51 Health and Fitness Terms for Beginners

Individuals who are new to the fitness world should become familiar with commonly used fitness terms or things can become pretty confusing when speaking to personal trainers or other fitness professionals. These terms are even used in fitness magazines and by instructors in DVD workouts. By studying the following list, you can become more familiar with these terms and help your fitness journey to become easier.

  • Aerobic: Any exercise that is utilized to help improve the body’s cardiovascular system. A good example of an aerobic exercise is running on a treadmill.
  • Anaerobic: An exercise designed to trigger the release of lactic acid in the muscles. Bodybuilders utilize these types of exercises in order to gain mass.
  • Metabolism: A term that is used to describe the chemical reactions responsible for maintaining the living state of the organism. The amount of energy your body requires in order to maintain all of its functions.
  • Basal metabolic rate: A basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the amount of energy your body must expend in order to maintain all of its functions while the body is at rest. The BMR is often referred to as just ‘metabolism’.
  • Body composition: Body composition is the actual percentage of fat, muscle, water and bone in the human body. Because lean muscle tissue takes up much less space than bulky fat, your weight, combined with your body composition, is used to determine if you are within a healthy body weight range.
  • Cardiorespiratory: Cardiorespiratory references any action that affects both the lungs and heart; specifically, the ability of the respiratory and circulatory systems to provide oxygen to muscles during physical activity.
  • Cardio Endurance: This is the most important aspect of physical fitness. Cardio endurance is a measurement to determine the strength of the heart and its ability to sustain the body throughout various physical activities. Cardio endurance is often referred to as ‘stamina’.
  • Cardiovascular: Cardiovascular refers to any part of the circulatory system, mainly the heart, and its ability to transport blood efficiently through the body. Cardiovascular exercises help to build the endurance of the heart muscle.
  • Fat-free mass: This is the measurement of your entire body mass, minus the fat. It includes skin, tendons, bones, muscle and organs. Having high levels of fat-free mass generally means you are in good physical condition. However, fat is pertinent for the body to function correctly, and an extremely high fat-free mass reading may indicate a health problem.
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