Definitions of Six Commonly-Used Fitness Terms

Definitions of Six Commonly-Used Fitness Terms

December 21, 2019

Exercise is important for the body and mind. It keeps you toned and strong in many ways. In addition to this, working out can also help regulate your sleep, metabolism and overall wellbeing. You’re likely aware that physical movement of your body’s tissues and muscles is good for your health, but not everyone gets enough of it. Luckily, there is good news if exercising hard every day is not your thing. Simple actions like standing up, walking from room to room and light stretching throughout the day can be beneficial.

Whether you hit the gym several times a week or exercise at home, you’ve likely heard (or read about) all sorts of fitness terminology. Here are six of the most common fitness terms you’ll hear in Phoenix, AZ gyms:

  • Cardio: The term “cardio” is actually short for “cardiovascular or cardiorespiratory exercise.” It refers to exercise that increases your heart rate so oxygen and nutrient-rich blood gets pumped to your working muscles. Cardio is commonly associated with workout equipment like ellipticals, treadmills and stationary bikes. However, any exercise that elevates your heart rate is good for your cardiovascular health.
  • Burning: In the exercise world, the term “burning” is good. Burning refers to the feeling your muscles experience as they accumulate metabolic waste, creating fatigue. A burning sensation in a muscle is a sign of acidosis—a change in blood acidity that is often the result of moderate- to high-intensity exercise. Burning is also the sign of a muscle screaming for time to recover.
  • Toning: “Toning” is a term most people use to describe their fitness goals: “I want a toned body.” While society has accepted this term to mean “well-defined muscles” or the appearance of having them, “tone” is actually short for “tonus,” a technical term used to describe a state of contraction in a normal muscle. Repeated use of a muscle during exercise will leave it in a state of semi-contraction, creating a notably defined appearance.
  • Core training: You’ve probably heard this term in advertisements for fitness classes, workout programs or gym equipment. When most people think of the “core,” they envision the muscles that make up the midsection of the body—such as the ever-popular six-pack abs. But the more accurate way to define the body’s core is to think of it as the center of gravity, and not an actual group of muscles.
  • High-intensity interval training: HIIT for short, this term is often used to refer to exercise done at maximum intensity. However, intensity can be subjective, meaning what may be low intensity for one person may be considered high intensity to someone else.
  • Mind-body: Fitness and exercise also engage the mind. The term “mind-body” is used to describe a specific group of exercises—including Pilates and yoga—because, for the majority of these exercises, they are traditionally performed with bodyweight and require concentration (cognitive focus) to do the movements.

Don’t let these common fitness terms and others scare you away from joining a gym in Phoenix, AZ. Visit the friendly team at Pamela Young Fitness to learn more!

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