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Dictionary

A
Abduction Movement of a limb away from middle of body, such as bringing arms to shoulder height from hanging down position.
Abs Abbreviation for abdominal muscles, abdomen. The part of the body between the ribs and pelvis that holds the stomach, intestines, liver and other organs.
Adduction Movement of a limb toward middle of body, such as bringing arms to side from extended position at shoulder.
Adrenal Gland One of a pair of small glands, each of which sits on top of the kidneys. These glands produce hormones that help to control the body’s heart rate, blood pressure, the way food gets used, and other functions. They make the hormone adrenaline, which the body releases in response to stress.
Aerobic Exercise (means with oxygen) – A type of physical activity that burns fat, gets your heart rate going, and makes your heart muscle stronger. It also increases the number of blood cells you have, which helps your blood carry more needed oxygen to blood vessels throughout your body. Examples of aerobic exercise is jogging , cycling, swimming and dancing.
Amino Acids Twenty- two basic building blocks of the body that make up proteins.
Amenorrhea When a woman does not have periods either ever (after age 16) or when periods stop as a result of pregnancy, too much exercise, extreme obesity or not enough body fat, or emotional distress.
Anaerobic Exercise (means without oxygen) – Physical activity that involves building muscle strength. This type of exercise goes along well with aerobic exercise because having stronger muscles helps burn more calories. Short bursts of “all-out” activities such as sprinting or weightlifting are anaerobic.
Anemia When the total amount of red blood cells or hemoglobin is below normal. Anemia can cause severe fatigue and other health problems. There are many different types of anemia.
Anorexia Nervosa An illness in which people don’t eat enough and therefore can’t stay at a healthy body weight. People with anorexia have a fear of gaining weight and sometimes think they are heavier than they really are. Anorexia nervosa can result in life-threatening weight loss and amenorrhea.
Antioxidants Vitamins A, C and E, along with various minerals, which are useful to protect the body from “free radicals”. Free radicals are unstable cells, which react with each, naturally created in the body, and also caused by factors such as smoking and radiation. Free radicals may cause cell damage, which leads to disease.
Artery Any of the thick-walled blood vessels that carry blood away from the heart to other parts of the body.
B
Behavioral Therapy A kind of therapy used by a psychologist or a psychiatrist that helps people to change the way they behave and act.
Binge Eating Disorder A condition marked by periods of out-of-control eating. Unlike bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder usually does not involve purging (throwing up or doing other things to get rid of the food).
Blood Glucose Level Amount of glucose in the blood. Glucose is a sugar from food and provides energy. Too much glucose in the blood for a long time can cause diabetes and hurt some parts of the body, like the heart and kidneys.
Blood Pressure As blood is pumped from the heart through the body, the blood exerts force or pressure against the blood vessel walls. A blood pressure reading is a measure of this pressure. When that reading goes above a certain point, it is called high blood pressure or hypertension. Changes in lifestyle, healthy eating, and medicine can lower high blood pressure.
Bodybuilding Weight training to change physical appearance.
Body Composition The breakdown of your body make-up, i.e. fat, lean muscle, bone and water content.
Bone density Soundness of the bones within the body, low density can be a result of osteoporosis.
Bulimia Nervosa Illness defined by uncontrollable overeating, usually followed by making oneself throw up or purge (get rid of food) in other ways.
Bulking Up Gaining body weight by adding muscle, body fat or both.
C
Calorie When talking about food, a calorie is a measure of the amount of energy you get from eating a certain amount of food. When talking about physical activity, a calorie is a measure of the energy that the body uses in performing an activity.
Carbohydrate Carbs – One of the three main nutrients in food that is the body’s main source of energy. Two main groups of carbohydrates are sugars and starch.
Carbon Dioxide A body waste product that is a colorless and odorless gas.
Carcinogen Any substance that causes cancer.
Cardiovascular Training Physical conditioning that strengthens heart and blood vessels, the result of which is an increase in the ability for your body muscles to utilize fuel more effectively resulting in a greater level of exercising.
Catabolism The breakdown of lean muscle mass, normally as a result of injury, immobilization and poor dieting techniques.
Cellulose Indigestible fiber in foods.
