I know I’ve written one of these blogs before, and you girls had a few more questions - so I’ve decided to do another one! I wanted to talk about some common health and fitness terms you may see being used a lot on social media, but you might not actually understand what they really mean.
Here are some more health and fitness terms you may be wondering about:
What are “macros”?
The term “macros” is short for “macronutrients”. As their name suggests, they are nutrients that our bodies need in LARGE amounts every day. The three main “macros” are carbohydrates, protein and fats. We need these everyday because they can provide our bodies with energy and also contribute to its structure. For example, proteins provide us with the amino acids, which help form muscles and number of other tissues. Because different foods provide different macronutrients, it is important that we eat foods from all of the main food groups to make sure that we are getting enough of each. For example:
- The main sources of carbohydrates include grains, fruits and vegetables
- The main sources of protein include lean meat, legumes, and dairy
- The main sources of (healthy) fats include nuts, seeds and unrefined oils.
“Counting macros” involves eating a particular balance of foods so that you receive a certain percentage of your daily energy from each macronutrient. For example, getting 20% of your energy from fat, 45% from carbohydrates, and 35% from protein. While it is not something that I personally do or recommend, it can be a helpful way to help people achieve their health and fitness goals.
What are “micros”?
The term “micros” is short for “micronutrients”. As their name suggests, they are small in size and they are also needed by the body in small amounts. But this doesn’t mean that they aren’t important! The two main types of “micros” are vitamins and minerals. I have listed some of the more common ones below:
- Vitamin B can help our bodies convert our food into energy
- Vitamin C can help to strengthen our immune system and fight off free-radicals
- Iron can help to deliver oxygen to all of our bodies cells
- Calcium can help keep our bones and teeth strong
Each vitamin or mineral has a different role in the body and we need them all in different amounts. To make sure that you receive enough of these, it is important that you eat a well-balanced diet, that is full of fruits and vegetables in particular.
What is the difference between “essential” and “non-essential” nutrients?
When it comes to both macros and micros, you’ll often hear the terms “essential” or “non-essential” being thrown around as well. Without going into too much detail, some nutrients can be a little harder to get than others. This is because your body is able to produce some nutrients on its own (called non-essential nutrients), whereas others you have to get through eating food (called essential nutrients).
What is a “supplement”?
The term “supplement” is essentially anything that be used to help improve your diet. This can range from things such as multivitamins to herbs or protein powder. If you eat a well-balanced diet, then it can be much easier to get enough of all of these essential nutrients without having to rely on supplements. However, there may be some cases where you need to use supplements because your body is lacking in certain nutrients, and can’t get these through food alone. I always think it is best to consult your doctor before adding any extra supplements to your diet.
What is a “pescetarian” or “paleo” diet?
Most of us would have an understanding of what it means to follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, but I have so many girls asking what a “pescetarian” diet is. The term “pesce” means fish, which means that pescetarian is basically a “vegetarian diet that also includes fish”, which could also be called “semi-vegetarian”. People following this type of diet will not eat red meat or poultry, but may choose to eat other animal products, such as eggs, milk and cheese.
The word “paleo” is short for “Paleolithic”, which is a period where people had to hunt for, gather and prepare their own food from scratch. Following a “paleo” or “caveman” diet is something that has become very common, especially thanks to the large amount of media coverage it has received in recent times. It involves getting most of your energy and nutrients from whole foods, such as lean meats, fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds and avoiding foods such as grains, dairy, legumes and beans.
What is rehabilitation and self-myofascial release?
I’m sure we’re all familiar with rest or having a “rest day”, but how many of you have heard of the term “rehabilitation”? Unlike rest which is passive, rehabilitation (or “rehab”) is considered a form of active recovery. Rehabilitation can help you do everyday jobs better, which includes your training!
Some common forms of rehab can include stretching, massage and “self-myofascial release”, which most people know as foam rolling. This is a great way to reduce muscle tightness in your body with the help of a foam roller. It’s sort of like a massage, only you get to control the pressure and can spend more time on areas that you feel need a little more work!
I hope this blog has helped you and cleared up any confusion you may have had over these terms! I think one of the best ways to become better at something is to keep yourself informed and always read and do research - this way you can form your own opinions.
Love, Kayla xx