Sometimes, it feels like each new day brings another threat to our health.

Getting lost in the headlines because of the swine flu panic is a report on the rise of powerful new superbugs responsible for deadly pneumonia cases.

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections – and that's a mouthful, so we can call it MRSA for short – have been increasingly common in hospitals in recent years.

But now they're starting to appear out in the community, according to a study published in Lancet Infectious Diseases in May. And that is truly troubling, because it means these superbugs may be present in the places we live, work, eat and play.

These MRSA infections can manifest themselves in a number of ways, especially when they're acquired in hospitals. Some people suffer from boils. But others can suffer from severe infections of the blood and lungs, and at surgery sites.

The one thing they have in common: They're very difficult to treat. In most cases, it takes intravenous antibiotics, but these infections can also be fatal.

The superbug pneumonia commonly appears after a flu-like illness – which makes this even more frightening when you consider the recent swine flu outbreak.

Researchers aren't quite sure how many people are suffering from the superbug pneumonia acquired outside of hospitals, but they do believe it's fatal 50 percent of the time.

But don't panic.

There are few surefire ways of avoiding these powerful new bugs, aside from shutting yourself away from the rest of the world, but there are ways to dramatically reduce your risk.

Of course, washing your hands frequently can help reduce your exposure to the microscopic villains, but you need to go a lot further than that and help your body stay strong.

You need to eat right, make sure you're getting all the right nutrients, get a good night's sleep on a regular basis, and get some exercise. It's simple – but not simplistic. The truth is, your body's immune system is a direct result of the things you put into it.

If you're overweight and loading up on carbs, like so many other Americans, then the odds are strong that your immune system is a mess.

And that means you're not only more likely to get ill, you're more likely be stay sicker longer – and I'm not just talking about these new superbugs.

So eat better, get quality sleep, and exercise more, and you'll truly be in "fighting shape" – ready to fight off any threat to your immune system, giving you a better chance of getting healthier more quickly.