17 Best Stress Relieving Exercises For You To Try

Best Stress Relieving Exercises For You To Try At Home

What is the first thing that you do when you feel stressed?

Clench your teeth or run to your favorite ice-cream parlor?

Irrespective of what you opt from the above two options, they are all instant and short-term stress busters, with little or no healthy outcome.

Therefore, we are here to suggest an easy, effective and beneficial tactic that will help you manage your stress levels on a day-to-day basis and even in the long run.

Any guesses?

Well, it has to be EXERCISE!

The best part is we are sharing some great stress relief exercises with you for which you don’t have to hit a gym or find a nice landscape. Just be at home and try these exercises to relieve stress at home.

Pumped up? Let us move from the couch and sweat stress out…

How Does Exercise Relieve stress?

Exercise has a big role to play in relieving stress. Therefore health care practitioners always recommend us to keep our body moving and our brain productive, to have a healthy life.

Studies suggest that staying fit allows individuals to maintain general mental and physical wellbeing even in the face of negative life events. Regular exercise is found to play an important role in managing stress and is shown to have a positive effect on reducing tension, anxiety, and depression. Physical exercises to reduce stress and ensure good health are stretching exercises such as yogic asana and aerobic exercises such as jogging, swimming, cycling, etc. Whereas stretching exercises have a calming effect, aerobic exercises increase the arousal level of the body.

The health benefits of exercise work as a stress buffer. Along with this, exercise relieves stress by pumping up the levels of endorphins- the feel good hormones in our body.

11 Best Exercise to Reduce Stress at Home

1. Yoga

One of the best stress relief exercises to try at home is Yoga. Not only is yoga easy to practice at home but it also enhances our mental focus, which is key to managing stress. When stress swipes in our mind it loses its calm and clouds of chaos hovers. Through Yoga these clouds can be cleaned so that clear thinking can come into play, reducing stress. Apart from this, poses are proven to test our strength, increase our concentration, instead of dwelling in analyzing, worrying, and planning about the future, as said by Noel Shroeder.

Here are some yoga asana and pranayama that can help you de-stress:

  1. Easy Pose (Sukhasana) with Forward Bend
  2. Standing Forward (Uttanasana) with Shoulder
  3. Rabbit Pose (Sasangasana)
  4. Plow Pose (Halasana)
  5. Wide-Legged Standing (Prasarita Padottanasana) Forward Bend

Equipment Required: Mat

Time Taken: 15-30 minutes

Practice: Once Daily

Yoga

2. Tai Chi

Tai Chi has its origin from Chinese martial art, also known as, Tai Chi Chuan. It is often described as “meditation in motion.” This is a low-impact exercise which comprises a series of gentle and fluid movements, linked with your breath. With no equipment required, you can easily practice them indoors with the help of online classes or DVDs available on the same. Apart from being one of the best exercises to reduce stress, Tai Chi has numerous other health benefits to offer. This exercise increases body flexibility, boosts energy, improves sleep, enhances well-being, and strengthens immunity.

Equipment required: Online Videos/DVDs

Time Taken: 10-15 minutes

Practice: Twice Daily

Tai Chi

3. Qigong

Qigong is a stress reducing exercise that is similar to Tai Chi. It is a Chinese martial art technique. It is not a heart-pumping workout that puts our body in movement; rather it is a meditative and deliberate approach for the same. Migdow says, “Its slow gentle movements and focus on moving in harmony with the breath are extremely relaxing to the nervous system.” Thus, helping us lower or reduce our stress level and signs associated with it. Just like Tai Chi, it too can be practiced at home along with the online videos and DVDs instructions.

Equipment Required: Online Videos/DVDs

Time Taken: 10-15 minutes

Practice: Twice Daily

Qigong

4. Walking

Probably one of the easiest and cost-effective exercises to relieve stress is walking! Trust me even if you are walking within the house, balcony, the little backyard that you have, you are going to rejoice the benefits that it has to offer. Studies have time and again showed that people with regular walking regimens tend to report a lower level of stress as compared to those who don’t have walking as a part of their lifestyle. But, it is time to make walking a part of your life. You can start slow with a 10-15 minute walk for a week and then gradually increase this time. Or if you have heard of the common phrase ‘walk when you talk,’ you can begin by walking while talking trick. The benefits that walking has to offer covers a wide range, from reducing stress (of course) and relieving muscle tension to induce body weight change. To double the effect of walking on reducing the stress you can also try mindful walking.

