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Your Home Workout: 4 Stress-Busting Exercises You Can Incorporate Right Now

Your Home Workout: 4 Stress-Busting Exercises You Can Incorporate Right Now

One of the many lessons we've learned from the past year is that we desperately need ways to destress. It's been a relentless time. Between COVID-19, social upheaval, election drama, and everyday stressors, keeping your cool might seem impossible. Often, we don't realize the damage stress places on our physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing until it becomes a chronic problem. But one sure-fire way to relieve tension and anxiety in your life is to practice relaxation techniques regularly. Finding ways to destress isn't hard. But it does require you to put yourself first, which isn't always easy but is always worth it.

The focus for this edition of Your Home Workout is stress-busting exercises that you can do at home. Activities like yoga, tai chi, and meditation are all recognized as top relaxation techniques. They help clear away distractions from our minds, encourage us to focus on the present, and improve our moods. Likewise, more vigorous exercises, like circuit training, that raises endorphins and increases blood flow throughout the body, are equally powerful at promoting relaxation. We'll discuss these stress-busting techniques and how to incorporate them into your routine to enhance your quality of life and reduce your stress levels.


Yoga remains a popular exercise for a good reason. It is physically beneficial and promotes a mind-body connection that is fundamental to mindfulness, a key element of relaxation. Yoga requires you to focus on your poses, the movement of your body through each pose, and your breath. Besides its calming nature, yoga can also improve balance, flexibility, and toning, among many other benefits.

Yoga is a practical exercise for people of all ages and stages, and it is well suited for at-home workouts. There are many different types of yoga practices; some more rigorous and precise, while others are gentler and more relaxed. You may already be familiar with popular yoga styles like Bikram, vinyasa, hot, and ashtanga. But if you're just starting out or looking to deepen the connection between your body and mind, give these slower-paced styles a try:

  • Hatha: This yoga style is well balanced between poses, meditation, and breathing techniques and is an excellent place for beginners to start.
  • Yin:  This yoga type is characterized by poses held over long periods, usually several minutes, and deep stretching.
  • Restorative: As its name implies, restorative yoga is centered around recovery and returning balance to your body and mind. Poses in this workout are held from 1-5 minutes, giving you lots of time to destress.

What you need to get started

You don't need a lot of equipment or a lot of room to practice yoga. All that’s required for your at-home practice is a non-slip yoga mat. But if you want to kick it up a notch, you can use additional accessories in your yoga practice like a yoga block, blanket, or straps.

Circuit Training

If you're looking for a more active workout that challenges your body as intensely as it engages your mind, circuit training is a great choice. Circuit training isn't just for the gym. You can perform these high-intensity exercises in the comfort of your own home. Circuit training engages both the body and mind,  improves cardiovascular health, and muscle strength.

To create your circuit training routine, select a sequence of exercises (usually 5-10) that you can rotate through several times. Three to four repetitions of the sequence are all you need for a complete workout that targets your entire body. Allot 30-60 seconds to perform each move in the circuit. For best results, combine compound movements like deadlifts and lunges with cardio exercises like running on the spot or burpees. An average routine takes approximately 30 minutes, making circuit training ideal for those short on time.

What you need to get started

Circuit training can be done without any additional equipment aside from a mat. Instead of using weights, you can opt to do bodyweight exercises for your compound movements. But if you want to intensify your workout, you can purchase exercise bands, kettlebells, or free weights.

Tai Chi

Tai chi, like yoga, is a practice that emphasizes the mind-body connection. It is often described as 'meditation in motion' because of its slow-moving pace. Its deliberate, but gentle movements also make it an ideal exercise to facilitate relaxation. Tai chi improves mental concentration by slowing down our minds and increasing our awareness of our bodies.

This low-impact martial arts practice consists of 108 movements designed to flow smoothly into one another. The focus is on breath, movement, and relaxation of the body. Unlike yoga, there is no holding of poses; it's all about the flow. Besides its mental health benefits, Tai chi has been proven to increase flexibility, balance, and strength.

What you need to get started

Tai chi doesn't require any special equipment. You can perform tai-chi barefoot and use a mat for comfort. It's also best to wear loose-fitting clothes that don't restrict your movements.


While you won't be burning any calories during a meditation session, it is the ideal exercise for relaxation. Mindful meditation is a form of meditation that invites you to focus on your breathing and be present in the moment. When we're in the moment, we don't worry or get anxious about the future or the past.

Meditation is not about tuning out but rather tuning in. It's a skill that requires practice, but one that will help you be more aware of the present and the sensations, thoughts, or emotions you are feeling. Studies have shown that meditation can lower blood pressure, improve relaxation, decrease anxiety, and lower heart rate.

We often think of meditation as a time-consuming process. But how you meditate and for how long you do it is strictly up to you. Whether it's 5 minutes or 45 minutes, mindful meditation is still beneficial to your overall health and wellbeing.

What you need to get started

To get started on your meditation journey, you won't need much. Try to find a space free of distractions that you can dedicate to your meditation practice, even if it's just the corner of a room. Those who meditate regularly find additional items like a meditation chair or cushion, incense, energy beads, and singing bowls as essential parts of their practice. But if you want to keep it simple, a comfortable place to sit and a timer is all you need.

Tip: To get started with an activity, you only need to look as far as your phone or computer. With so much selection available, you can easily find a program that is suited to your level. You can also look to social media for exercise inspiration or to follow experts, gurus, and trainers who offer classes and advice.

Relaxation techniques like those above can offer solace and serenity during difficult times. Try to incorporate a relaxation exercise into your weekly schedule at least once or twice a week. Once you start and keep at it regularly, you'll find you won't be able to do without it.

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