The total amount of work that can be performed using just aerobic respiration. The aerobic capacity of each individual will vary according to fitness level and general health. A major influence on aerobic capacity is genetic endowment.
Whenever you are active for more than 10 continuous minutes they are classed as aerobic steps. Aerobic training is more beneficial for your heart and lungs than short sharp bursts of activity.
The process by which nutrients in the gut are taken into the bloodstream to be used by the body.
In addition to the physical steps picked up by your Bug, you can log a variety of additional activities that you take part in on the activity tracker. These include swimming, cycling, skiing, skating and weight training.
The building blocks of proteins. There are 20 amino acids commonly found in protein rich foods such as meats, fish, soya protein and other beans and pulses. There are 8 essential amino acids which must be obtained from the diet because the body cannot synthesise them.
Is used primarily during high intensity work like sprinting and results in the production of lactic acid which causes a burning sensation in the muscle. During this process carbohydrate is metabolised in the absence of oxygen.
Antioxidants are a group of substances which include vitamins A, C, E, the mineral selenium and beta carotene (a precursor of vitamin A). They help to reduce the damaging effects of free radicals in the body by "deactivating" them. Free radicals are produced naturally by the body as a result of normal body processes but they also come from pollutants such as cigarette smoke. They attack cells in the body, causing damage which can, over a long period of time lead to cancerous cells. Antioxidants actually counteract the effects of free radicals and so can protect against cell damage, helping to prevent our risk of certain cancers. Fruit and vegetables are rich in antioxidants which is why it is so important that we eat at least 5 portions per day!
Balance of Good Health
The sound principle behind healthy eating. Recommendations say that the biggest proportion of each meal should come from bread, cereals and potatoes and fruit and vegetables, followed by protein (such as meat, fish and dairy products), with only a small part of the diet made of foods containing fat and sugar.
Basal metabolic rate (BMR)
The amount of energy the body uses when at complete rest. It is the amount of energy needed to maintain basic functions such as breathing, heart rate, brain activity etc. BMR is usually expressed in kilocalories (kcal) per day and in the average person accounts for approximately 70% of energy expended each day (usually between 1200 and 1800 kcals/day).
An antioxidant vitamin found in orange fruits and green leafy vegetables, such as oranges, spinac\'h, peppers, and broccoli. It is used in the body to synthesise vitamin A.
A certain amount is essential, as fat is a component of every living cell and provides vital protection to vulnerable organs such as the kidneys. The body fat level can be measured using skin-fold callipers or by bio-impedance analysis using special equipment. Essential body fat represents approximately 3% of male body weight and 10% of female body weight. The average adult male contains around 20% body fat and the average female between 25-30% body fat.
Body Mass Index (BMI)
A measure of body weight related to height. Body weight in Kg is divided by height in metres squared to provide a measure of body mass. A BMI between 20-25 is considered ideal for good health, below 20 is low, between 25-30 is considered overweight and above 30 is considered obese.
Absolutely essential to the Fitbug programme, the Bug is the sophisticated step-counting device, that records all you activity data.
A mineral that is essential for good health. Calcium is very important in the normal activity of muscles and nerves, in the growth and maintenance of teeth and bones. The RNI (the adult daily requirement) is 700mg. per day. Good sources are milk, cheese, yoghurt, beans and pulses, nuts, and whole-grain cereals.
A system of rhythmic exercises such as push-ups and sit-ups, which use the body weight as resistance. The exercises are designed to tone and strengthen the body and improve general fitness.
More correctly called a kilocalorie (abbreviated to kcal), calories are a measure of energy. Technically speaking, a single calorie is the amount of heat needed to increase the temperature of one gram of water by one degree centigrade. In terms of the human body, you consume calories when you eat (energy-in) and burn off calories when you do physical activity.
These are a common source of energy and are the main element of foods in the bread, cereals and potatoes, and fruit and vegetables food groups. The term carbohydrate includes starches and sugars, both of which are digested into glucose which is absorbed into the blood stream and used by the body for energy. One gram of carbohydrates is four calories.
The process of dietary and exercise modification that produces higher than normal muscle glycogen concentrations. This can be achieved by tapering down the quantity of training in the days before competition, whilst simultaneously increasing carbohydrate intake.
A waxy substance closely related to fat. It is essential in the formation of cell walls, the production of hormones (oestrogen and testosterone) and the synthesis of vitamin D. Cholesterol levels are increased by the consumption of saturated fat (mainly from fatty meats and meat products and full fat dairy foods). Levels can be reduced by cutting down on all fats and using moderate amounts of poly or mono unsaturated fats e.g. sunflower oil, rapeseed oil, olive oil or a sunflower margarine.
