Arielle Novak is an American Council on Exercise Certified Personal Trainer and an Aerobics and Fitness Association of America Certified Group Exercise Instructor. Arielle loves to share her excitement about movement and fitness with her students. She holds additional specialty certifications in indoor cycling, yoga, and dance fitness.

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Arielle's Fitness Blog

by Arielle Novak, Fitness Expert

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Stress can wreak havoc on your mental and physical state. Sometimes we can go on for days or even weeks not realizing that our stress levels are too high. I know there have been many times that I have just been so focused on getting through my day that I sometimes forget that I need to take care of myself. We all can relate to that feeling!

Stress can affect your body, mind, and your behavior. Here are a few of the common effects of stress courtesy of the Mayo Clinic.

Effects on your body:

Headaches, muscle tension/aches, fatigue, sleep disturbance.

Effects on your mind:

Anxiety, lack of motivation, anger, sadness/depression, negative outlook.

We all have our methods for relieving stress. We just have to remember to use them! Here are a few ways that I have been staying calm. I hope one or some of these tricks will help you!

Massage/Myofascial Release:

Massage ballsSo you could pay a massage therapist... or there are some great tools on the market that let you do self-massage. Using foam rollers is one method, and many gyms and fitness centers have them. I enjoy foam rollers, but I found a company that makes massage therapy balls that suit me better. I love how quickly the therapy balls relieve muscle tension.

The company is called Yoga Tune UP. You definitely do not need to be a yoga practitioner to enjoy this great product. The balls are $10... what a steal!

So grab a foam roller or some therapy balls, and melt away your stress and tension!

Magnesium Lotion:

Magnesium is a natural way to de-stress and calm down. I discovered a couple of companies that make magnesium lotions. I've found that lotions are a convenient way to get some magnesium therapy. Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I also realized that it was a great way to relax sore muscles. So if I have tightness or soreness in a particular muscle group, I will put the lotion directly on the area that needs it. My favorite company is Ancient Minerals. They made an amazing magnesium lotion that contains coconut oil and shea butter to make the texture very luxurious. It's the perfect way to get magnesium and moisturize your skin! One 8 oz. bottle is $24.00.

Another option is Dr. Shealy's Biogenics Magnesium Lotion, which is around $14 for an 8 oz. bottle. It feels more like a gel, and it will not be as soothing to the skin. I think this is a better option for people who plan on using a separate moisturizer.

Get outside for some exercise!

Sometimes the best things in life have no price tag attached. Heading outside for a walk or a run is a great way to get your blood circulating. Exercise is a wonderful distraction from a stressful day. Load up your iPod with your favorite tunes, and get out there! If you're in a time crunch, go out for a short walk. Even a 15-minute walk will help clear your head.

Do you have stress busters that you can't live without?

Post your tips below!

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