Want to make yourself cold proof this season? Here are the top new prevention tactics and remedies for your cold-fighting battle plan:

  • Relax! A University of Wisconsin study found that relaxing mental exercises, like meditation, can make you less likely to get a cold – and shorten the severity by up to a whopping 60%! That’s because when you’re under stress, your immune system doesn’t react like it should to viral and bacterial infections.

  • It’s time to embrace garlic breath! Growing research shows garlic can prevent colds and shorten the duration of a cold because of its antimicrobial and antiviral properties. But you don’t have to go on a garlic binge! Instead, take a supplement, or crush a clove in a meal once a day.

  • Get under the covers! Sleep boosts your immune system. In fact, a study found that people who slept six hours a night were three times more susceptible to colds than those who got eight hours a night.

  • Keep zinc and vitamin D handy – just in case you do get sick. Research shows that taking zinc the first day nasty symptoms strike reduces their severity and duration. And it’s no coincidence that colds hit hardest during winter – when we get less vitamin D from the sun. And research has found that taking up to a thousand international units of D a day during cold season can reduce your risk and speed recovery.