We’ve all been there. You’ve been diligent about your workout regimen, you’ve made progress on your physical goals, and you’re starting to feel like you could do this forever. And then, all of a sudden, for whatever reason, you just stop. It may start with one lazy day, where you just can't get up the motivation. You tell yourself you'll work out tomorrow, but tomorrow gets away from you too, and before you know it you haven't hit the gym or exercised in weeks. Exercise slumps can be tough, especially if you had been doing so well before the slump hit. The thought of starting over from scratch after having worked so hard can be incredibly disheartening. You may even try to start working out again and find that the lost progress has made you not want to keep going. It can almost feel like there's no point to trying to get back to where you were - what if you just end up in another slump? So how do you get back to feeling confident about your exercise regimen when your confidence has hit a road bump? Well first of all it's important not to beat yourself up over it. We all hit dips in our physical activity from time to time, it doesn't make us failures, and it doesn't mean we are incapable of keeping a workout schedule. Taking a step backwards is sometimes a normal part of forging on ahead. We also have to remember that just because we haven't been to the gym in a while it doesn't mean that we are starting over from scratch. Sure, we may have put on a few pounds or lost a bit of muscle mass, but we maintain the muscle memory, the proper form and bits of invaluable exercise [...]
Stretching properly increases flexibility, prevents injury, helps you recover, and builds lean muscle. Stretching improperly can lead to hyperextention, pulled muscles, and muscular imbalances. We Ninjas want to make sure we are treating our bodies with the utmost care and respect, and doing everything we can to ensure our long-term physical health. Let's take a look at some common stretching mistakes so that we can recognize and prevent them in the future. 1) Not warming up before you stretch This one still comes as a surprise to some people, who have been told for a long time that stretching before your workout is essential. However, doing static stretches with cold muscles actually INCREASES, your chance of injury instead of decreasing it. Warming up your muscles with active, dynamic movements is always a good idea before a workout, and also before you stretch. 2) Pushing yourself too hard Stretching should never cause you unpleasant pain. Yes, sometimes we interpret the signals we are receiving from a deep stretch as "painful" in a way, but there is a difference between the pleasant pain of a good massage and the unpleasant pain of someone pinching you. If a stretch causes you the latter type of pain, back off. Check your form, don't stretch as deep, or find an alternative stretch. 3) Practicing improper form A common stretching mistake we see a lot is people rounding their backs while stretching. In many seated stretches, for example, you want to keep your back flat and your gaze forward while leaning over. Think bellybutton to quads rather than nose to knees. Other common mistakes include hip and knee placements. if you're unsure about body positioning, or even if you think you're doing it right, don't be afraid to ask one of our Skyhook coaches to check [...]
2017 is drawing to an end, signaling a time of reflection and evaluation for many of us. We think back over our activities of the past year, tallying the accomplishments and the hardships. We think about who we’ve been and who we want to be - the obstacles we want to tackle (both mental and physical), and we begin to set rules and goals for ourselves in the coming year. We have a clean slate after all, and there is so much we want to accomplish. But we sometimes find that, despite our best efforts, keeping those resolutions can be more difficult than we initially anticipated. But changing your lifestyle for the better is far from impossible, and in order to help you get started here are some tips for choosing and keeping resolutions that are best for you. 1) Start with something simple Often we're tempted to use the end-of-year reset button to try to instate sweeping changes in our lives. But apart from being jarring, making these changes is sometimes impractical. For example, going from not exercising at all to implementing a rigorous workout routine 5 days a week might not be sustainable. This doesn't mean it's not okay to have big goals and ideas, but building up to the bigger goals on a strong foundation of little accomplishments will reward you with better results than trying to make radical life changes out of nowhere. Major life improvements can often come from small, simple changes. 2) Choose goals that fit into your schedule You want your new resolutions to compliment your existing lifestyle, not fight with it. When setting your intentions consider how they will fir into your current agenda. Don't limit yourself, but do be practical. 3) Don't be afraid to ask for support Make your family [...]
We don’t have to tell you how much a good exercise routine can do for you. Staying active plays a huge role in keeping our bodies and our minds healthy, happy, and functioning appropriately. However, the unfortunate truth is that sometimes we get hurt by the very actions we take to keep ourselves in good shape. Joint problems are one of the most common issues that athletes and people with rigorous exercise routines face. Many of us know all too well that joint issues can arise as a result of performing repetitive motions over a period of time. Rock climbing, gymnastics, and Ninja Fitness are no exceptions to this phenomenon. The good news is, there are simple steps you can take to help prevent joint issues from forming or becoming worse. And when done properly, exercise can actually help with existing joint problems. Below you’ll find a few simple tips for protecting yourself when excercising. 1. ALWAYS do a warm-up and cool-down. Making sure your muscles and joints are ready to get into the action is an absolutely essential factor in preventing injury. A 5-10 minute warm up can make all the difference in how your muscles respond during your workout. Likewise, you don’t want to shock your muscles by just stopping their use abruptly. And try to remember to save the deep stretching for after you work out, not before. 2. Strengthen the muscles that support your joints Our joints have to deal with a lot. Our knees in particular face daily stress (especially the ladies, whose skeletal construction can cause knee problems to form more often). One way of alleviating this stress is to strengthen the muscles surrounding the joint that ails you. Strengthening the quads, for example, is a great way to take a [...]
