Fitness Articles

Glossary of Fitness Terms

Basic Definitions for Exercise Words and Phrases


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Detraining Principle- This principle says that once consistent exercise stops, you will eventually lose the strength that you built up. Without overload or maintenance, muscles will weaken in two weeks or less.

Diastolic blood pressure- The pressure exerted by the blood on the vessel walls during the resting portion of the cardiac cycle, measured in millimeters of mercury.The diastolic number is the bottom of the fraction. 120/80 is an average value for normal blood pressure (80 is the diastolic number). Mild high blood pressure is considered to be between 140/90 and 160/95. High blood pressure is defined by a value greater than 160/95.

DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness)- Muscle soreness or discomfort that appears 12 to 48 hours after exercise. It is most likely due to microscopic tears in the muscle tissue, and it usually requires a couple of days for the repair and rebuilding process to be completed. The muscle tissue grows back stronger, leading to increased muscle mass and strength.

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Eccentric contraction- A lengthening of the muscle during its contraction; controls speed of movement caused by another force.

Ectomorph- A body shape characterized by a narrow chest, narrow shoulders and long, thin muscles.

Electrolytes- Salts (ions) found in bodily fluids. Pertaining to exercise, your body loses electrolytes (sodium, potassium) when you sweat. These electrolytes need to be replaced to keep concentrations constant in the body, which is why many sports drinks include electrolytes.

Endomorph- A body shape characterized by a round face, short neck , wide hips, and heavy fat storage.

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

EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption)- This explains why your breathing rate remains heavy for a few minutes after finishing a workout. Your body needs more oxygen after a workout in order to restore the oxygen stores in the blood and tissues, and to meet the oxygen requirements of the heart rate, which is still elevated.

Epinephrine- Also called adrenaline, a hormone that stimulates body systems in response to stress.

Ergogenic aids- A substance, appliance, or procedure that improves athletic performance.

Eustress- "Good" stress that presents opportunities for personal growth. (Exercise is an example of this. It puts stress on the body and its systems, but the results of this stress are positive.)

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

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Fast twitch muscle fibers- Fibers that are better-suited for high-force, short duration activities because they contain more stores for anaerobic energy utilization.

Fixed resistance- Strength training exercises that provide a constant amount of resistance throughout the full range of motion. Examples include free weights and resistance bands.

Flexibility- The measure of the range of motion, or the amount of movement possible, at a particular joint.
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