By DR. PAUL REILLY, ND, LAC, FABNO

Spring is a time of renewal. So, it is a great time to give your body and health a little extra time as well.

Here are five easy ways to improve health and feel better:

1. Reduce or eliminate fast foods.
Replace that Big Mac with some fresh fruit and cheese, or even a rice and bean burrito.

2. Eliminate or reduce soda intake.
Sodas are one of the biggest sources of empty sugar calories in our diet. Those sugar calories increase risk of diabetes, heart disease and obesity. Better choices include water, tea or coffee, or sparkling water.

3. Take a fiber supplement.
Fiber feeds the healthy organisms in our gut, leading to stronger immunity, less risk of constipation, lower cholesterol and even less colon cancer risk.

4. Normalize sleep habits.
Sleep is when our bodies rest, repair and regenerate. Without adequate sleep, we wear down and age faster. Aim for 7–8 hours of sleep. Even better,
try to go to sleep and get up at the same time each day so your body can normalize sleep and repair signals.

5. Get outside. 
Taking a walk for 10–20 minutes daily will improve mood and energy. Doing it in a natural setting is even healthier. Studies in Japan find that just being able to see trees and nature improves moods and immune function. When exercise is done in a natural setting our natural killer cells are much more effective at protecting us.

Start slow but be consistent. Small changes repeated frequently add up to big benefits over time. Make self care
a priority and a habit and you might reap the benefits of improved energy, reduced illness and a longer life.