Equipment required: NA

Time Taken: 10-30 minutes

Practice: Twice Daily

Walking

5. Dancing

I bet many of you just felt experienced that YAY moment reading Dancing in the list. Well, why wouldn’t you? After all, it is a fun way to reduce stress. The best about this exercise is that there is no list of rules, do’s, and don’ts attached to it. Just dance your heart out! Salsa, freestyle, classical, contemporary, street-style, or just swing, the pick is yours. Studies have shown that dance is no less than therapy! A therapy that will definitely help you reduce the symptoms of stress, make you feel happy and free on one hand and offer amazing health benefits on the other. Let us get groovy and kick-aside stress from our lives.

Equipment required: Good Music

Time Taken: 15-30 minutes

Practice: Once Daily

6. Gardening

Gardening is more than getting your hands dirty! It can help you burn your calories on one hand and uplift your mood on the other (proved scientifically). A study also showed that gardening works amazingly well as an exercise to reduce stress, especially acute stress.

You can start it small and for a short duration. Start by planting one tree for the first day or just remove the weeds from that plant. It will help you feel connected with the earth on one hand and refresh your spirit on the other.

P.S. We would recommend you to do light stretching before starting gardening.

Equipment required: Gardening tools

Time Taken: 20-30 minutes

Practice: Twice a Week

Gardening

7. Pilates

This exercise to reduce stress has recently gained much recognition to get fit and lead a stress -free life. Pilates can help you with reducing the signs of both stress and anxiety. Along with this it also offers flexibility, improves postures, and heightens mental awareness. The reason why it has so many benefits to offer is- Pilates releases tension in muscles while using breathing techniques, thus providing more oxygen to the brain. This supply of oxygen to the brain indeed brings calm and promotes well-being. It can be very demanding exercise and hence Dr. Melinda Ratini suggests that you should start slowly. You can find easy and effective Pilate routines available online and on DVDs that you can refer to and practice this stress-relieving exercise on your own.

Equipment required: Mat and Online Videos/DVDs

Time Taken: 30-45 minutes

Practice: Few Days a Week

Pilates

8. Tabata Pushup Drill

If all these exercises to reduce stress are too slow and low impact for you then Tabata Pushup Drill can work for you! It is a vigorous exercise that will de-stress you in a couple of minutes by exhausting your energy. This exercise was proposed by Japanese scientist Izumi Tbaat as a form of HIIT training (understand the intensity of it). You can try it with any form of exercise be it pushups or jumping jacks. Here are the steps involved in Tabat Drill

  • Choose your exercise (pushups, jumping rope, or jumping jacks)
  • Do it for 20 seconds
  • Take a 10-second break
  • Repeat it for eight rounds

Time to push your limits and let pass the stress that is bothering you.

Equipment required: NA

Time Taken: 5-10 minutes

Practice: Once Daily

Caution: If your bodily complaints of asthma, hypertension, diabetes or others then trying this exercise is not recommended.

Tabata Pushup Drill

9. Focus on Breathing

Thinking what is breathing doing in this list? Well, think of breathing as your body’s personal air conditioner. Not kidding! Deep breathing can help your body cool down and regain its state of equilibrium, which otherwise is lost in stressful situations. You can practice it anytime, anywhere. Just make sure you are sitting comfortably and can focus on your breath. Here are some effective breathing exercises that will help you reduce stress:

Resonant Breathing Exercise:

Just follow these three easy steps

  • Inhale for a count of 5 (1… 2… 3… 4… 5…)
  • Exhale for a count of 5 (1… 2… 3… 4… 5…)
  • Continue this breathing pattern for at least a few minutes.

4-7-8 Breathing Exercise

All you have to do is-

  • Inhale for 4 seconds
  • Hold your breath for 7 seconds
  • And exhale for 8 seconds with your mouth open

 

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Equipment Required: NA

Time Taken: 5-10 minutes

Practice: Twice Daily

You can also practice deep breathing through pranayama. Various pranayama can help in moving from shallow to deep breathing and reducing the signs of stress, simultaneously. These pranayama include Anulom Vilom Pranayama (Alternate Nostril Breathing), Kapalbhati Pranayama (Skull Shining Breath), to name a few.