Cholesterol A soft, waxy substance (fat lipid) that is present in all parts of the body. It helps make cell membranes, some hormones and vitamin D. The liver makes all the cholesterol the human body needs. So eating too much from animal foods like meats and whole milk dairy products can make your cholesterol go up, which can lead to health problems like heart disease and stroke. Good cholesterol is known as HDL and bad cholesterol is known as LDL.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome A very severe and long-term feeling of weakness and being tired, even after getting rest.
Circulatory System The heart, the blood, and the system of blood vessels that moves blood through the body.
Circuit Training Going quickly from one exercise apparatus to another and doing a prescribed number of exercises or time on each apparatus, keeps pulse rate high and promotes overall fitness, by generally working all muscle groups as well as heart and lungs.
Cool Down Moderate then light activity, normally followed by stretching.
Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) – Diseases of the heart muscle and the blood vessels that supply it with oxygen, high risk factor for a heart attack.
Crunches Abdominal exercises. Sit-ups done on the floor with legs on bench, hands behind the neck.
D
Dehydration Excessive fluid loss from the body, normally from perspiration, urination, evaporation or being sick. When someone is dehydrated, the body does not have enough water to work properly. Signs of dehydration are thirst, a dry mouth, tiredness, feeling dizzy, dark-colored urine, or very little urine at all.
Delts Abbreviation for deltoids, the large triangular muscles of the shoulder which raise the arm away from the body and perform other functions.
Depression An illness that involves the body, mood and thoughts. It affects the way a person functions, eats and sleeps, feels about themselves, and thinks about things. It is more than just feeling “down in the dumps” or “blue” for a short time. It is not a sign of personal weakness or a condition that can be willed or wished away. Depression can be treated with counseling and medicine and minimized by exercising.
Diabetes A disease in which blood sugar levels are above normal. With type 1 diabetes, the body does not make enough insulin, which is the chemical that controls blood sugar levels. With type 2 diabetes, the body does not use insulin properly, and then over time, loses the ability to make enough insulin. Type 2 diabetes is the most common type and can be prevented with physical activity and healthy eating.
Dietitian An expert in nutrition.
Dumbbell Weight used for exercising consisting of rigid handles about 14″ long with either detachable metal discs or fixed weights at each end.
E
Eating Disorder An illness that involves serious problems with normal eating behaviors, such as feelings of distress and concern about body shape or weight, severe overeating, or starving oneself. Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder are types of eating disorders.
Electrolytes Capable of conducting electricity in a solution. Used in many body activities, potassium, sodium and chloride are all forms of electrolytes.
Endurance Ability of the body to keep up an exercise or activity continually over a period of time without getting tired. The more endurance someone has, the longer they can swim, bike, run, or play a sport before tiring out.
Enriched When vitamins or minerals are added to a food to make it more nutritious. An example is calcium-enriched orange juice.
Enzyme Helpful protein molecules, responsible for a multitude of chemical reactions within the body.
Ergogenic Something that can increase muscular work capacity.
EFA’s (Essential Fatty Acids) Required by the body, however only obtainable from food sources, such as flaxseed oil and safflower oil.
Exercise Activity done for the purpose of keeping fit and healthy, or sociable in a group form like football.
Extension Body part (i.e. hand, neck, trunk, etc.) going from a bent to a straight position, as in leg extension.
F
Fat Often referred to as lipids, or triglycerides, one of the main food groups, containing nine calories per gram. It serves a variety of functions in the body, however a high percentage of body fat has been proven to be bad for you.
Flex Bend or decrease angle of a joint; contract a muscle.
Flexibility (ROM) Range of movement in a joint or group of joints.
Flexion Bending in contrast to extending, as in leg flexion.
Flush Cleanse a muscle by increasing the blood supply to it, removing toxins left in muscle by exertion.
Fortified When ingredients are added to foods or drinks to either make them taste better or add nutrients. An example is breakfast cereal fortified with vitamins.
Fructose Often used as a sugar substitute for diabetics, because of its low glycemic index. A healthier option than normal sugar, as fructose comes from fruit.
G
Glucagon A hormone responsible for the regulation of blood sugar levels.
Glucose The basic fuel of the body, the simplest sugar molecule and main sugar found in the blood stream.
Gluteals Abbreviation for gluteus maximus, medius and minimus; the buttock muscles.
Glycemic Index (GI) – A measuring system to find the extent of which various foods raise the blood sugar level. The benchmark is white bread, which has a GI of 100. The higher the score, the greater the extents of blood sugar raise. E.g. Dextrose scores 138 (HIGH) whereas fructose 31 (LOW).
