Advertise - Print Edition

Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Summer flab into fall fab

Keeping fit throughout the school year

Published: September 3, 2010
Section: Arts, Etc.

tIME IN THE GYM: Students work out in the weight room, located in the Gosman Gym.
PHOTO BY Nafiz Ahmed/The Hoot

First-years and seniors alike experience the back to school hustle and bustle of hounding Amazon for textbooks, going overboard on the club fair sign-up sheets and choosing late night Lizzy’s ice cream with friends over the usual nightly work-out. Ah yes, the life of a Brandeis student is often one of pushing the extreme in every activity, overlooking the one essential vehicle that allows us to be the nutty over-achievers we are: our bodies. So, I, Gabby Katz, am here to be the weekly voice of your sad liver, fried brain, hungry tummy, and sleepy heart. I will try my best to give weekly tips on easy ways to keep mentally and physically fit on campus without having to take on any more time commitments than you already have.

Often, many use meal times or breaks for coffee and sugary snacks as the perfect point in the day to catch up with friends or to call parents to vent about our days. However, what if we relocated this social gathering outside? Walking around Loop Road once is about one mile, can be completed in 20 minutes at a moderate pace, and removes the mindset that socializing and eating have to go hand-in-hand. Studies show that even short-distance walking or standing up a couple times a day instead of continually sitting in a chair can increase the levels of lipoprotein lipase, which are enzymes that help metabolize fat. Additionally, walking can burn significant calories, according to By multiplying 0.30 by your weight you can figure out your net calorie burn per mile, which can really add up if you make this a new practice in your daily routine. Walking also promotes heart health and socializing with friends and family can increase mental stability and relieve stress. Best part of all, you don’t have to step into the sweaty gym or fill up on extra unneeded calories to socialize.

Not sold on the walking thing? Here’s another tip: Drink. Drink. Drink.

Not the kind of drinking at the party this weekend, I mean water. And lots of it. Roughly 70 percent of your body and 90 percent of your brain are made of water, and 45 percent of all statistics are made up. Just kidding on the last one, but really, we are made mostly of water, so to deprive our bodies of the essential liquids we run on would seem a bit counter-intuitive, right? Drinking water at the first signs of hunger can also help us distinguish if we are hungry or thirsty and help save those extra calories that may be consumed out of confusion. Water can also regulate body temperature in this scary heat wave, alleviate constipation from Sherman food and flush toxins from our bodies. To calculate how much water you should drink per day, divide your weight in pounds in two and that value is the amount in ounces of water that your body demands per day. Not only is it essential for our health, but it is the new campus trend. My blue re-useable camelback with frog stickers keeps me hydrated, green and in-style as I fill up at the many water fountains or sinks around campus. Access to drinkable water on campus is abundant and free, and water bottles are given out at many campus events (like this past club fair) so drinking water can be a change to your daily life that is easy and beneficial.

Basically, all I have told you this article is to drink water and walk, but hopefully you now see how these two activities can be easily incorporated into your social lives and have great impact over your health. Stay tuned next week for more health tips and please send an e-mail to if you have any health related questions or interests that you want featured in the column.