Glossary of Fitness and Health terms
Abstinence: Choosing not to do something or completely giving something up in order to gain something.
Acute illness: A health condition of sudden onset, sharp rises and short course.
Adolescence: The period of life beginning with puberty and ending with completed growth.
Aerobic: Physical activity or exercise done at a steady pace for an extended period of time so that the heart can supply as much oxygen as the body needs (e.g., walking, running, swimming, cycling).
Agility: A component of physical fitness that relates to the ability to rapidly change the position of the entire body in space with speed and accuracy.
AIDS Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome: a condition that results when infection with HIV causes a breakdown of the body’s ability to fight other infections.
Allergen: A substance that stimulates the production of antibodies and subsequently results in allergic reactions (e.g., mold spores, cat/dog dander, dust).
Anaerobic: Physical activity or exercise done in short, fast bursts so that the heart cannot supply oxygen as fast as the body needs (e.g., sprinting, weightlifting, football).
Assertive: The expression of thoughts and feelings without experiencing anxiety or threatening others.
Automatic Stage of Learning: Movement responses flow and the individual can focus on what to do without thinking about it.
Balance: A skill-related component of physical fitness that relates to the maintenance of equilibrium while stationary or moving.
Biomechanical principles: The science concerned with the action of forces, internal or external, on the living body.
Body composition: A health-related component of physical fitness that relates to the percentage of fat tissue and lean tissue in the body.
Body systems: Anatomically or functionally related parts of the body (e.g., skeletal, nervous, immune, circulatory systems).
Caloric content: The amount of energy supplied by food. The more calories in the food, the more fattening.
Cardiorespiratory fitness: A health related component of physical fitness relating to the ability of the circulatory and respiratory systems to supply oxygen during sustained physical activity.
Centrifugal: The force that seems to pull an object away from the center as it moves in a circle.
Centripetal: The force that is required to keep an object moving around a circular path.
Chronic illness: A health condition of long duration or frequent recurrence.
Circuit training: Exercise program, similar to an obstacle course, in which the person goes from one place to another doing a different exercise at each place.
Closed: Skills that are performed in an environment that does not change or that changes very little, such as archery or the foul shot in basketball.
Communicable: Illness caused by pathogens that enter the body through direct or indirect contact and can be transmitted from one host to another.
Community helpers: Any group or individual who plays a role in health promotion or disease prevention such as doctors, nurses, dentists, teachers, parents, firemen, policemen, trash collectors, animal control officers.
Continuous: Two or more repetitions of the same skill such as dribbling in basketball or soccer.
Cool-down: Brief, mild exercise done after vigorous exercise to help the body safely return to a resting state.
Coordination: A skill-related component of physical fitness that relates to the ability to use the senses together with body parts in performing motor tasks smoothly and accurately.
CPR: A first aid technique, which involves rescue breathing and chest (heart) compressions, that is used to revive a person whose heart has stopped beating.
Critical elements: The important parts of a skill.
Decision-making process: An organized approach to making choices.
Developmental differences: Learners are at different levels in their motor, cognitive, emotional, social and physical development.
The learners’ developmental status will affect their ability to learn or improve.
Developmentally appropriate: Motor skill development and change THAT occur in an orderly, sequential fashion and is ARE age and experience related.
Directions: Forward, backward, left, right, up, down.
Discrete: Single skill performed in isolation from other motor skills such as the soccer penalty kick and golf stroke.
Dynamic balance: Equilibrium used when in motion, starting and stopping.
Eating disorders: Food-related dysfunction in which a person changes eating habits in a way that is harmful to the mind or body (e.g., bulimia, anorexia nervosa).
Efficiency of movement: The state or quality of competence in performance with minimum expenditure of time and effort.
Equilibrium: State in which there is no change in the motion of a body.
Feedback: Information given to the learner about how to improve or correct a movement.
Flexibility: A health-related component of physical fitness that relates to the range of motion available at a joint.
Food guide pyramid: A visual tool used to help people plan healthy diets according to the Dietary Guidelines for
Force: Any external agent that causes a change in the motion of a body.
Form: Manner or style of performing a movement according to recognized standards of technique.
Good performance: The ability to correctly select what to do and the ability to execute the selection appropriately.
Health: A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being; not merely the absence of disease and infirmity.
Health education: Planned, sequential K-12 program of curricula and instruction that helps students develop knowledge, attitudes and skills related to the physical, mental, emotional and social dimensions of health.
Health-related fitness: Components of physical fitness that have a relationship with good health. Components are cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility and body composition.
Heimlich maneuver: A first aid technique that is used to relieve complete airway obstruction.
HIV: Human immunodeficiency virus that infects cells of the immune system and other tissues and causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
I-statement A statement describing a specific behavior or event and the effect that behavior or event has on a person and the feelings that result.
Inertia: A body at rest will remain at rest and a body in motion will remain in motion unless acted upon by a force.
Inhalant: Chemicals that produce vapors that act on the central nervous system and alter a user’s moods, perceptions, feelings, personality and behavior such as airplane glue and aerosols.
Integumentary system: Body system composed of the skin, hair, nails and glands.
Intensity: How hard a person should exercise to improve fitness.
Interval training: An anaerobic exercise program that consists of runs of short distance followed by rest.
