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Definitions of Health Terms: Fitness

Keeping fit is an important thing you can do for your health. There are many physical activities you can do to stay fit.  Understanding these fitness terms can help you make the most of your exercise routine.

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Activity Count

Physical activity is any body movement that works your muscles and requires more energy than resting. Walking, running, dancing, swimming, yoga, and gardening are a few examples of physical activity.
Source: From the National Institutes of Health National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercise is activity that moves your large muscles, such as those in your arms and legs. It makes you breathe harder and your heart beat faster. Examples include running, swimming, walking, and biking. Over time, regular aerobic activity makes your heart and lungs stronger and able to work better.
Source: From the National Institutes of Health National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Basal Metabolic Rate

Basal metabolic rate is the measure of the energy necessary for maintaining basic functions, such as breathing, heart rate, and digestion.
Source: From the National Institutes of Health NIH MedlinePlus

Body Mass Index

Body Mass Index (BMI) is an estimate of your body fat. It is calculated from your height and weight. It can tell you whether you are underweight, normal, overweight, or obese. It can help you gauge your risk for diseases that can occur with more body fat.
Source: From the National Institutes of Health National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Cool Down

Your physical activity session should end by gradually slowing down. You can also cool down by changing to a less vigorous activity, such as moving from jogging to walking. This process allows your body to relax gradually. A cool down can last 5 minutes or more.
Source: From the National Institutes of Health National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Energy Balance

The balance between calories you get from eating and drinking and those you use up through physical activity and body processes like breathing, digesting food, and, in children, growing.
Source: From the National Institutes of Health National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Energy Consumed

Energy is another word for calories. What you eat and drink is "energy in." What you burn through physical activity is "energy out."
Source: From the National Institutes of Health National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Flexibility (Training)

Flexibility training is exercise that stretches and lengthens your muscles. It can help improve your joint flexibility and keep your muscles limber. This can help prevent injuries. Some examples are yoga, tai chi, and pilates.
Source: From the National Institutes of Health National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Heart Rate

Heart rate, or pulse, is how many times your heart beats in a period of time — usually a minute. The usual pulse for an adult is 60 to 100 beats per minute after resting for at least 10 minutes.
Source: From the National Institutes of Health National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Maximum Heart Rate

The maximum heart rate is the fastest your heart can beat.
Source: From the National Institutes of Health National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Perspiration

Perspiration, or sweat, is a clear, salty liquid produced by glands in your skin. It is how your body cools itself. Sweating a lot is normal when it is hot or when you exercise, feel anxious, or have a fever. It can also happen during menopause.
Source: From the National Institutes of Health NIH MedlinePlus

Resistance/Strength Training

Resistance training, or strength training, is exercise that firms and tones your muscles. It can improve your bone strength, balance, and coordination. Some examples are pushups, lunges, and bicep curls using dumbbells.
Source: From the National Institutes of Health National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Target Heart Rate

Your target heart rate is a percentage of your maximum heart rate, which is the fastest your heart can beat. It is based on your age. The activity level that is best for your health uses 50–75 percent of your maximum heart rate. This range is your target heart rate zone.
Source: From the National Institutes of Health National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Warm Up

Your physical activity session should start at a slow-to-medium pace to give your body a chance to get ready for more vigorous movement. A warm up should last about 5 to 10 minutes.
Source: From the National Institutes of Health National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Water Intake

We all need to drink water. How much you need depends on your size, activity level, and the weather where you live. Keeping track of your water intake helps make sure that you get enough. Your intake includes fluids that you drink, and fluids you get from food.
Source: From the National Institutes of Health NIH MedlinePlus

Weight (Body Mass)

Your weight is the mass or quantity of your heaviness. It is expressed by units of pounds or kilograms.
Source: From the National Institutes of Health NIH MedlinePlus