Coeliac disease is a condition caused by an inability to digest gluten, which often results in bowel symptoms, weight loss or failure to gain weight, and lack of certain vitamins and minerals with consequential problems such as anaemia and osteoporosis. Gluten is the protein part of wheat, rye, barley and oats.
An essential element involved in a large number of enzymes, energy metabolism, tissue synthesis and protection against free radicals. Required in very small amounts by the body - 1.2mg per day. Found in liver, kidney, seafood, nuts, seeds and potatoes.
Your body is made up of 60-70% water and virtually every function in the body needs water to operate. As we lose water through everyday processes, like sweating and going to the toilet, our body can become dehydrated. Symptoms of dehydration include dizziness, headaches, poor concentration, fatigue and over-eating.
Diabetes (type 1)
Previously known as juvenile diabetes, type 1 diabetes is due to a deficiency of the hormone insulin which helps keep blood sugar in check. Sufferers must take insulin to remain healthy.
Diabetes (type 2)
Often developed in later life, type 2 diabetes can be brought on by obesity, stress or a diet that is too high in sugar, alcohol and saturated fat. Weight management by activity and a healthy balanced diet can help to keep type 2 diabetes in check.
Although people often use the word diet to describe the process of losing weight by cutting down on calories or cutting certain foods (or food groups) out of their eating plans. Diet actually refers to what you eat each day regardless of weather that is healthy, unhealthy, low fat, vegan, vegetarian or anything.
A build characterised by thinness, low body weight and long lean limbs. This is one of three body types (Somatotypes) - see also endomorph and mesomorph. There are thought to be specific somatotype profiles for certain sports e.g. athletics and football.
A drink that contains mineral salts, such as sodium and potassium, often combined with a carbohydrate source, which increases the rate of fluid absorption from the gut. They are taken during and after exercise to rapidly replace fluid losses.
A type of person having a body build characterised by soft, round curves. This is one of three body types (Somatotypes) - see also ectomorph and mesomprph.
A group of pain killing chemicals that are released by the brain. The release of endorphins is associated with both only injury, but also exercise. It is thought that some athletes that become addicted to exercise are addicted to their higher than normal level of endorphins.
The ability to maintain activity. Endurance can be cardiovascular endurance (stamina) or muscular endurance.
Measured as kilocalories (kcal) or kilojoules (kJ). There are 4.2 kJ in each kcal. There are 4 sources of energy in the diet - fat (9 kcal per g), protein (4 kcal per g), carbohydrate (4 kcal per g) and alcohol (7 kcal per g). Energy from both carbohydrate and fat will be utilised during all activity, but high intensity activity is mainly dependant on carbohydrates and low intensity activity will have a greater contribution from fat.
The principle behind the Fitbug plan. Energy balance is the calculation between the calories consumed and calories used. In order to lose weight you must use more calories through your daily activity than you eat.
A relatively unstructured form of training over natural terrain. It originated in Scandinavia and contains periods of slow walking, jogging, hill running, and sprinting. If used properly it can improve both aerobic and anaerobic capacity.
Fast-Twitch Muscle Fibres
Used during high intensity activity such as sprinting. They produce energy from anaerobic respiration and only burn carbohydrate, and so have short endurance before fatigue. See also Slow Twitch Muscle Fibres.
A concept used in anaerobic training that provides data on power decline during repeated sets of exercise e.g. repeated sprints. It can be determined by subtracting minimum speed (or power) from maximum speed (or power).
Indigestible parts of plant foods, essential to gut health. Fibre is a family of compounds, consisting of two main types - soluble and insoluble. Soluble fibre (found in oats, peas and beans and fruit) appears to lower cholesterol levels and helps to control blood sugar levels. Insoluble fibre (e.g. bran) assists with the passage of food and food waste through the gut and its elimination from the body. - Low fibre diet places strain on the gut and results in constipation and may cause diverticulitis and haemorrhoids. - High fibre diet should be accompanied with a high fluid intake to enable the fibre to soften and be effective. Recommendations say that people should eat 18grams of fibre a day and diets low in fibre increase the risk of colorectal cancer.
One of the components of fitness, flexibility is the ability to move a joint through its complete range of motion. Although flexibility is often lost with age, it is possible to improve your flexibility by following a stretch programme.