Equipment Required: Mat

Time Taken: 10-15 minutes

Practice: Twice Daily

Focus on Breathing

10. Progressive Muscle Relaxation

One of the major signs associated with stress is tensed muscles (in fact the origin of the word stress i.e., ‘strictus’ means to ‘tighten’). Progressive muscle relaxation is one of the best exercises to reduce stress and muscle stiffness. It is in a way a step ahead of deep breathing. While deep breathing calls forth to bring our focus on breathing alone, muscle relaxation calms all the muscles down.

To practice progressive muscle relaxation first find yourself a quiet and comfortable place to lay down.

The process of muscle relaxation involves three steps:

  • Tightening of the muscle group
  • Maintaining the contraction for 20 seconds
  • Slowly release it

While doing so we are constantly practicing deep breathing and focusing on muscles being tensed and relaxed.

You can start it from your facial muscles and then slowly progress down the body to your toes. (Ideally, the chronology is forehead, eyes, nose, tongue, face, jaws, neck, back, chest, stomach, buttocks, thighs, arms, forearms and hands, calves, ankles, and feet)

To get the best result we would recommend, you either record instructions or download the ones available online and then carry forward this progressive muscle relaxation exercise to reduce stress.

Equipment required: Mat

Time Taken: 15-20 minutes

Practice: Twice Daily

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

11. Mind Exercises

Unlike other exercises in this list of the best stress relief exercises at home that demand you to be physically active, this exercise is different. Mind vacation is an exercise for your brain instead of your body. But, don’t worry it will ultimately have an impact on your whole body.

There are two mind exercises to reduce stress:

  1. Guided Imagery

Time and again guided imagery is proved to reduce stress levels. All you have to do is close your eyes, imagine yourself being at a place that truly makes you happy, and feel it. You can picture yourself sitting at a beach, feet soaked under beach sand, listening to waves and feeling the warmth of the sun. Basically, take your mind on a vacation.

  1. Chanting

Chanting is a form of meditation but in an intensified form. You can sit in sukhasana, close your eyes, choose a mantra (either a word or phrase), and recite it while breathing in and out. This will close doors of rumination and open doors for serenity.

Mind Exercises

5 Best Stress Busting Exercise to Try at Work:

Well, we all have a lot to love about our respective workplaces, we can’t deny the fact that it is also a source of stress in our lives. With the long to-do list and never-ending deadlines, we do feel stressed at the workplace. And to combat this stress we sometimes need an instant exercise to relieve stress at the workplace (just like an instant cup of coffee that helps us to stay awake during working hours). So, we are sharing with you 5 best stress-busting exercises for you to try at work.

How to Relieve Stress Within 5 Minutes at Your Desk?

1. Shake off Your Stress:

Often your body feels stiff because of long hours of working and prolonged stress therefore, it becomes important to shrug it off. You really don’t have to do much here! Sit at your desk and shrug it off with the help of these stress-relieving exercises

Head and Neck: Lean your chin forward and roll your head gently from shoulder to shoulder. Repeat it 3-5 times. (It’s similar to head rotations)

Shoulders: Take a deep breath, raise your shoulders to your ears, hold them there for a few seconds, slowly exhale and release your shoulders. Repeat it for 3-5 times. This exercise promises to reduce your stress.

Fingers: Lift your hands up in the air, loosen them up. Now shake your hands and fingers, let all the stress be shaken off.

Waist: Place your hands on your waist. Now, rotate it. First clockwise (5 times) then anti-clockwise (5 times).

Legs: Sit comfortably on the chair with your back straight. Lift both legs straight out in front of you now slowly rotate your feet clockwise (5 times) pause for 10 seconds and rotate them in an anti-clockwise direction (5 times).

Full Body: Stand at your place, on your paws and start jogging at that fixed point (you don’t have to really jog around). Do it for a pretty good 30 seconds.

With these stress-relieving exercises, you will be able to release stress and stiffness from your complete body. All you have to do is shake it off and get back to work.

Equipment required: Your Desk
Time Taken: 5-10 minutes
Practice: Twice Daily

Shake off Your Stress

2. Stretch your Body

While shaking off in itself a good enough exercise for stress relief stretching can also help here. Majorly to release the stiffness and body tension stretching your body can work amazingly. Again we will stretch our whole body.

