Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Stretch your way to a better day (and win free stuff!)

Want to win a free Pilates kit, 10 relaxation CDs, and a one-year subscription to Total Health Magazine? It's as simple as reading this post ...

Snooze buttons, beware: This lady is about to start training for a relay sprint triathlon, and she won't let a little thing called "sleep" stand in her way.

Veteran triathlete Sus has cajoled threatened brainwashed convinced me and Jacob to join her in the Giant Acorn Triathlon, a feat of reasonable human endurance set among the lovely vistas of Bumpass, Va.

Yes. Bumpass. Moving on.

We have less than 14 weeks to get our own bumpasses in gear so we can complete the relay course with some dignity intact. I will be swimming, thanks to a merciful God who gave me friends who enjoy running and biking.

Besides the warm-up, cool-down, tapering, emergency room visits, and whatnot, an integral part of my training regimen will be stretching so my muscles stay limber and my stress levels stay low. But it turns out stretching benefits everyone, not just those being forcibly woken every morning to swim training for an athletic event.

Check out this video from this week's The Juice to learn handy stretches you can do at your desk and in your home to release tension and improve focus:

Added bonus to taking time out of a busy schedule for a mental/body stretch break: You can focus your newly restored mind on winning a blissful prize pack from BlogHer's online community The Juice, sponsored by Tropicana Trop50.

Just leave a comment below sharing your favorite stretch or relaxation activity, and you'll be entered to win the following:
* Complete Pilates Kit

* Set of 10 Relaxing CDs

* 1-Year subscription to Natural Health Magazine
That's all worth over $100 -- and that figure doesn't even include the value of my hard-earned sweat and tears in training for this sprint triathlon and blogging about it. Bargain!

So get your stretch on, brighten your day, and stay tuned for the announcement of the winner (not to mention occasional updates on my path to athletic prowess). Thanks everyone!

P.S. You can also check out the last post I wrote for a Juice contest, all about turning your spare change into social change.


  1. Great blog idea and promotion, Julia!

    My favorite stretch: sit & reach (legs out in front, reach as far as you can). Reminds me of gym class when it was part of the physical fitness test. I always passed with flying colors.

    My favorite relaxation activity: A lovely series of events including a bubble bath with my "bubble bath" playlist going, then getting under the covers to write or read, with a cup of tea or coffee at my side.

  2. Anonymous9:20 PM

    Oooh. A contest! My favorite relaxation technique is a day at the beach with my daughter! But since I can't do that every day, I rely on a brisk 30 minute walk at 6:30 AM. Just hearing the birds and watching the sun creep higher into the morning sky calms me.

    My favorite stretch starts from a deep knee bend position with heels off the ground. Slowly lift your butt into the air keeping yourself folded at the waist. Tuck your face into your legs and hold on to the back of your legs with your hands. Maintain that stretch while breathing slowly and fully for as long as you can (legs are fully stretched open at this point). You are basically folded in half. Release your legs and very slowly rise to a standing position one vertebrae at a time, breathing gently and fully as you go. Stand for a few seconds and let your blood flow return to normal. Ahhhhh.
    Love, Mom

  3. Anonymous10:29 PM

    I,too, got into stretching yesterday.I started mowing at 0750 and stretched that into 3hours and had finishedthe south, front and north lawns. I then strtched a roast beef sandwich, a wee piece of key lime pie and a tall glass of water into lunch. After stretching out on the sofa for a 20 minute nap I started clearing the north fencerow. I had to stretch to tie the chain to vines and tractor and they really stretched, but they finally gave up and Ipulled them out. One was about 50 feet long.(stretched) I finally stretched out on the bed at 1015. That was my favorite, but I'm not sure any of these really made me feel better.C