Glycogen The principle form of carbohydrate energy (glucose) stored within the bodies muscles and liver.
Growth Hormone A naturally released anabolic hormone by the pituitary gland. It promotes muscle growth and the breakdown of body fat for energy. Unfortunately it is greatly reduced after the age of about 20.
H
Heart disease A number of abnormal conditions affecting the heart and the blood vessels in the heart. Coronary artery disease is the most common type of heart disease. It involves a gradual buildup of plaque in the coronary artery, the blood vessel that brings blood to the heart. When this happens, the heart doesn’t get enough blood to work properly.
Herbal Supplement Any of a variety of natural products, such as teas, pills, or creams that are used as medicine. It is important that you ask your doctor before using anything that he or she has not given you.
High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) – A blood substance that picks up cholesterol and helps remove it from the body; often called “good cholesterol.”
Hormones A natural body chemical, such as estrogen or testosterone, that has effects on or controls other parts of the body. Hormones regulate various biological processes through their ability to control the action of enzymes.
Hypertension High blood pressure.
I
Immune System The system that protects the body against infection and foreign substances. The immune system works to seek out, identify and kill invaders such as bacteria or tumor cells.
Incomplete Proteins Proteins which are low in one or more of the essential amino acids.
Insulin A hormone that helps glucose, a type of sugar from food, get into cells for energy. Some people with diabetes do not make enough insulin to break down the sugar in food.
Isokinetic Exercise Isotonic exercise in which there is ‘accommodating resistance’. Also refers to constant speed. Nautilus is a type of isokinetic machine, where the machine varies the amount of resistance being lifted to match the force curve developed by the muscle.
Isometric Exercise Muscular contraction where muscle maintains a constant length and joints do not move. These exercises are usually performed against a wall or other immovable object.
Isotonic Exercise Muscular action in which there is a change in length of muscle and weight, keeping tension constant. Lifting free weights is a classic isotonic exercise.
J
K
Kinesiolog Study of muscles and their movements.
L
Lactic Acid A substance caused by anaerobic training of the muscles; a build up prevents continuation of exercise.
Lactose Intolerance When the body cannot digest lactose, which is a kind of sugar found in milk and dairy products such as cheese or ice cream.
Lats Abbreviation for Latissimus dorsi, the large muscles of the back that move the arms downward, backward and in internal rotation.
Lean Meat and poultry that has little or no fat, making it healthier to eat.
Lean Body Mass Everything in the body except for fat, including bone, organs, skin, nails and all body tissue including muscle. Approximately 50-60% of lean body mass is water
Legume A seed or pod of a certain kind of plant that is used as food. Legumes include beans, peas, lentils and peanuts.
Ligament Strong, fibrous band of connecting tissue connecting two or more bones or cartilage or supporting a muscle, fascia or organ.
Lipids All fats and fatty acids.
Lipoprotein Fat carrying protein in the blood.
Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) – A core of cholesterol surrounded by protein, often referred to as bad cholesterol.
Lower Abs Abbreviation for abdominal muscles below the navel.
Lumbar Lower region of your spine, vertebrates L1 to L5. Used for bending and extending the body forward and back, with the aid of the abdominal and erector spinae muscles.
M
Malnourished When a body does not get the proper nutrition it needs to work.
Metabolism The different ways that the body makes and uses energy, such as in digesting food.
Midsection Muscles of abdominal area, including upper and lower abdominals, obliques and rectus abdominis muscles.
Military Press Pressing a barbell from upper chest upwards in a standing or sitting position.
Moderate Exercise Physical activity that involves a medium amount of energy and effort. One who is active at a moderate intensity level should be able to carry on a conversation comfortably while engaging in the activity. Fast walking is moderate exercise while running is vigorous exercise, which requires more energy and effort.
Muscle Tissue consisting of fibers organized into bands or bundles that contract to cause bodily movement.
Muscle Spasm Sudden, involuntary contraction of muscle or muscle group.
Muscle Tone Condition in which muscle is in a constant yet slight state of contraction and appears firm
N
Nautilus Isokinetic-type exercise machine which attempts to match resistance with user’s force.
O
Obesity Having too much body fat. Obesity is more extreme than being overweight, which means weighing too much. Obesity is measured using body mass index (BMI).
