Exercises For Stress: 7 Indoor Stress-Relief Exercises

Written by GHBY Team on Tue, 01 August 2023

Key Highlights

  • When one is stressed, one can feel its physical and emotional manifests within the body.
  • Exercise plays a big role in calming our worrisome minds.
  • Yoga includes exercises like learning to control the breath, clear the mind, and relax the body.
  • Zumba is an excellent cardio workout that has its roots in Columbia.
  • Cardio not only benefits your heart but is also a stress reliever.

Stress in the modern world is a constant. But that doesn't mean we're doomed to swim in a sea of stress and its ill effects, including anxiety, meltdowns, and panic attacks.

What's also interesting is the fact that we tend to separate the mind and the body when they're so linked. Stress isn't just a mental or emotional issue - it can physically hurt too.

When one is stressed, one tends to feel it in the body. The psychological effects of stress and the physical effects of stress on the body can be managed with the help of exercises for stress.

The sudden onset of stress can cause muscle tension and pain, or other associated pains, such as headaches from muscle tension in nearby areas of the shoulders, neck, and head. This can be dealt with some effective exercises for stress that one can practically do with great ease. All one needs is to know them right.

Why does stress cause muscle pain and tension?

Stress signals our brains to send a signal to our nerves to go into 'protection mode,' and our nerves then activate our muscles to tighten and tone up.

As muscles become tense, circulation decreases, causing lactic acid to build up in the muscles. It is similar to feeling sore the next day after strenuous exercises, such as weightlifting.

But the effect of stress isn't just limited to our bodies. Besides, the well-documented psychological effects of stress, it's been seen that stress can affect us in diverse ways.

Constant stress when experienced over a prolonged period can contribute to long-term problems for the heart and blood vessels. The constant and ongoing increase in heart rate, and the elevated levels of stress hormones and blood pressure, can take a toll on the major organs.

But all is not grim. The good news is that it's possible to beat stress in the comfort of your home. There are stress relief exercises that we can do to both reduce total-body tension and calm our worried minds.

The best part is that they can be performed indoors too, so you can do it anywhere, be it at the home, office, while traveling, etc.

7 indoor exercises to reduce stress

1. Yoga

Breathing exercises for stress relief and yoga are proven to help reduce stress and the health effects it causes. The best part? It does not require that you have any prior experience to benefit from it. Whether you are at home, work, or somewhere in between, yoga is always here to help you relax.

Yoga includes exercises like learning to control the breath, clear the mind, and relax the body.

Of late, yoga is becoming increasingly popular. And more and more people are discovering the benefits this ancient practice from India brings to their stressful lives.

But establishing a consistent yoga routine is the best way to experience the difference yoga can make.

So find a comfortable spot where you can be alone and uninterrupted for a few minutes. And depending on how your body feels, you may want to use a yoga block, blanket, or meditation cushion to place underneath your body to support yourself in a comfortable seated position.

2. Calisthenics

Calisthenics is a type of workout that uses a person's body weight with little or no equipment. The exercises involve movements that use large muscle groups, such as pushups. People typically perform these exercises at a moderate pace. They help to improve coordination, flexibility, and strength, and also help in reducing stress.

Calisthenics is an aerobic and dynamic exercise. They are rhythmic, smooth, enjoyable exercises that are easy to perform alone or in a group format, and can be modified according to the subject's fitness levels. Popular calisthenics is the jumping jack; it also works toward heart health and stress relief.

Calisthenics originated in Ancient Greece and remains popular today. Most people can perform these exercises, regardless of their athletic ability. Many of the exercises don't necessarily require any exercise equipment.

Some of the calisthenics exercises to try at home to reduce stress are: Squats, Pushups, crunches, planks, burpees, and jump rope.

3. Zumba

It is considered a great alternative to fitness programs. Zumba is an excellent cardio workout that has its roots in Columbia.

All the rhythmic movements in Zumba also help to negate the effects of stress on the body.

Today Zumba is a consolidated program, practiced by some 15,000 million people weekly, in more than 300,000 places among places around the world. The music, the easy choreography, and its effectiveness can keep the stress at bay.

The best part is that it is for everyone because there are no right or wrong ways to do Zumba. As long as you move to the beat of the music, you are participating.

