"Five tips to stay at your healthy best"

Maintaining a healthy immune system is vital for keeping up with our busy, multitasking lives. Here's how to take care of yours.

From the morning meeting to the school run, we've all got so much to do these days that getting ill can really put a spanner in the works.

That's why maintaining a strong immune system is so important for keeping up with the demands of everyday life. But junk food, eaten on the go, stress and pollutants can all put our immune system under pressure, making it more likely that we'll succumb to any bugs that are going around.

So how can we help it stay at its best? Try following this guide to taking care of your immune system - so it can take care of you.

Keep in good shape

Exercise is one of the keys to healthy living. It improves your heart and circulation, lowers blood pressure and protects against several diseases. And by keeping your body strong, you can also increase its chances of fighting off infection.

Experts recommend exercising hard enough so that your heart beats faster for 20 minutes, three times a week for better health.

Need some ideas on creating a workout? Take a look at some of our suggestions.

Sleep tight

Struggling through the day tired from an interrupted night's sleep is associated with a host of health problems, from heart disease and high blood pressure to obesity and diabetes. And when your body's run down, it can't fend off germs as well.

Try to cut down on caffeine near bedtime, turn off your electronic devices an hour before bed and give yourself time to wind down at the end of the day. That way you'll give yourself the best chance of getting your full eight hours.

For further advice, check out our 11 steps to the best night's sleep ever.

Chill out

Finding ways to de-stress a few times a week - from yoga to relaxing baths - allows your body to wind down. Stress is part of everyday life, but what matters most is how you handle it.

Even something as simple as deep, conscious breathing can dramatically lessen the effects of stress. And that means less pressure on your body's defences, so they can concentrate on protecting you from infection.

Do things in moderation

Limiting drinking and avoiding smoking are part of a healthy lifestyle too. As well as increasing your risk of illnesses such as heart disease, both nicotine and alcohol make your immune system more sluggish, so you're more likely to pick up coughs and colds. Cutting out tobacco and drinking in moderation can help your immune system fight back.

Eat right

A diet high in fruits, vegetables and whole grains - and low in saturated fat - is always best. Aim to fill half of your plate with colourful fruits and veggies at every meal.

You can find out which ones boost your immune system the most with our guide to superfoods.

Top up your vitamins

Don't be shy of getting help from a supplement - even top chefs do it. "As work can get hectic and I often have irregular sleep hours and meals, I carry supplements with me to support my immune system," says Australian celebrity chef George Calombaris, who is a fan of Swisse Immune + Elderberry.

Look for supplements that contain a variety of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins C, zinc and copper. These key nutrients work to help support the normal function of the immune system, while vitamin C and magnesium also help to maintain energy levels and reduce tiredness and fatigue.

Make sure to choose a supplement specially designed for immune health and formulated based on scientific evidence. For example, supplements containing high doses of zinc can hinder your body's absorption of copper. So it's important to choose a supplement that contains enough copper in its formula to ensure you absorb the minimum recommended amount.

Keeping your life in balance and taking these good-health guidelines to heart can help maintain a healthy immune system and a healthier you.

What are your tips for staying tip-top? Let us know in the comments section below.