Kinetic: Energy that an object possesses because it is moving, such as a pitched baseball or a person running.
Levels: Positions of the body (e.g., high, medium, low).
Linear motion: Movement which occurs in a straight path.
Locomotor movement: Movements producing physical displacement of the body, usually identified by weight transference via the feet. Basic locomotor steps are the walk, run, hop and jump as well as the irregular rhythmic combinations of the skip, slide and gallop.
Long-term memory: Ability to recall information that was learned days or even years ago.
Manipulative movements: Control of objects with body parts and implements. Action causes an object to move from one place to another.
Mechanical advantage: The ratio between the force put into a machine and the force that comes out of the same machine.
Media sources: Various forms of mass communication such as television, radio, magazines, newspapers and internet.
Moderate physical activity: Sustained, repetitive, large muscle movements (e.g., walking, running, cycling) done at less than 60% of maximum heart rate for age. Maximum heart rate is 220 beats per minute minus participant’s age.
Motor skills: Non-fitness abilities that improve with practice and relate to one’s ability to perform specific sports
and other motor tasks (e.g., tennis serve, shooting a basketball).
Motor stage of learning: Individual is working to perfect the motor skill and makes conscious adjustments to the environment.
Movement skills: Proficiency in performing nonlocomotor, locomotor and manipulative movements that are the foundation for participation in physical activities.
Muscular endurance: A health-related component of physical fitness that relates to the ability of a muscle to continue to perform without fatigue.
Muscular strength: A health-related component of physical fitness that relates to the ability of the muscle to exert force.
Newton’s Laws of Motion: Three laws by Sir Isaac Newton that explain the relations between force and the motions produced by them: The Law of Inertia, Force and Acceleration, Reacting Forces.
Noncommunicable: Illness that is not caused by a pathogen that is not transmitted from one host to another.
Nonlocomotor movement: Movements that do not produce physical displacement of the body.
Nutrient: A basic component of food that nourishes the body.
Open: Skill is performed in an environment that varies or is unpredictable such as the tennis forehand or the soccer pass.
Overload: A principle of exercise that states that the only way to improve fitness is to exercise more than the normal.
Pathways: Patterns of travel while performing locomotor movements (e.g., straight, curved, zigzag).
Physical activity: Bodily movement that is produced by the contraction of skeletal muscle and which substantially increases energy expenditure.
Physical education: Planned, sequential, movement-based program of curricula and instruction that helps students develop knowledge, attitudes, motor skills, self-management skills and confidence needed to adapt and maintain a physically active life.
Physical fitness: A set of attributes that people have or achieve and that relate to their ability to perform physical activity. Generally accepted to consist of health-related fitness and skill-related fitness.
Potential: Energy stored in a body because of its position such as the crouch position prior to a jump.
Power: A skill-related component of physical fitness that relates to the rate at which one can perform work.
Principles of exercise: Guidelines to follow to obtain the maximum benefits from physical activity and exercise.
Principles of training: Guidelines to follow to obtain the maximum benefits from an exercise plan.
Progression: A principle of exercise that states that a person should start slowly and increase exercise gradually.
Reaction time: A skill-related component of physical fitness that relates to the time elapsed between stimulation and the beginning of the response to it.
Reflective listening: An active listening skill in which the individual lets others know he/she has heard and understands what has been said.
Refusal skills: Systematic ways to handle situations in which a person wants to say no to an action and/or leave an environment that threatens health or safety, breaks laws, results in lack of respect for self and others or disobeys guidelines set by responsible adults.
Repetitions: Number of times an exercise is repeated.
Rescue breathing: Technique used to supply air to an individual who is not breathing.
Rotary motion: Force that produces movement that occurs around an axis or center point such as a somersault.
Safety education: Planned, sequential program of curricula and instruction that helps students develop the knowledge, attitudes and confidence needed to protect them from injury.
Self-space: All the space that the body or its parts can reach without traveling from a starting location.
Serial: Two or more different skills performed with each other such as fielding a ball and throwing it or dribbling a basketball and shooting it.
Set: A group of several repetitions.
Short-term memory: Ability to recall recently learned information, such as within the past few seconds or minutes.
Skill-related fitness: Consists of components of physical fitness that have a relationship with enhanced performance in sports and motor skills. The components are agility, balance, coordination, power, reaction time and speed.
Specificity: A principle of exercise that states that specific kinds of exercises must be done to develop specific aspects of the body and specific aspects of fitness.
Speed: A skill-related component of physical fitness that relates to the ability to perform a movement or cover a distance in a short period of time.
Static balance: Maintaining equilibrium while holding a pose or remaining motionless.
STD: Sexually transmitted disease.
Universal precautions: An approach to infection control. All human blood and body fluids are treated as if known to be infectious.
Warm-up: Brief, mild exercise that is done to get ready for more vigorous exercise.
Verbal cognitive stage The individual is attempting to move from verbal instruction to trying to figure out how to actually do
of learning: the skill. The first attempts at the skill are generally mechanical and success is inconsistent. The individual thinks through each step of the movement.
Vigorous physical activity: Sustained, repetitive, large muscle movements (e.g., running, swimming, soccer) done at 60% or more of maximum heart rate for age. Maximum heart rate is 220 beats per minute minus the participant’s age. Activity makes person sweat and breathe hard.