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1915 B. SE Greenville Blvd.
Greenville, NC 27858
Phone: 252-551-1811

Fitness Glossary

Aerobic exercise- Any rhythmic activity that increases the body's need for oxygen by using large muscle groups continuously for at least 10 minutes. The term aerobic means “with oxygen.”

Anaerobic exercise- Short lasting, high intensity activity, where the demand for oxygen from the exercise exceeds the oxygen supply.

Body composition- Amount of fat vs. lean muscle tissue in the human body.

Body Mass Index (BMI)- Measure of the relationship between height and weight; calculated by dividing weight in kilograms by height in centimeters squared. 

Carbohydrate- Any food that is particularly rich in the complex carbohydrate, starch (such as cereals, bread, and pasta) or simple carbohydrates, such as sugar (found in candy, jams, and desserts). Carbohydrates have varying effects on the glucose and insulin levels in your body.

Calisthenics- Exercising using one’s own body weight which helps develop muscular tone.

Cardiorespiratory fitness- Measure of the heart’s ability to pump oxygen-rich blood to the muscles. Also called cardiovascular or aerobic fitness.

Cardiovascular system- A complex system consisting of the heart and blood vessels; transports nutrients, oxygen, and enzymes throughout the body and regulates temperature, water levels of cells, and acidity levels of body components.

Cross-training- An individualized combination of all aerobic-training methods, characterized by a variety of intensities and modes.

Endorphins- Opiate-like hormones that are manufactured in the body and contribute to natural feelings of well-being.

Exercise metabolic rate (EMR)- The energy expenditure that occurs during exercise.

Glycemic Index- A chart that measures the impact of various carbohydrates on the glucose and insulin levels in the body; the higher the impact, the higher the GI number.

Heat stroke- A deadly heat stress illness resulting from dehydration and overexertion in warm or hot conditions; can cause body core temperature to rise from normal to 100 or 105 degrees Fahrenheit in just a few minutes.

High impact- Activities that place more stress on the bones and joints, where your limbs are actually making contact with the ground or other surface with force. Examples include: walking, running, step aerobics, and sports that involve impact, like basketball or tennis.

Low impact- Activities that place less stress on the bones and joints. These are better for people with joint pain, and overweight individuals whose weight can hurt their joints. Examples include: swimming, elliptical, cycling, and other activities where your feet (or other body parts) aren’t touching the ground with force or where you are somehow supported.

Muscle fibers- Individual muscle cells that are the functional components of muscles.

Muscular endurance- The ability of the muscle to perform repetitive contractions over a prolonged period of time.

Muscular strength- The ability of the muscle to generate the maximum amount of force.

Obesity- A weight disorder generally defined as an accumulation of fat beyond that considered normal for a person based on age, sex, and body type.

Physical fitness- The ability to perform regular to vigorous physical activity without great fatigue.

Pilates- Exercise programs that combine dynamic stretching with movement against resistance.

Plateau- Point in an exercise program where no additional progress is being made (gains in strength, weight loss, increased endurance, etc). One way to break through a plateau is to change the kind of activity you are doing or something about your current activity- adding hills, increasing speed, increasing distance, etc.

Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR)- Number of calories expended to maintain the body during resting conditions. Also referred to as basal metabolic rate.

Strength training (resistance training)- The process of exercising with progressively heavier resistance for the purpose of strengthening the musculoskeletal system.

Warm up- To prepare for an athletic event (whether a game or a workout session) by exercising, stretching, or practicing for a short time beforehand.

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