So what are you waiting for? Be energized, relax your body and mind, and let your mind drift away from all of the negative energy of daily life.

Download your favorite Zumba track and dance your stress away.

Benefits of zumba

4. Pilates

The connection between the mat and mental health is real. Many studies have found again and again that pilates can play a significant role in helping to reduce the effects of stress.

Pilates demand a lot of concentration, hence, it helps to switch off stress by keeping the mind occupied.

Pilates can be incredibly good for the body to relax, rejuvenate and release stress. The Pilates principle, breath, oxygenates the blood which triggers the brain to calm down. And as we breathe, our bodies produce physiological responses that reduce stress and anxiety.

But many tend to confuse yoga and pilates. Yes, there might be a lot of cross-overs between the two, but the two are inherently very different. Yoga tends to focus on the spiritual side, whereas pilates focuses on strengthening the core while improving flexibility, strength, and posture.

So give Pilates a try and say goodbye to the physical and psychological effects of stress.

5. Resistance training

This type of workout can reduce stress- and you can do it at home with no equipment. "Resistance training," also known as "strength training," consists of exercises that strengthen your muscles using external resistance, like free weights, machines, or your body weight.

Resistance training floods your body with feel-good endorphins, boosting your mood and decreasing anxiety.

With strength training, the yogic technique of mindfulness is also at play: the intensity and focus of functional movements prevent your mind from wandering.

More reps, less fret.

A single weight training session can reduce the physical effects of stress and also result in noticeable changes in your muscles since weight training produces near-instant results. If you're usually one to shy away from seemingly intimidating weight machines, this progress is a massive confidence booster. A number on the scale cannot quantify the happiness you feel from weight training - it comes from seeing your body becoming more sculpted as you work out.

So beat the effects of stress with some resistance training.

resistance training

6. Dancing

There are psychological effects of stress, and then there are also the physical effects of stress. And its effects take place in your body, in the form of hormones like cortisol, which are released in response to negative stimuli and get stored in your body.

Dancing relieves stress, literally, by flushing out these and other waste chemicals that can build up in your body.

Any form of dancing replaces those stress hormones we mentioned earlier with pleasure hormones like endorphins and serotonin. Dancing relieves stress with these feel-good compounds, which counter the mental effects of stress by helping you view normally stressful things in a more positive light.

By keeping you so busy focusing on your movement, the music, and your partner, dancing relieves stress by helping you distance yourself from stressful events in your life, allowing your brain to recharge and face the day with renewed vigor.

7. Indoor cardio

When it comes to exercising, nothing is more effective than working your own body.

Especially, cardiovascular training. They do not need a lot of equipment or space. They can easily be performed at home.

Cardio not only benefits your heart but is also a stress reliever. Even the most basic form of cardio like - Skipping rope, jogging on the spot, and indoor cycling can all boost your feel-good endorphins and distract you from daily worries.

Benefits of indoor cardio:

  • Boosts endorphins: Skipping rope bumps up the production of your brain's feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins.
  • Reduces psychological and physical effects of stress: Cardio can provide stress relief for your body while imitating the effects of stress, such as the flight or fight response, and helping your body and its systems practice working together through those effects. This can also lead to positive effects on your body including your cardiovascular, digestive, and immune systems by helping protect your body from the harmful effects of stress.
  • Improves mood: Regular cardio can increase self-confidence, improve mood, and lower symptoms of mild depression and anxiety. Cardio can also improve your sleep, which is often disrupted by stress, depression, and anxiety.

So grab a rope or run on the spot to beat stress.


So, go ahead, pick any indoor physical activity you enjoy- whether it's yoga or zumba - and make it part of your daily routine.

Choose whatever feels comfortable to reduce your physical and psychological stress. Or better yet, you can try a few of them and reap all of their benefits. So what are you waiting for? Take a break from stress indoors.



GHBY Team comprises content writers and content editors who specialise in health and lifestyle writing. Always on the lookout for new trends in the health and lifestyle space, Team GHBY follows an audience-first approach. This ensures they bring the latest in the health space to your fingertips, so you can stay ahead in your wellness game. 

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  1. Hamer M, et al. Physical activity, stress reduction, and mood: insight into immunological mechanisms. Methods Mol Biol. 2012;934:89-102.

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Aug, 01 2023

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