It’s time to get ready for work or school, but your body aches so much you feel like a rickety old house. On top of that, you wake up with a headache and a congested nose.

You’re not alone.

It seems like everyone is battling this sickness. Some are already sick and taking offensive measures to fight it off. Others are being defensive and trying to avoid it.

Whether you’re trying to get better or trying to prevent getting sick, the rules for good health are the same. Most of the things needed for good health are the same things we learned in kindergarten or from our moms. For those of you who need a reminder, here is a quick list of ways to fight viruses.

Wash your hands frequently. You touch a lot of things throughout the day: food, clothes, pens, your face, your hair — the list goes on and on. It is important you wash your hands frequently and kill all those icky germs that may be hiding on the things you come in contact with. Don’t forget to use soap, although hand sanitizer works, too.

Drink plenty of water. Your body needs lots of liquids to flush the viruses out of your system. You should be making more trips to the bathroom than a pregnant lady. When you’re tired of water you can switch it up with orange juice, which contains lots of vitamin C. Sorry, soda lovers, you’ll just have to save it for later. Water is better for your hair, complexion and overall health anyway.

Exercise. This applies more to those who are on the defensive end of the fight. As everyone knows, exercise boosts your immune system. It also helps to clear your airways and clean you out. However, if you are sick, stay home and in bed. You can exercise when you’re feeling better.

Get plenty of sleep. Now is not the time to be partying until 2 in the morning. Your body needs sleep. It’s your best weapon. Go to sleep early. If you are sick, do everyone a favor and stay home from work or school and sleep. No one wants sick germs. Sometimes getting sick is the body's way of saying, “Slow down. Take it easy. Don’t kill yourself.”

Eat right. As much as you may want to skimp out on meals, don’t forget to give your body the nutrition it needs. Eat well-rounded meals. If you need to, buy and take daily vitamin supplements. Vitamin C is going to be your best friend when you have a cold, along with some vitamin D. Vitamin C is commonly found in citrus fruits and sauerkraut. Good sources of vitamin D are milk and the sun, so get outside if the chance comes along.

Stay clean. Shower or soak in a bath. Mothers commonly prescribe a warm bath with Epsom salt for sick children. A steamy atmosphere can work wonders for a congested nose. Your body and everyone around you will thank you.

We’ve heard this advice since pre-school, and it’s just as true now as it was then. There are many claims about cures for a cold; the truth is that there is no cure, but you can use these tips to build a good defensive system and, if by chance you do get sick, you can use these same tips to help speed up the recovery.