Obliques Abbreviation for external obliques, the muscles to either side of abdominals that rotate and flex the trunk.
Occupational Therapis A health care specialist who helps people with a disability, illness, injury, or other health issue learn or relearn how to do daily activities like eating, dressing or bathing.
Osteoporosis A disease that thins and weakens bones to the point where they break easily.
Overload Principle Applying a greater load than normal to a muscle to increase its capability.
P
Parasympathetic Nervous System Branch of the autonomic nervous system that slows the heart rate.
Partial Reps Performing an exercise without going through a complete range of motion either at the beginning or end of a rep.
Peak Contraction Exercising a muscle until it cramps by using shortened movements.
Pecs Abbreviation for pectoral muscles of the chest.
Physical Therapist A health care specialist who uses body movements to help treat injuries and other physical health issues.
Pituitary Gland A small gland attached to the brain that makes many important hormones, including growth hormone and hormones that control the onset of puberty, sexual development and reproductive function. It also makes endorphins, special chemicals that help provide natural pain relief from within the body.
Plyometric Exercise Where muscles are loaded suddenly and stretched, then quickly contracted to produce a movement. Athletes who must jump do these, i.e. jumping off bench to ground, quickly rebounding to another bench.
Power Strength + speed.
Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation Stretching exercises used to increase an individual’s flexibility.
Progressive Resistance Method of training where weight is increased as muscles gain strength and endurance. (The backbone of all weight training.)
Q
Quads Abbreviation for quadriceps femoris muscles, muscles on the upper part of the front of the legs, which consist of four parts (heads).
R
Repetition (aka Reps) One complete movement of an exercise.
Rep Out Repeat the same movement over and over until you are unable to do anymore.
Rest Interval Pause between sets of an exercise, which allows muscles to recover partially before beginning next set.
S
Self-Esteem How you feel about yourself. It includes how you feel about who you are, the way you act and how you look. When a person does not think too highly of themselves, he or she is said to have low self-esteem. When a person accepts the way they look, act and feel, they are said to have high self-esteem. Working out regularly helps boost self-esteem.
Set Fixed number of repetitions. For example, 10 repetitions may make up one set.
Spot Help someone with their weights or exercise if asked by person.
Static Stretch A stretch that is held within the stretched position for several seconds, without movement.
Strength The ability of a muscle to produce maximum force.
Strength Training Using resistance weight training to build maximum muscle force.
Stretch Marks Tears (slight scars) in skin caused if muscle or fat tissue has expanded faster than the skin can grow.
T
Tendon A band or cord of strong, fibrous tissue that connects muscle to the bone.
Testosterone Principle male hormone that controls many of the changes males go through during puberty — deeper voice, body and facial hair, etc. It also accelerates tissue growth and stimulates blood flow.
Trans Fat A type of fat, usually made by food manufacturers so that foods last longer on shelves or in cans. Eating trans fats increases the risk of some illnesses, like heart disease.
Traps Abbreviation for trapezius muscles, the largest muscle of the back and neck that draws the head backwards and rotates the scapula.
U
Universal Machine One of several types of machines where weights are on tracks or rails and lifted by levers or pulleys.
Upper Abs Abbreviation for abdominal muscles above the navel.
V
Variable Resistance Strength training equipment where the machine varies amount of weight being lifted to match strength curve for a particular exercise – usually with a cam, lever arm or hydraulic cylinder. Also referred to as “Accommodating Resistance.
Vein Any of the thin-walled blood vessels that receive blood from capillaries and return it to the heart.
Vigorous Exercise Physical activity that involves a high level of energy and effort. One who becomes winded or too out of breath to talk comfortably is doing vigorous activity. Running is vigorous exercise, while fast walking is moderate exercise, which requires less energy and effort.
Vitamin A nutrient found in foods and that your body needs to work well. Not all foods contain the same vitamins, and some foods contain more of one vitamin than another. There are 13 vitamins that the body needs. If it does not get enough through the foods a person eats, a doctor might suggest taking a vitamin supplement.
W
Warm up Light gradual exercises performed to get the body ready for physical activity, normally a slower version of the activity to follow. For example a light jog before a run. Often followed by stretching of the body.
Weight Training Belt Thick leather belt used to support lower back. Used while doing squats, military presses, dead lifts, bent rowing, etc.
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