Eat Right Georgia

Leap Year: An Extra 24 Hours of Healthy Habits

Leap Year: An Extra 24 Hours of Healthy Habits- By Courtney Brooks RD, LD

February is half way over. New Year’s Resolutions are dwindling. Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring and yet the weather is no warmer. It seems as though the most festive and fun holidays have passed and left us with a holiday hangover along with the lingering temptation of Valentine’s Day treats.

For some this time of year can be a difficult time to stay on track. I propose we take advantage of late February to revamp our resolutions. This year in particular seems like a great year to put the “healthy” back into the end of winter. After all it’s a LEAP year, meaning each of us have an extra 24 hours to seize the day for better health! Let’s all make a decision to take that extra day, February 29th, and make it work for us.

Pledge during this extra 24 hours to make a concerted effort of healthful outreach to one another. Savor this day by supporting a friend or colleague in their pursuit to adopt a healthy habit. Send out a “Leap Year” encouragement to your clients regarding their dusty and hardly fulfilled New Year’s resolution, or positively reinforce your clients that are staying strong in their resolutions. Walk into your work day with a smile and give a co-worker a compliment.

Don’t forget during your extra 24 hours to set apart a few hours to yourself as well. It could be as simple as starting your day with a full 8 hours of sleep or enjoying a balanced breakfast with a glass of refreshing H2O. Take time to savor a balanced lunch with a co-worker away from your desk – good for both of you. Pop in your favorite workout DVD, jump into a group fitness class or take a brisk stroll in the park after your Monday. Sit down with your significant other for a meal with no TV or other electronic distractions.

If only every day could look like this one. Think about how to make the end of February work for you and keep you on the path to promoting and pursuing better health this Leap Year. Now it’s your turn, what will you do with your extra 24 hours?

---- Courtney Brooks, RD, LD is a practicing outpatient  & community dietitian in Savannah, GA with Certifications of Training in Adult Weight Management Levels 1 & 2. She also practices as the RD for the areas only interdisciplinary adolescent eating disorder clinic.



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