We are soon coming up on the best time of year. When leaves turn brilliant fall colors, sweaters come out of storage, and boots make their first appearance. However, it's also the time of year where you are more likely to get sick. In fact, a Yale study uncovered that there is a direct connection between chilly weather and catching a cold. 

Looking to fight that seasonal virus so you can actually ring in the New Year without sneezing or sniffling? We have five ways for you to avoid colds this winter season that are sure to make you less of a Grinch this holiday season.

1) Wash your hands. A lot.

This may sound like an obvious solution, but this is one of the most effective ways to fight germs you encounter throughout the day. Washing your hands before and after you come into contact with someone sick, before and after making food, and after using the toilet are just a few of the scenarios when you should wash your hands. Not near soap and water? Get hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

2) Get exercise.

It may sound counterintuitive, but by getting a regular work out in, you may be reducing the odds of catching a cold. According to a recent study by the British Journal of Sports Medicine, people who exercised about five days a week experienced fewer days of illness than those who worked out only one day a week or less. So get out those running shoes and get started on your start your resolution early if you want to chase away illnesses this winter.

3) Get plenty of rest.

It may sound like another obvious tip, but getting more sleep will definitely improve your chances of fighting a cold. While this is a busier time of year for a lot of people, make sure you are getting at least seven hours of shut-eye each night. Stress can have an impact on how well you are feeling and sleep is an excellent way to reduce that impact.

4) Eat more fruits and vegetables.

This is a tough time of year to add more salad to your diet. But if you can sneak in the extra apple and celery stick, you are likely reducing your chances of getting sick. Adding more of this food group into your diet means you are getting essential nutrients that boost your immune system which fights colds and illnesses. So in between the chocolate bar during Halloween and pies over Thanksgiving, give broccoli a chance.

5) Stay home if you don't feel good.

While this may be easier said than done, if you are experiencing cold symptoms or generally feeling under the weather, your best chances for getting over the common cold is to stay home. You are reducing the number of germs you are spreading as well as the number of germs you are exposed to. So put your feet up, drink tea, and get some rest if you aren't feeling well this winter.