Stress-Busting Workouts You Can Do at Home
Now that you know exercise reduces stress, it’s time to get active! To reduce your overall stress, it’s key to find an activity that keeps you sweaty and happy. Luckily, finding workouts to help relieve stress doesn’t have to be hard.
Keep in mind it’s important to find something you can stick with and do consistently. You’ll see the most growth with your physical and mental health when you choose an exercise routine that works for your life.
A lot of us aren’t quite ready to go back to the gym or it may be hard to fit the gym’s exercise classes into our schedule. So here I’ll give you a few ideas of workouts to do from home that you can easily squeeze in during your free time. I’ll also add my best stretch routine for after your sweat session because it’s an integral part of every workout!
Ideally, you want to warm up before any exercise. Doing so gets your blood flowing, warms your muscles, and helps prevent injury. You’ll know when you’re ready to continue with your workout when your heart rate is elevated, and your body is feeling warm. Here are a few warm-up routines to try.
- 5-minute jog
- 5-minute jump rope
- Dynamic warm-up (This routine incorporates stretching movements while warming your muscles. Perform the exercises as you move across a room and back.)
- Bear crawls
- Leg raise to toe tap
- Lunge forward + twist
- Side shuffles
- High knees
Here are a couple of ideas for a cardio workout. Try doing a few of these two to three times a week.
- Go for a 30- to 45-minute walk
- Go for a 20-minute jog
- Go for 30- to 45-minute bike ride
- Treadmill (or outdoor) sprints – 30-second sprint to 30-second walk for 10 to 20 minutes straight
For this workout, you’ll complete a set of exercises. Perform each one for 30 seconds then rest for 30 seconds. Repeat the set 1 or 2 more times.
- Skater jumps side to side
- Lunge to knee up (alternate legs)
- Jumps squats
- Toe taps
- Plank jacks
Strength Training Workout
You’ll need a set of light to medium weight dumbbells (DB) for this workout. Find a weight that allows you to do two or three sets of the exercise but is heavy enough that you feel challenged as you do the workout. If you don’t have dumbbells, using your bodyweight can still get the job done.
Make sure you do a light warm-up like a brisk walk or jumping jacks before you start lifting weights.
- Sumo squat 10x
- Split lunge 10x (each leg)
- Hip thrusts with DB on hips 12x
- Bicep curl to overhead lift 10x
- Lateral raise 10x
- Tricep extension 10x
- Bent over back row 10x (each arm)
- V-up holding DB overhead 10x
- Russian twists 20x
- Toe touches 10x
Close out your workout with stretches that help you cool down and improve mobility. Be mindful that you’re taking deep breaths and relaxing your muscles as you do these stretches.
Aim to get a deep stretch, but not so far that it hurts. Try holding each stretch for 30 seconds to a minute. If possible, hold the stretch then breath out and stretch a little farther.
- Quad stretch holding foot behind while standing – focus on pushing your hips forward and pulling your foot to your butt
- Toe touch – standing with straight legs
- Triangle stretch – step one leg back and turn out back foot, keep both legs straight, stretch one arm to the sky and the other to your front foot
- Runners lunge – keep front knee just above the foot
- Low runners lunge – bring your back knee to the floor from the previous stretch and press into your hips; you should feel the stretch along your front hamstring and your back leg hip flexor
- Bent hamstring stretch – sit back onto your back leg from the low lunge and bend forward to reach for your extended front leg
- Half split or full split – move into a full split if you can, if not, extend your front leg flat on the floor and bend your back leg as much as you need to sit fully on the floor
- Pigeon position – bend your front leg so your knee and your foot are perpendicular to your body, extend your back leg; you should feel the stretch in your hamstring and glute)
- Butterfly – sit on the ground and put the soles of your feet together, press down your knees as far as they can go
- Arm stretch – stretch your arm across your body pulling it with the other arm)
One of my favorite pieces of exercise equipment is my foam roller. A foam roller allows you to roll out your muscles after a workout. It’s like giving yourself a massage without having to pay for a pricey massage session! And foam rolling is great for muscle recovery and soreness.
Get Moving to Manage Stress
Now that you have plenty of workouts to help relieve stress, the next time you’re feeling tense, you’ll have everything you need to get moving and find relief. Remember that having good form is very important otherwise you may injure yourself – and that could lead to more stress. So check out videos on You Tube or use apps like Peloton to get instructions on proper exercise form.
Which of these exercises do you plan to use next time you’re feeling stressed? Let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear about your plans!
*Remember to consult your physician before starting a new exercise regimen.