The A-Z of Health & Fitness Lingo
Welcome to our very first two-part blog! Today we’re taking a look at fitness-related words you might have heard or read online. If you’re not quite sure what some of them mean, don’t worry! We’ll give you a quick run-down on the ABCs you need to be up on.
A is for… Activewear
Activewear is clothing designed for sweating in. While it’s made for working out, activewear has become a huge fashion trend as well, even spawning similar trends (like athleisure). Basically this means it’s now more acceptable to wear your workout gear when you’re not working out!
B is for… Bikram Yoga
Bikram Yoga was created by Bikram Choudhury, and a traditional Bikram Yoga routine runs for 90 minutes and consists of 26 postures. It takes place in a heated room (usually between 37-40℃, or 98-104℉) with increased humidity. The routine uses postures which work every part of the body, stimulating internal organs and stretching ligaments and muscles.
C is for… Cold-pressed Juice
Cold-pressed juice is made by gently pressing fruit or vegetables, releasing the natural juices and nutrients slowly. This process of juicing is often marketed as a healthier option, although it is early days in terms of available research to show a significant difference. The blades of mechanical juicers are said to heat the fruit, which can destroy some of the vitamin content, something that’s avoided with cold-pressed juices.
D is for… Deskercise
Deskercise is a term for exercises you can do at your desk, which can help undo some of the health effects of sitting all day. Try seated leg raises, shoulder shrugs and wall push-ups to give your body a bit of a stretch and get the blood pumping.
E is for… Eating Mindfully
Also referred to as intuitive eating, eating mindfully relates to the practices surrounding mealtime, and the way we eat. The goal of eating mindfully is being in touch with physical signs of hunger and taking the time to savour the taste and texture of the food as it is being eaten. The idea is we focus on enjoying the food we eat, rather than having any emotional connection (such as turning to comfort food). This can lower the chance of overeating.
F is for… Fitspiration or Fitspo
A hybrid of the words ‘fit’ and ‘inspiration’ (there’s also the short version: fitspo). Fitspiration is using examples (such as photos or messages) of fitness and health habits as motivation to achieve your own fitness goals.
G is for… Glutes
Your gluteals (or glutes) control movements in the lower body and help to maintain posture. Strong glutes can help your performance, and may reduce the risk of injury to your knees, lower back, groin or hamstrings.
H is for… Hydration
Hydration is one of the most important things we can do for our bodies. It helps to regulate the temperature of the body, as well as keeping cells healthy and flushing out toxins. Drinking water and eating foods with high water content can help you stay hydrated.
I is for… Interval Training
Also known as interval workouts, interval training involves alternating training at periods of high and low intensity. The lower-intensity periods give your body a little time to recover before stepping back into a high-intensity interval. This generally means you can increase the total amount of activity you can do at a higher intensity.
J is for… Juicing
Juicing refers to drinking juice as a meal replacement. While freshly squeezed juice can give us a boost of nutrients, it can also provide a big sugar hit without the fibre you’d get from eating a piece of fruit. Replacing whole meals with juice can send your blood sugar on a roller coaster ride and may leave you feeling hungry again very quickly.
K is for… Kettlebell
You’ve probably seen a kettlebell at the gym — shaped like a metal ball with a handle, kettlebells are used in a variety of resistance exercises (like squats, presses and swings). When used correctly, they can help work your thighs and glutes (among other parts), as well as helping to improve your balance and core strength.
L is for… Lats (Latissimus Dorsi Muscle)
Your lats are the biggest muscles in your back, helping your body to make lots of different movements. Working your lats is important for stabilising your shoulders.
M is for… Macros
Short for macronutrients, macros are nutrients found in food that we require in our diet. They fall into three categories; carbohydrates, fat and protein. Your body needs these nutrients in large amounts, and macros are considered the building blocks for a healthy diet.
N is for… Nice Cream
A healthier alternative to ice cream, ‘nice cream’ is made from blended frozen bananas. The flavour can be easily changed by adding different berries, fresh mint or peanut butter.
O is for… Overtraining
Putting too much physical stress on the body without giving it enough recovery time can lead to overtraining. Without proper rest, your body may not get enough time to build muscle, deal with stress and repair itself.
P is for… Plyometric Training
Often referred to as ‘jump training’, plyometric movements involve rapidly lengthening and contracting muscles to increase muscle power. Using your bodyweight as resistance, plyometric training can help you build speed and power. Examples of plyometric exercises are jump squats, burpees and box jumps.
Q is for… Quinoa
A gluten-free grain, quinoa comes in three main varieties: white, red and black. It’s high in fibre, as well as being a source of iron and magnesium.
R is for… Runner’s High
The hope for a runner’s high is what pushes lots of people out the door! It’s that wonderful feeling you can get after a tough workout (not just running!), which is often attributed to a flood of endorphins (feel-good chemicals) after exercise.
S is for… Sweat.com
Also known as your new favourite website! Sweat.com is a great place to get fitness advice, read about new workouts or find motivation.
T is for… Tabata
Originating in Japan, Tabata is a style of high-intensity interval training developed by Dr. Izumi Tabata. Using an interval structure, a Tabata workout involves pushing yourself as hard as you can for 20 seconds, then resting for 10 seconds. This is repeated until a number of rounds are completed, making up a circuit of a set number of minutes.
U is for… Umami
A Japanese word, meaning pleasant savoury taste, which is often used to describe savoury or meaty flavours. For example, miso adds an umami taste to a bunch of dishes (see our miso recipes for more!).
V is for… Vinyasa Yoga
Vinyasa refers to a flowing movement linked with the breath. This style of yoga focuses on continued movement, as well as the transition from each posture with the inhalation and exhalation of breath.
W is for… Wearables
Short for wearable technology, wearables include devices like activity trackers and smartwatches. They can be fantastic for keeping tabs on exercise data (such as how far you’ve run), as well as measuring your heart rate.
X is for… Xanthan Gum
A thickening agent, xanthan gum is commonly added to sauces, soups and salad dressings. It’s also commonly used in gluten-free breads and baked goods to improve the texture. It may contain traces of soy, so it’s best avoided by people with a soy allergy.
Y is for… Yoghurt
A source of protein, calcium and vitamins, Greek yoghurt also contains probiotics (good bacteria), which can help keep your stomach happy. It’s a suitable substitute for cream or butter when baking, or you can also swap mayo for Greek yoghurt when making potato salad.
Z is for… Zinc
One of the vital minerals our body needs for growth and general good health, zinc can be found in dairy, legumes and nuts, as well as meats and seafoods. We need zinc to support our immune system, as well as for blood clotting and thyroid function.
Did you girls learn a few new words? Are there any fitness terms that you haven’t quite figured out yet? Feel free to let us know!
* Results may vary. Strict adherence to the nutrition and exercise guide are required for best results.