9. Get vaccinated
Though the annual flu shot is only about 80 percent effective, it’s still one of the best defences we’ve got, says Dr. Pierre Plourde, medical officer of health with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. Some fear that because the flu vaccine contains several influenza strains in one shot, it can actually tax the immune system—but don’t worry. “Your immune system has a phenomenal capacity,” he says. Up to eight million Canadians are infected by the flu every year, resulting in an average of 20,000 hospitalizations and 4,000 deaths (often the elderly and very young). The shot’s benefits, says Plourde, far outweigh the risks.