The largest component of the human body - water represents 45-70% of the total body weight. Water is the basic substance for all metabolic processes in the body and achieving an adequate intake is often neglected. As a rough guide fluid intake should be at a minimum the equivalent of 1ml per 1Kcal eaten - therefore if energy intake is 2500 kcal fluid intake should be at least 2500mls per day.
An adverse reaction to a specific food or ingredient that occurs every time the food is eaten, but particularly if larger quantities are consumed. Food intolerances should not be confused with food allergies as they do not involve the immune system.
Genetically Modified Foods
A new range of foods that have been genetically modified to increase their pest resistance, yield, taste, colour or texture. Environmentalists have expressed fears regarding the release of genetically modified organisms into the environment, but no evidence is currently available to substantiate this viewpoint.
A measure of the rate at which glucose is released from a food into the blood stream. Sugar has a glycaemic index of 100 and all other foods are compared to it. The index was devised to help people with diabetes control their diet, but has since been found to be a healthy eating plan that can help people anyone to regulate blood sugar and can assist with weight loss.
The human way of storing carbohydrate for energy at a later time.
A complex molecule containing iron which carries oxygen in the blood. Haemoglobin is contained within red blood cells, which become oxygenated in the lungs. These are transported around the body by the heart to the body and returned to the lungs for re-oxygenation. Iron deficiency affects haemoglobin production and results in anaemia, which results in weakness and reduced endurance.
One of the best ways of increasing exercise intensity. A 10% incline can almost double the energy demands of a run, which could only be achieved at high speed if flat ground is used. Since fast running increases the risk of injury, hill running is seen as a safer method of conditioning.
The scientific name for high blood pressure.
Low blood sugar.
Low levels of sodium in the blood, due to large sweat losses (e.g. during a marathon) and consumption of plain water.
Intensity of Exercise
One of the four main factors involved in the training of cardiovascular fitness. The others are duration (i.e. length of each training session); frequency (i.e. number of sessions per week); and type of exercise.
A system of aerobic training that alternates between high intensity (work) periods and lower intensity (recovery) periods.
An essential mineral, forming part of haemoglobin in the red blood cell responsible for carrying oxygen around the body. Also forms part of muscle cells and is involved in the functioning of the immune system. A deficiency may result in iron deficiency anaemia, leaving you short of energy, feeling tired and affecting the quality of work-outs. Recommended adults intakes are 8.7mg per day for males and 14.8mg per day for females. Absorption of iron can be impaired by consumption of too much tea, wheat bran or calcium supplements. On the other hand iron absorption can be increased by eating a Vitamin C rich food with an iron containing food e.g. a glass of orange juice with a bowl of breakfast cereal.
Is muscle tension produced without the moving of a joint (e.g. when pushing against an immovable object). When performing this exercise best gains are made if the contraction is held for more than 5 seconds. These are practical exercises that can be performed almost anywhere.
When you join in Fitbug, you will complete a quick health questionnaire to help us to get to know a bit more about you, your lifestyle and your goals. We'll then put you on the correct Member Journey to help you to achieve the results you are striving for. Member journeys include weight loss, weight gain, pre and post natal and improved fitness.
The study of the anatomical and mechanical basis of movement. This includes the study of anatomy, muscle physiology, and mechanics in an effort to arrive at a more complete picture of human movement.
Ever felt the burn in your muscles when you are taking part in physical activity? That's the result of lactic acid. This occurs when your muscles do not have enough oxygen to function aerobically so they have to function anaerobically instead.
The inability to digest or absorb lactose, a type of sugar found in milk and other dairy products. This is due to a deficiency of the enyme lactase (see above).
The stretchy cable that enables you to wear your Bug in a number of different ways.
Lean Body Mass
The total body mass minus the mass of the non-essential stores of fat. Lean body mass includes muscle, bone, and all metabolically active tissues. The ratio of fat mass to lean body mass is important in performance because body fat can act as "dead weight" slowing the body down (e.g. during sprinting).
Low Impact Activity
Activity that does not impose excess pressure on the joints. A good example is swimming. This type of activity is useful in rehabilitation of injuries, during pregnancy and light recovery training (e.g. the day after a hard competition or game).
An essential mineral present in over 300 enzymes necessary for synthesis and energy metabolism. Main dietary sources include vegetables, exotic fruits, berries, bananas, mushrooms, nuts, beans and wholegrain cereals.
