Bob Harper's tips for a healthy and fit Leap Day

Feb 27, 2012 at 4:23 p.m. ET

While some people are spending Leap Day celebrating with extra cake or cocktail calories, Bob Harper, The Biggest Loser's fitness guru, shares some healthy ways to spend this precious extra February day.

Bob Harper

Start your Leap Day with breakfast


If you regularly skip breakfast, Leap Day is the perfect opportunity to start making the morning meal an essential part of daily agenda. Likewise, if you wake up daily to doughnuts or toaster pastries loaded with empty calories, Harper recommends changing your breakfast routine. "Discover something new that not only tastes great, but also gives you energy so you can start your day off right," states the fitness expert. "My favorite breakfast cereal is Quaker Oatmeal Squares Honey Nut flavor because it's packed with whole grains and has the perfect amount of sweetness in every crunch."

More tasty ways to start your day:

Pasta for breakfast is good for your health
Kick cravings with a healthy protein-rich breakfast
10 healthy breakfast ideas

Take some "me time"

Though you may not have Leap Day off from work or family responsibilities, you can carve out some time to take care of Y-O-U. "Take this extra day to re-center yourself, first thing in the morning," suggests Harper. "This will help you make better decisions throughout the day." Even better, let Leap Day be the first day of many where you take time to better your mental and physical health.

More health and wellness tips:

10 Great reasons to get more sleep
DIY Massage for sore muscles
Fast fitness: Ten 10-minute workouts

Step out of your cardio comfort zone

You deserve to be commended if you're at the gym every morning getting in your workout. However, changing your exercise routine can boost your fitness results and breathe new life into your workout enthusiasm. "Use Leap Day as a reason to get out of your comfort zone and discover a new way to get your heart rate up and avoid a workout plateau!" Harper says. The Biggest Loser trainer recommends taking the stairs at work or trying a new class at the gym.

Here are a few more ways to get your cardio:

Quick cardio workouts in your neighborhood
Cardio you can do without the gym
10 Kick-butt workouts to get your heart rate up

Set a new goal


There's no better day than Leap Day to give yourself a new achievable and measurable diet or exercise goal to work toward, according to Harper. "For example, add more vegetables and whole grains to your meals," he explains. You can also make goals that benefit your emotional health. Harper suggests setting a goal to get in an hour of play time with your kids.

More tips on setting goals:

How to set achievable fitness goals
Tips for setting nutritional goals you'll love
Secrets for setting health priorities