Well, Portland, it’s getting colder. And with the chilly weather comes the desire to slow down, curl up on a comfy piece of furniture, and eat holiday cookies. And let’s face it, going the the gym and exercising gets…harder. So what can you do to keep yourself active when all you really want to do is stay home and pack on an extra layer of insulation? We've compiled a list of little tricks that can help you motivate yourself to keep moving. 1. Start with a warmup. The thought of doing a whole workout can be daunting. You may be feeling sluggish or just lazy and your body just doesn’t want to get moving. But a little bit of movement is a lot better than none, and it can be much easier to commit yourself to a quick five minute burst rather than a whole routine. The great thing about this is after you break that initial barrier and get moving you’ll most likely be ready to tackle a whole workout! 2. Move your routine indoors. It’s cold outside. It might be windy or snowing, or raining, and your regularly scheduled run or bike ride just doesn’t sound like something you’re up for. Instead of ditching the action all together, find a more hospitable place to exercise. If the roads are too sketchy and you can’t make it in to your gym, there are tons of free workout videos available online that can keep you active! 3. Get a workout buddy! Share the culpability! Having someone who helps push you can make all the difference in keeping with a workout routine. So grab a buddy and get moving! 4. Remind yourself how good you feel after you work out. It sounds really simple, and it is! Remembering that rush of [...]
All of us here at Skyhook Ninja Fitness would like to wish you and yours a happy holiday. And in the spirit of the season, we thought we’d do something a little sweet! Having dietary restrictions doesn’t necessarily have to mean cutting out the fun foods. This pumpkin pie recipe is vegan, gluten-free, and has no refined sugars! And because there are no eggs, you don’t even have to bake it! It’s super delicious and best of all, it tastes great. Your non-vegan guests just might want to steal the recipe. *Do keep in mind that this recipe requires 6-8 hours of refrigeration!* You will need: CRUST: about 3 cups almond meal 1 tsp vanilla extract 1-2 ripe bananas a pinch of salt FILLING: 1 can of your favorite pumpkin pie purée (or purée your own!) 1 cup coconut milk about 12 dates 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 tsp ginger powder 1 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp nutmeg 1/2 tsp salt 1/4 tsp clove powder Optional: 1/4 cup maple sugar for extra sweetness. DIRECTIONS: To make the crust, blend the almond meal and about 1/2 of a banana in a medium bowl. Mix together well. add more banana until the dough holds together and has a slightly sticky texture. Mix in the vanilla extract and salt. Press the dough into a pie pan, covering the bottom and sides of the pan. Feel free to add a little flourish to the edges of the crust! In a blender combine all filling ingredients and blend until there are no lumps of date left. Pour the filling into the crust and spread evenly with a rubber spatula. Refrigerate 6-8 hrs. Serve with your favorite vegan whipped cream and enjoy!
What is Seasonal Affective Disorder? A 2015 article in the Depression Research and Treatment Journal defines Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) as "a recurrent major depressive disorder with a seasonal pattern usually beginning in fall and continuing into winter months.”(1). The disorder is characterized by a recurrent pattern of mood changes that has remained consistent over the course of several years. SAD is more prevalent in regions further from the equator, which experience less sunlight in the winter months. Here in Portland, where our short winter days are often punctuated with grey skies and persistent rain, it can be easier to succumb to gloominess. Even those who do not suffer from an diagnosable disorder often experience “winter blues” - a drop in mood and energy prompted by the cold weather. How can exercise help? Put very simply, people with seasonal affective disorder have trouble regulating serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps manage your mood. Exercise and physical activity can help with this deficit, as exercise has been shown to increase serotonin production in the brain. Because of this, people who adopt an exercise routine tend to exhibit positive behavioral changes with regular practice (2). What’s more, exercising in a social space with supportive individuals can help give your mood an extra lift. Research has shown that positive, uplifting social interactions are critical in maintaining your mental health, and can provide a much-needed pick-me-up on those dark, rainy days (3). So what are you waiting for? Grab a pair of comfy pants, and maybe a few good friends, and get those feel-good neurons working! **Sometimes mental obstacles can be much harder to overcome than physical ones. If you are severely depressed seeking the help of a mental health professional can change, or even save, your life.** References: 1. Melrose, Sherri. “Seasonal Affective Disorder: An Overview of Assessment and [...]
Birthdays are a big deal for kids. It's a day all their own when they get to have fun, eat cake, and celebrate a milestone in their lives. Coming up with the right birthday plan, however, isn't always easy. There's food and invites and games to come up with, and choosing a location and a theme and making sure there's proper supervision. It can get a little hectic. 1. It’s a great way to get out that extra energy - in a safe environment. Let’s face it, when you get a group of kids together it’s only a matter of time before they come up with a game that seems to be testing whose bones are the most resistant. Kids are little daredevils. They love thrill seeking and have an endless supply of energy. Skyhook let’s them climb and jump and tumble….in a place meant for climbing, jumping and tumbling. It gives them the excitement and physical challenge they crave, and you the piece of mind that there are springy floors and big foam matts under them at all times. 2. It builds supportive attitudes In the spirit of American Ninja Warrior, Skyhook has cultivated an atmosphere that is both challenging and encouraging. We inspire kids to root for each other, take turns, and get excited about their own achievements as well as the achievements of their peers. You haven't seen excitement until you've seen a group of nine-year-olds shouting "Beat that wall!" together. 3. No clean-up hassle After all of the planning and prepping and games, making food and fixing scraped knees, the last thing you want to do is clean up a mess left behind by a group of school-age party guests. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. You focus on the fun, and we'll take care of [...]