• How to Make Health Activities More Fun

    While our neighbors in the north prepare for winter’s chill to take hold, this is the time of year where Floridians begin thinking about being outdoors again. Fall and winter in Florida are a respite from the mid-90s temperatures of summer, giving us a chance to get more activity and movement in our daily lives.

    But settling into an activity routine can sometimes be challenging, especially if you’ve been more sedentary for a while due to weather, injury or just plain lack of motivation. But upping your activity comes with a bundle of benefits — and not just for physical wellbeing: better mental health, increased happiness, improved sleep and greater connection with others.

    Given these upsides, why do so many people have a hard time maintaining an exercise routine? As a mental health counselor, I see several reasons people often fail to follow through:

    • What started as a fun and exciting workout plan has somehow deteriorated into daily drudgery.
    • If you work out alone or in a gym where no one talks, the lack of interaction doesn’t help keep you engaged and motivated.
    • You find yourself striving to meet some unrealistic physical ideal put forward by the media (e.g., so many steps a day or a certain weight or body shape), creating feelings of inadequacy and a loss of resolve.

    Despite bad external programming or lack of internal motivation, here are three easy ways to start — and maintain — a healthy activity routine.

    1. Banish Boredom

    Avoid boredom by adding novelty to your routine. Choose activities that offer more than just reps or minutes on a running machine.

    The internet is rife with ideas that can help make exercise fun (with your doctor’s approval, of course). Here are a few:

    • Circus arts, such as trampoline or rope walking
    • Hula hoop
    • Frisbee golf
    • Ballroom dancing
    • Indoor rock wall climbing
    • Yoga

    I found that learning to do a headstand was exciting, which then transitioned to handstands. Most of these activities are fun, accessible and inexpensive, and many don’t even require a membership.

    1. Get Connected

    Use health activities to create connections with others. Human beings are social creatures by nature, and exercising in solitude may leave you feeling a little detached. Even a crowded gym can feel lonely if no one is talking. Invite someone to walk with you. Join a meetup. Take tai-chi lessons. If you go to a gym that does group instruction, join their classes — you may even make a new friend.


    1. You Do You

    Learn to accept yourself as you are today, whatever your health, weight or shape. Don’t be sucked in by social media stereotypes. Remember, a lot of what you see online and on screen is the result of digital manipulation and photo filters. A skillful artist can make even the Cryptkeeper look like a supermodel, so don’t hold yourself to unrealistic standards. Focus on having fun and feeling better instead.


    Being physically well is an important part of mental health. If you’re having trouble maintaining a positive outlook — on health activities or life in general — talk to me about therapies that can help. You can reach me through this website or by calling me at 407-579-2070.

    Therapy services available via Telehealth.