EFA's Essential Fatty Acids - Required by the body, however only obtainable from food sources, such as flaxseed oil and safflower oil.
Electrolytes - Minerals such as sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium that act to keep your nerves firing and muscles moving, especially during exercise. They are lost through sweating and can be replaced by drinking sports/energy drinks.
Endorphins - Any of a group of proteins with potent analgesic properties that occur naturally in the brain. These are the brain chemicals that contribute to the "runner's high" or good feelings during and after exercise.
Extensors - These are the muscles that increase the angle at a joint. For example, the quadriceps extend the knee (straighten it).
External obliques - Muscles running diagonally downward and inward from the lower ribs to the pelvis that allow you to bend forward and twist at the waist. These lie on top of the internal obliques. The kayaking stroke uses these muscles much more than the arms!
Fartlek - Swedish for "speed play," a type of loosely structured interval training for runners, cyclists, and in-line skaters. It combines high-intensity segments with your regular training pace in order to build strength and speed.
Fascia - Fibrous connective tissue that covers, supports and separates all muscles and muscle groups. It also unites skin with underlying tissue.
Fast Twitch muscle fibers - Fast twitch fibers, as the name suggests, contract more quickly than slow twitch muscle fibers and, as a result, they produce more power and strength. Fast twitch muscle fibers are activated during short bursts of speed and strength such as in sprinting or bodybuilding. These muscle fibers are also designed to grow larger in response to training unlike slow twitch muscle fibers.
Flexibility - The range of motion around a joint. This can be increased with stretching and yoga.
Free weights - Weights not attached to a machine nor driven by cables or chains. Barbells and dumbbells are examples of free weights.
Fructose - Often used as a sugar substitute for diabetics, because of its low glycemic index. A healthier option than normal sugar, as fructose comes from fruit.
Glucose - A sugar, the usual form in which carbohydrates are assimilated by the body.
Gluteus maximus, medius and minimus or "glutes" - The 3 muscles of the buttocks and hips that extend your thighs forward and to the side (abduction) and rotate your legs at the hips. Walking, running and climbing all work the gluteus maximus. Side movements such as skating or dance work the abductors.
Glycemic Index (GI) - A measuring system to find the extent of which various foods raise the blood sugar level. The benchmark is white bread, which has a GI of 100. The higher the score, the greater the extents of blood sugar raise. E.g. Dextrose scores 138 (HIGH) whereas fructose 31 (LOW).
Glycogen - The form carbohydrates take when stored in the muscles.
Hamstrings - The group of 3 muscles on the back of your thighs that runs from the lower part of the pelvis to just below the knees. They allow you to bend your knees and straighten your legs at the hips. Climbing, hiking uphill, running and cycling all work the hamstrings.
High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) - A blood substance that picks up cholesterol and helps remove it from the body; often called "GOOD CHOLESTEROL."
Hypertension - High blood pressure.
Incomplete Proteins - Proteins which are low in one or more of the essential amino acids.
Internal obliques - Muscles that run upward and inward from the hip bones to the lower ribs, allowing you to rotate and bend at the waist. These are located underneath the external obliques. These muscles are used when you paddle a kayak.
Intervals - Speed workouts, usually run on a track, with distances and target paces decided before you run. They typically consist of relatively short sprints of 220 yards to 1 mile interspersed with rest periods of slower running.
Isometrics - Exercise or a system of exercises in which opposing muscles are so contracted that there is little shortening but great increase in tone of muscle fibers involved.
Kickboard - Small foam board used for short sprints to develop leg power and speed when swimming. Held under the chest so that the arms are not involved in the swimming stroke.
Kilometer - Metric measurement used in athletic events. One K equals 0.62 miles. A 10K race is 6.2 miles, and a 5K is 3.1 miles.
Kinesiology - the study of the principles of mechanics and anatomy in relation to human movement.
Lactic acid (lactate) - A byproduct of anaerobic (or high-intensity) exercise that collects in the muscles and causes soreness, stiffness and fatigue.
Latissimus dorsi or "lats" - the pair of fan-shaped muscles across your middle and lower back that attach the arms to the spine. They work to pull your arms down and back, and give you good posture when they are toned. Rock climbing, swimming and rowing all use these muscles.
Ligament - A flexible, non-elastic tissue that connects bone to bone. For example, the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) of the knee connects the kneecap to the femur (thigh) and the tibia (shin). Ligament injuries can be sprains or tears.
Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) - A core of cholesterol surrounded by protein, often referred to as bad cholesterol.