Maximal Oxygen Consumption (VO2max)
The maximum amount of oxygen that can be consumed per minute. It is a measure of fitness directly related to the amount of oxygen that can be transported and extracted from the blood. VO2max. can be increased by training, with previously sedentary people showing the most improvement after 6-8 weeks of training.
A type of person with a muscular body and a relatively prominent underlying bone structure,Said to be correlated with a character which is energetic and outgoing. This is one of three body types (Somatotypes) - see also ectomorph and endomorph. There are thought to be specific somatotype profiles for certain sports e.g. athletics and football.
A clustering of health problems, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Also know as "syndrome X", metabolic syndrome is often prevalent in apple-shaped people, who carry excess fat around their middle.
- A water soluble vitamin that is part of the B-complex. This vitamin plays an important role in the release of energy from carbohydrates and fats and is important in protein metabolism and the inhibition of cholesterol production.
Iron not contained within the red blood pigment haemoglobin. It describes the iron found in plant sources and dairy products. Non-haem iron is not absorbed as well as haem-iron by the human body, but absorption can be increased by eating a Vitamin C rich food with a food containing non- haem iron e.g. beans on toast with a vitamin C enriched blackcurrant drink.
A measure of the total amount of fats, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and trace elements contained within a food. Junk food is so described because it contains few vitamins and minerals and high levels of fats and sugars.
An excess of body fat as defined by the body mass index, body fat percentage and large waist measurements. Obesity is a body mass index over 30 or a body fat percentage in excess of 35%. Numbers of obese people are dramatically increasing in the western world and these people are at an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and hypertension.
Loss of normal bone density, mass and strength, leading to increased porousness and vulnerability to fracture. It is particularly common in post-menopausal women. A programme of weight-bearing exercise can reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
The training principle that states for fitness to improve there must be an increase in workload. This applies equally to strength, speed, and endurance. Workload can be measured in terms of training intensity (work rate) or training volume (total work done). The simplest example of this principle is weight training - as strength increases greater weight is needed to improve maximum strength.
Passive stretches are performed with the assistance of a partner who moves a completely relaxed part of the body. This involves one partner slowly moving the others joint through its complete range of motion. These exercises are useful for injured athletes who cannot perform active exercises. However care is needed by the partner moving the joint to avoid further damage.
A subjective assessment of the physical demands of a training session. The modern method is an updated version of the Borg scale. The scale ranges from 0 - 15 (nothing at all to very, very strong) and is arranged vertically on a chart that the athlete can point at.
A method of planning that allows the training programme to be divided into smaller sub units which have different objectives. This allows the athlete to work on separate aspects of their fitness and to peak for competition at the right time.
Important for the transmission of nerve impulses, contraction of muscles and maintenance of normal blood pressure. Potassium is widely available in foods since it is an essential component of all living cells, especially fruit - particularly oranges and bananas, vegetables and meats.
The basis for growth, development and maintenance of organs and tissues. The human body has no reserve of protein (unlike fat and carbohydrate) and therefore requires regular supply in the diet. Any excess protein is broken down and utilised for energy although this may result in excess energy so it will be stored as fat. Vegetarians and vegans must ensure that their diets contain sufficient high quality protein to fulfil their body's requirements for amino acids.
The period of time required by the body to restore itself to its pre-exercise condition. The length of this period will be determined by age, fitness, and the intensity of the exercise. It is a vital part of effective training - by slowly shortening the length of the recovery it is possible to achieve significant gains in fitness.
An acronym for the first stages in the treatment of injury (i.e. sprains and strains): R - rest the injured area; I - apply ice to prevent swelling; C - apply compression; E - elevate to help drain fluids from the affected area to help reduce swelling.
Table salt is sodium chloride. Guidelines recommend that we eat just 6g (one teaspoon) a day but current dietary intakes are up to 3 times that amount. Too much salt is associated with an increase in blood pressure with age.
A type of fat that is derived principally from fatty meats, meat products, full-fat dairy foods and palm oil. Consumption of a diet containing large amounts of this particular type of dietary fat can lead to an increase in the level of cholesterol in the blood and an increased risk of developing heart disease.
An antioxidant trace element which works in conjunction with vitamin E. Selenium deficiency is thought to result in muscles weakness and can affect the heart. Meat, fish, seafood, kidney, liver, wholegrain cereals, nuts and seeds are all rich sources of selenium.
Slow-Twitch Muscle Fibres
The type of muscle fibre that is involved in exercise at a consistent pace e.g. jogging. Slow twitch fibres produce energy mainly from aerobic metabolism and have the ability to burn both fat and carbohydrate, giving them a greater endurance capacity. See also Fast Twitch Muscle Fibres.
