friendly bacteria— whether it's from fermented foods like yogurt and kombucha, or supplements— supports a healthy immune system, says Tieraona Low Dog, M.D., director of the integrative medicine fellowship program at the University of Arizona. Much of the research done on probiotics isn't of great quality, but a large Cochrane review of research done in 2011 found that people who took probiotic supplements got nearly half as many flus and colds as those who didn't.