This time of year seems to be the season for the common cold to reek havoc on our daily lives! Although there are no known cures for the cold or flu, there are ways we can prevent or avoid getting sick. Here are 11 Natural tips you can implement during cold and flu season...

1.) Wash your hands - Most cold and flu viruses are spread by direct contact. If a sick person sneezes into their hand and then touches the telephone, the door knob or keyboard, the germs are left behind -- which can live for hours and in some cases weeks! So wash your hands as often as you can. If no sink is available, rub your hands together very hard for a minute or two. That will help break up the cold germs. You can also use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer on your hands.

2.) Don't cover your sneezes and coughs with your hands - Because germs and viruses cling to your bare hands, muffling coughs and sneezes with your hands actually causes the germs to be spread to others. When you feel a sneeze or cough coming, use a tissue, then throw it away immediately. If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into the inside of your elbow or arm.

3.) Don't touch your face - Cold and flu viruses enter your body through the eyes, nose, or mouth. Touching their faces is the major way children catch colds, and a key way they pass colds on to their parents.

4.) Drink plenty of fluids - Water flushes out your system, washing away the poisons as it re-hydrates you. A typical, healthy adult needs eight 8-ounce glasses of fluids each day (or 64 fluid ounces total). How can you tell if you're getting enough liquid? If the color of your urine runs close to clear, you're getting enough. If it's deep yellow, you need more fluids.

5.) Take a sauna - Researchers aren't clear about the exact role saunas play in prevention, but one 1989 German study found that people who steamed twice a week got half as many colds as those who didn't. One theory: When you take a sauna you inhale air hotter than 80 degrees, a temperature too hot for cold and flu viruses to survive.

6.) Do aerobic exercise regularly - Aerobic exercise speeds up the heart to pump larger quantities of blood, which makes you breathe faster to help transfer oxygen from your lungs to your blood and makes you sweat once your body heats up. These exercises help increase the body's natural virus-killing cells.

7.) Eat foods containing Phytochemicals - "Phyto" means plants, and the natural chemicals in plants give the vitamins in food a supercharged boost. So, although you may be diligent about taking your daily vitamins, a healthy dose of dark green, red, and yellow vegetables and fruits are an important part of staying healthy all year long.

8.) Eat yogurt - Some studies have shown that eating a daily cup of low-fat yogurt can reduce your susceptibility to colds by 25%. Researchers think the beneficial bacteria in yogurt may stimulate production of immune system substances that fight disease.

9.) Don't smoke - Statistics show that heavy smokers get more severe colds and more frequent ones. Even being around smoke profoundly zaps the immune system. Smoke dries out your nasal passages and paralyzes cilia. These are the delicate hairs that line the mucous membranes in your nose and lungs, and with their wavy movements, sweep cold and flu viruses out of the nasal passages. Experts contend that one cigarette can paralyze cilia for as long as 30 to 40 minutes.

10.) Limit alcohol consumption - Heavy alcohol use suppresses the immune system in a variety of ways. Heavier drinkers are more prone to initial infections as well as secondary complications. Alcohol also dehydrates the body -- it actually causes more fluid loss from your system than it puts in.

11.) Relax - If you can teach yourself to relax, you can activate your immune system on demand. There's evidence that when you put your relaxation skills into action, your interleukins increase in the bloodstream. Interleukins are the leaders in the immune system response against cold and flu viruses. Train yourself to picture an image you find pleasant or calming. You can start with a little as 2 or 3 minutes a day and work yourself up to 10 minutes and eventually to 30 minutes per day. Relaxation is a learnable skill, but it is not doing nothing. People who try to relax, but are in fact bored, show no changes in blood chemicals. So think of "relaxation" as a healthy way of keeping your immune system in good shape!