A sugar alcohol that the body metabolises slowly. It is is an artificial sweetener often used in diet foods.
An inflammation of a tendon resulting in soreness. This can be the result of over-training and must be treated with appropriate rest to prevent it developing into a long term injury. A proper warm-up and stretching routine, and an awareness of training demands help in prevention.
The minimum amount of exercise that is required to improve fitness. At the beginning of a training programme the training threshold will be low, but will raise as the person becomes fitter.
The type of fat commonly found in vegetables, nuts, and seeds. This type of fat can be divided into mono and polyunsaturated types. Monounsaturated fats can be found in olive and rapeseed oils and polyunsaturated fats are found in sunflower oil and in nuts and seeds. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fats are found only in oily fish, regular consumption of which can help to prevention the development of heart disease.
A term used that means you can transfer your movement calculations from your Bug and on to your PC, via a USB cable.
The cable that links between your Bug and PC and enables you to upload your stats.
Skin disorder linked to infections, drugs (including aspirin), certain foods and additives, cold, sun exposure, insect stings, alcohol, exercise, endocrine disorders and emotional stress.
Often claimed to be healthier than a diet including meat, but they can be as high in fat and low in fibre as average diets. Vegetarians exclude all meats and often fish from their diet. Therefore vegetarians should eat complementary foods to ensure that their diet contains all the necessary amino acids.
Vegans exclude any products all animal products, including meat, fish, cheese, milk, yoghurts, eggs etc. Although vegan diets can be very healthy, children, pregnant women and athletes should eat them with extreme care to ensure that energy and nutrient requirements are met.
The maximum amount of air that can be expelled from the lungs after a maximum inhalation. It is a measure of the maximum amount of air that can be breathed in or out. Often found to be genetically higher in elite athletes.
Metabolic catalysts that regulate biochemical reactions. Cannot be manufactured by the body and therefore essential in the diet.
A fat soluble vitamin that is important in the normal functioning of the mucous membranes of the eye and lung, for pigmentation of the eyes, and for normal cell growth. It is found in animal products such as whole milk, cheese, eggs, liver and kidneys and can be synthesised in the body from beta-carotene, found in brightly coloured fruits and vegetables.
Vitamin B Complex
(Includes Thiamin (B1), Niacin, Riboflavin, Folate, B12 (Cyanocobalamin), B6 (Pyridoxine), Pantothenic Acid and Biotin). Involved in the conversion of carbohydrates, proteins and fats to energy, essential for growth and maintenance of nerve tissues, aids the synthesis of hormones. Generally found in Yeast products, rice, wholemeal breads and cereals, liver, chicken, turkey, oily fish and most vegetables.
Or ascorbic acid, essential for a wide variety of body functions including wound healing, maintenance of healthy skin and mucus membranes and boosting the immune system. Also a potent antioxidant. Rich sources include most fruit and vegetables, especially citrus and kiwi fruits.
A group of fat soluble vitamins, mainly obtained from synthesis which takes place in the skin on exposure to sunlight. No recommended intake (RNI) is set for adults. Functions as a hormone controlling calcium and phosphate metabolism. Deficiency results in rickets and osteomalacia (a bone disease). If taken in excess is toxic causing nausea and vomiting, depression and death.
A fat soluble vitamin found in vegetable oils, avocados, dark green vegetables and most fruits. Found in all cell walls and prevents the oxidation of fats in the body. Also important in fertility. A dietary antioxidant thought to be involved in the prevention of heart disease and some cancers.
A routine often neglected by those taking part in sport that is essential in the prevention of injury and for optimum preparation for performance. A warm up will increase muscle temperature and flexibility so preventing strain injury. All exercise programmes (even the simplest) should include sufficient warm up time.
A sugar alcohol extracted from corn cobs and peanuts used in the production of sugar free sweets. It is less sweet, is absorbed less quickly, and yields less calories than cane sugar.
The type of diet that is associated with frequent fluctuations in weight. Periods of weight gain are followed by weight loss, which together form a cycle. This type of dieting is seen in both the athletic and non-athletic population for similar reasons. A repeated weight loss or gain of more than 10% above or below ideal body weight can increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
An essential trace element which plays an important role in the activity of many vitamins and enzymes. It is a vital in the healing of wounds. Essential to good health. It can be found in seafood, cereals, legumes, wheat germ, and yeast products.