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Leaping into spring

Joggers at Sunset, Motivational Monday Message wellness column Motivational Monday Message: A weekly wellness column from Operation Live Well

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Operation Live Well

Today is an unusual day. It’s a day that only comes around in years with Summer Olympics and presidential elections. Today, Feb. 29, is Leap Day. 

Because it takes the Earth 365 days, five hours and 49 minutes to make each trip around the sun, we need to add a day every four years to keep the calendar on track (except in years divisible by 100 – e.g., the years 1900 and 2100 – but not by 400 – e.g., the year 2000). This extra day helps us avoid having Spring start in, say, May; or Summer start on July Fourth. 

Science and math lesson complete, what are you doing with Feb. 29, 2016? Since it’s a Monday, you’ll probably have to go to work or school, or you’re already there, but this is an extra day you get, and you can make it special. It’s an extra day you can spend with your family or friends—you never know how many days you get. Because here’s the thing about today: It’s literally found time. 

Today is a day you can dedicate to taking better care of yourself and your family. And, while it’s the last day of February, there’s no harm in looking forward to March, when nutrition is one of the Military Health System’s themes. 

With the vernal equinox and the start of Spring just 20 days away, we’re right at the point where we can start looking forward to the long days of summer. That means lighter clothes and lighter fare at the dining table. For pro tips on how to improve your nutrition, head to the Operation Live Well’s nutrition page. Here you can find tips on how to fuel up your body correctly, how to get the most out of your meals, healthy recipes and links to many other useful pages.    

Take advantage of today, because Feb. 29 won’t come around again for four years.

Individual contributor articles are the personal opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Defense Health Agency, the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, or the Defense Department.

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