For the Health of It: What’s your fitness IQ?

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Tim Hlivia

The fitness industry is riddled with terminology and protocols that confuse even the seasoned gym goer. Here’s a list of terms that people often get confused. See if your fitness IQ is up to snuff.

What’s the difference between:

Abs and your core?

Typically, when people say the term “abs” they are referring to the muscles in the front of your body commonly associated with the phrase “six pack.” The muscles here are the rectus abdominal and the external obliques. Core training is much more comprehensive including muscles of the sought after six-pack and your multifudus, transverse abdominal, internal obliques, all three gluteal muscles, pelvic floor muscles and your scapular stabilizer muscles. Core training has worked hard to replace traditional abdominal training, and for good reason.

Prebiotics and probiotics?

While these two sound similar they are not the same. They both help to enhance the growth of healthy bacteria in your body and aid in healthy digestion. Prebiotics are “non-living” food ingredients that reach the large intestine unaffected by digestion and feed the good bacteria in our gut by helping them to grow and flourish. Probiotics are types of “living” friendly bacteria similar to those that inhabit our digestive tract.

Strain and sprain?

A strain is an injury related to muscles and tendons. Sprains are injuries involving tearing or stretching of a ligament (tissue that connects bone to bone).

Fat and cellulite?

There are two types of fat, subcutaneous and visceral. Subcutaneous fat lies in a layer just below the skins surface. Visceral fat is fat located deep under the muscles surrounding vital organs. Cellulite is a specific form of subcutaneous fat that has a dimpled appearance. Cellulite isn’t just associated with heavy people. Even thin people may have cellulite because everyone has subcutaneous fat.

Steady state cardio and interval training?

Steady state is just that — any form of cardiovascular/aerobic activity that is maintained for an extended period of time generally performed at low to moderate intensity for 20 minutes or more. Interval training is a short period of vigorous, all-out effort activity followed by a period of rest usually not exceeding 20 minutes.

Muscle tone and muscle definition?

Muscle tone is a condition in which muscle is in a constant yet slight state of contraction and appears firm. Muscle tone that people refer to is a made up phrase that people use to mean muscle definition. Muscle definition occurs when body fat percentage is low.

Ice or heat?

Cold therapy with ice is best for immediate treatment for acute injuries to reduce swelling and pain. Ice causes blood vessels to narrow and limits internal bleeding. Heat therapy is generally used for chronic injuries that have no inflammation or swelling. Sore, stiff, nagging muscles or joint pain is ideal for heat therapy.

Aerobic and anaerobic exercise?

Aerobic exercise refers to low to moderate exercise with or in the presence of oxygen. Anaerobic exercise refers to exercise without the presence of oxygen – typically high intensity exercise.

Body mass index and body fat percentage?

Body mass index (BMI) is a measurement of a ratio of your height to weight. Body fat percentage is how much of your body is composed of fat in relation to fat free mass.