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With all the delicious food in Israel, it’s important to exercise if you want to stay fit! Here are some useful Hebrew words that will come in handy when you’re working out in the Holy Land.

1. Fitness



Hebrew translation: כּוֹשֶׁר

Transliteration: koh-sher

The Hebrew word for fitness is very similar to the word כָּשֵׁר (kah-sher), which you’ve surely heard before even if you don’t know any Hebrew at all. Kosher literally means it is food that is “fit” to be eaten according to Jewish law.

You might hear Israelis say: אֲנִי הוֹלֵךְ לַעֲשׂוֹת כּוֹשֶׁר — literally meaning, “I’m going to do fitness.” It means the same thing as “I’m going to work out” in English.

2. Workout



Hebrew translation: אִמּוּן

Transliteration: ee-moon

The word אִמּוּן usually refers to a workout that you attend with a trainer, whether it’s in the gym, at the park, or at the beach.

3. Gym



Hebrew translation: חֲדַר כּוֹשֶׁר

Transliteration: chah-dar koh-sher (but most Israelis pronounce it cheh-der koh-sher)

In Hebrew, gym literally means “fitness room.”

4. Muscles



Hebrew translation: שְׁרִירִים

Transliteration: shreer-eem 

You’ll probably hear fitness instructors using this word a lot. Hopefully you’ll hear Israelis tell you, “וואוו אֵיזֶה שְׁרִירִים” which means something like: “Wow, look at those muscles!”

5. To stretch



Hebrew translation: לַעֲשׂוֹת מְתִיחוּת

Transliteration: lah-ah-sote meh-tee-chote

It’s always important to stretch before a good workout. To say “I am stretching,” you would say: אֲנִי עוֹשֶׂה מְתִיחוּת

6. To run



Hebrew translation: לָרוּץ

Transliteration: lah-rootz

In the present tense, you would say רָץ (male) or רָצָה (female) — rahtz / rahtzah. As in: הוּא רָץ מַהֵר — meaning “He runs fast.” Perhaps the most useful phrase, however, is: אֲנִי  שׂוֹנֵא לָרוּץ— “I hate to run.”

7. Yoga



Hebrew translation: יוֹגָה

Transliteration:  yoh-gah

Here’s a nice and easy one! The word for yoga is the same in English and Hebrew. The word for “yoga studio” is also easy to remember:סְטוּדְיוֹ לַיּוֹגָה— studio le yoga.

8. Yoga mat



Hebrew translation:  מִזְרָן

Transliteration:  meez-rahn (most Israelis pronounce it meez-rone)

Hilariously, Israelis call it mattress, like a bed mattress. If you want to be more specific, you may say מִזְרַן יוֹגָה— literally, “yoga mattress.” Either way, try to not fall asleep 😜

9. To breathe



Hebrew translation:  לִנְשֹׁם

Transliteration: Leen-shohm

Don’t forget to breathe when you’re working out! You may hear instructors say: לִנְשֹׁם דֶּרֶךְ הָאַף— “Breathe through the nose.”

10. Inhale



Hebrew translation: לִשְׁאֹף

Transliteration: Leesh-ohf

Take a deep inhale, then don’t forget to…

11. Exhale



Hebrew Translation: לִנְשֹׁף

Transliteration: Leen-shohf

It’s annoying, but inhale and exhale sound very similar in Hebrew. Listen carefully to know which one your instructor is telling you to do!

12. I’m sore!



Hebrew translation: כּוֹאֲבִים לִי הַשְּׁרִירִים

Transliteration: koh-ah-veem lee ha-shreer-eem

If you had a hard workout and want to say you are sore, you literally say: “My muscles hurt.”

13. Nap



Hebrew Translation: שנַ”צ

Transliteration: shnahtz 

This Hebrew word is an abbreviation for שְׁנַת צָהֳרַיִם — literally meaning “afternoon sleep.” It’s one of the many common Hebrew slang terms that originated from the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).


Zoë Biehl is a full-time freelance writer and editor with an insatiable passion for travel. Originally from New York, she now happily calls Tel Aviv home.