Neck and Head: Sit up straight and tilt your head right and left towards the shoulder. Be gentle and feel the stretch. Hold your head in one direction for at least 10 seconds and then switch to another direction. Repeat this stress-relieving exercise for 2-3 minutes.

Hands and Shoulders: Interlock your fingers in front of your belly, now slowly pull your hands and shoulders towards the sky (right above your head). Hold your body in this position for 15-30 seconds and slowly release it. Additionally, you can tilt towards the right and left with your hands placed over your head. Repeat it for 3-5 minutes

Waist: Sit comfortably with a proper balance on your chair. Hold its armrest and swiftly rotate your upper body (from waist to head) in one direction. Now bring the torso back to its original position. Try it for the other direction as well. Repeat it 2 times for both sides.

Legs: Sit comfortably on the chair with your back straight. Lift both legs straight out in front of you now slowly stretch your feet outward, pause for 10 seconds and push them inwards. Repeat it 5 times.

You can try this full-body stretching exercise to reduce stress and anxiety.

Equipment required: Your Desk
Time Taken: 10-15 minutes
Practice: Twice Daily

Stretch your Body

3. A Laughter Break

Laughing is an amazing exercise to reduce stress and anxiety. You can either watch a super funny video and let the happy hormone flow or can have a real-time laughter break. Just go out in the open and laugh out loud. Laughing out loud will remove your stress and will make you feel lighter and calmer as well. Plus, it won’t cost you a penny!

Equipment required: NA
Time Taken: 2 minutes
Practice: Once A Daily

A Laughter Break

4. Engage your Senses

Office stress often takes us away from reality. In the sense that we are either worried thinking about what has not been done or anticipating all the tasks that are yet to be performed. Amid all this, we forget to be in the present moment. So, to feel grounded and in control of yourself, it is recommended that you engage all your senses. It is a wonderful way to release your stress and be in the present moment. There are many ways to practice, however, our personal favorite is 5-4-3-2-1 mindfulness exercise to reduce stress and anxiety. Do give it a shot!

Equipment required: Just your Senses
Time Taken: 5 minutes
Practice: Once Daily

Engage your Senses

5. Deep Breathing

Deep breathing exercise has a lot to offer. From lowering down our blood pressure to help us stay calm, it covers it all for us. But, when we are stressed or overwhelmed at the workplace we are constantly involved in shallow breathing, which instead of doing good leaves an ill impact on our overall health. Therefore, it is important to shift from shallow to deep breathing, especially in stressful situations. There are various deep breathing exercises to reduce stress along with pranayama. So, there is a whole pool for you to choose from.

Deep Breathing Exercises for Stress Relief:

1. Pursed Lip breathing exercise
2. Resonant breathing exercise
3. 4-7-8 breathing exercise

Deep Breathing Pranayama for Stress Relief:

Anulom Vilom Pranayama (Alternate Nostril Breathing)
Kapalbhati Pranayama (Skull Shining Breath)
Bhastrika Pranayama (Bellows Breath)

Equipment required: NA
Time Taken: 5-10 minutes
Practice: Twice Daily

Deep Breathing

Bonus Exercise 1: Breath Bubble

When a lot is going on your to-do list and you start to feel overwhelmed. Just take out one minute to calm yourself and feel grounded with the help of the Breath Bubble. Just go with the flow…

Bonus Exercise 2: You can also try this Japanese massage technique to release stress, known as the Shiatsu Hand Massage technique.

You can pick either any one exercise and practice it or even try a combination of them.

To make these exercises to relieve stress even more fun and productive for you, we would recommend you to take this quick stress-o-meter test. Check your level of stress, try these exercises for a fortnight, then recheck your level of stress. This will help you find out how effectively the exercise is working for you.

Also, do mention in the comment section below, which exercise to reduce stress are you going to try.

Enjoy your exercise time and pave way for a stress-free life.

A Gift From Calm Sage:

You may also read this book on stress management and learn ways to manage your stress effectively.

P.S. Don’t let stress set in, Let us sweat it out!

You May Like These Also:

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One COMMENT

  1. johnmerchant

    I am also doing on regular basics any exercise but Yoga is one of the best stress relieving exercise for me. Thanks for sharing such information with us.

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