4 Very Unique Forms of Exercise That Can Reduce Depression

There’s no shortage of research showing that regular exercise can reduce the symptoms of depression – but that doesn’t make it any easier to actually get up off the couch. If you struggle to get motivated for activities like jogging, swimming, or hitting the gym, don’t worry. There are plenty of fun ways to get exercise without it feeling like a chore. The activities below are guaranteed to get you excited about putting on your workout clothes.

1. Roller Derby

Thought skates were just for angsty teenagers? Think again! Roller derby is an exciting sport that’s suitable for all ages and well-known for being inclusive regardless of gender, size, or physical ability. Two teams of five skate counterclockwise around a track, while a designated ‘jammer’ scores points by overtaking members of the opposite team.

Skating is a great workout for your entire body, and it’s so immersive that you won’t even be thinking about the fact that you’re exercising. Roller derby is also an awesome way to meet new friends and learn new skating skills.

2. Aerial Yoga

Not particularly inspired by doing gentle stretches on a mat in your bedroom? Don’t discount yoga altogether, because there are plenty of ways to make it more interesting. Aerial yoga involves performing exercises using a fabric hammock which is suspended from the ceiling.

Being in the air makes the whole thing a lot more exciting, and also allows you to show off with some gravity-defying moves. Check out an aerial yoga class in your local area and you’ll never think about yoga in the same way again.

3. Rock Climbing

Rock climbing is an excellent sport for two reasons: it’s a great workout, and it provides a wonderful sense of achievement. While there’s no clear way to ‘win’ at other forms of exercise, reaching the top of a wall or solving a new climbing puzzle is guaranteed to have you feeling like a superhero.

Climbing has a fast learning curve, so it’s great for beginners who want to make swift progress with an activity. Climbing can be a great social activity, but it’s also ideal for anyone who isn’t keen on team sports. Book at a taster class at a local climbing gym to see if it’s right for you.

4. Live Action Role-Playing

If you’ve never heard of LARPing, you’re seriously missing out. LARP stands for live action role-playing, and it involves getting together with a group to portray fictional or historical characters in a real setting. You might reenact famous battles or work with others to achieve goals.

You’ll be dressed in full costume and might have props like swords and shields. If you love playing video games or reading fantasy novels, this is a great way to take your passion into the real world. You’ll get a great workout while you’re running around, battling and adventuring – but you’ll probably be having too much fun to even notice.

If you’re looking for a way to supplement talking therapy, depression medication, or other treatments, regular exercise is a great choice. Try the unusual activities above to make exercise something to look forward to instead of something you’re forcing yourself into.


Photo by Fancycrave on Unsplash