PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Christmas season not only brings along holiday cheer, but also all sorts of viruses.

CBS 3’s Stephanie Stahl reports it happens a lot because of all the festivities and people get worn out, but doctors say there are ways to fight off holiday bugs.

Research has shown that an increase in the stress hormone called cortisol can weaken our immune systems and make it easier for us to get sick.

In addition to good hand washing and getting plenty of sleep, experts say exercise, especially yoga, can help keep you healthy this holiday season.

“The idea of practicing yoga helps us to build the immune system with our breath, with that awareness, by calming that stress response and that alone helps us to stay so much healthier,” said Judi Bar, a yoga specialist at Cleveland Clinic.

She says in addition to lowering stress levels, yoga movement actually helps pump lymphatic fluid through our systems, which helps the body rid itself of toxins and waste.

In addition to the physical benefits, yoga can help with other habits that help fight off illness.

“It also causes us to be more mindful so that we’ll remember to drink more water, or that we will eat healthier, or that we will end up getting our cardiovascular exercise to keep us healthy and strong,” said Bar.

If you’re not into yoga, doctors say any kind of exercise, even walking, will help boost your immune system to keep you healthy through the holiday season and all the togetherness.