You Want Healthy? Work It Out.

Story By: Allie Kawata

Junior screenwriting major Nicholas Berson remembers collapsing on the track in middle school, gasping for air after running a single lap.

“I was so out of shape that my own mom thought I had asthma,” said Berson.

He now goes to the gym for two or three hours on most days of the week, sometimes even going twice in a day if he feels that he hasn’t pushed himself enough.

Some students, like Berson, find the motivation to consistently make it to the gym multiple times per week. Go to the gym at any time of day and you’ll always spot the same super-fit girl on the elliptical, or pass that one guy on your way to the water fountain.

However, not all students take advantage of Chapman's facilities.

More than 60 percent of college students do not get enough physical excercise, according to a recent Northwestern University study. And the University of Pittsburgh says less than 40 percent of the college student population exercises at least three times a week.

But some Chapman students are almost obsessed with it.

Senior health science major Loraine Tucay works behind the desk at the Julianne Argyros Fitness Center. Tucay said she usually works out four times a week, but if she had a whole week free of obligations, she would still spend the majority working out at the gym.

But sometimes, said Tucay, her packed schedule can impinge on her workout time. Other similarly fitness-minded students feel the same.

“Studying can keep me from taking that [hour] and a half of being active,” said junior health science major Annie Fleming. Time spent at the gym is time that could be spent studying for an upcoming test, she pointed out.

“Of course I feel like there isn’t enough time to exercise,” said Krista Goldsmith, a junior public relations and advertising major. Despite the lack of downtime outside all of her responsibilities, she said she still makes time to work out five days a week.

Click Here For Exercise Alternatives to the Gym

Between classes, homework, jobs, internships, and other extracurriculars like clubs and Greek life, it seems like there are barely enough hours in the day to sleep or eat, much less exercise. So if these students have so little free time, why do they choose to spend so much of it at the gym, rather than relaxing or hanging out with friends?

Many said the gym is a source of stress relief.

“It's nice to blow off some steam and do something good for my health,” said Tucay. “Some days I feel suffocated with life. So going to the gym, shutting out the world with music, and just having ‘me’ time is very therapeutic.”

Junior Cait McCarthy, a strategic and corporate communication major, said her gym time is “the one time where I can take a break and not feel guilty about putting off other stuff.”

“When I miss days working out, I have trouble sleeping and just all around don’t feel great,” McCarthy added.

Taking a slightly different approach to exercising, Fleming does yoga multiple times a week. She said her favorite thing about yoga is that it’s a “moving meditation” that comes with both physical and spiritual benefits.

“It’s quite amazing to feel more a part of the world,” she said.

Goldsmith said she used to exercise to improve her outward appearance. But as time passed and she started to get healthier, her reasons changed.

“I eventually realized the top reason for working out should be to improve my overall health,” she said. “Once I absorbed this concept, my whole lifestyle changed. Just knowing that everything I do is improving my overall health keeps me eager to get a good workout in as often as possible.”

Click Here for a Workout Playlist

This kind of motivation towards a healthier lifestyle is exactly what Dean Jerry Price hoped many students would gain from the Chapman Fitness Challenge. The semester-long program is designed not just to get students to the gym, but also to help them eat healthier and develop good health habits.

“We started [the Chapman Fitness Challenge] because we wanted to introduce students to habits that they could start during college that will serve them a lifetime,” said Price. “It’s not just a short term thing, it’s trying to get students to find ways of physical engagement that will…stick with them for the rest of their life.”

“Staying healthy is what’s important to me,” said Berson, echoing this idea. “If you eat healthy enough outside the gym, and just lead a generally healthy lifestyle, it’s not a big deal if you miss [a day at] the gym.”

But beyond that, Berson remembers the days when he was too out of shape to finish a single lap around the field.

“People didn’t really respect me or give me a chance,” he said. Now, though, if he does the right things to take care of his body, he said, “All the people who…never give me a chance and judge me…Then they won’t be able to say anything.”


It’s easy to get stuck in a rut at the gym: you do your usual circuit through the treadmill, the weight rack, the mats, and soon an hour has passed and you’re out the door. Then it happens again the next time, and the one after that, and soon you’ve been doing the exact same thing for three weeks and you’re bored out of your mind.

So you want to try something different. But now, you’re not sure where to turn first, or you don’t want to drive to a different gym. (Or maybe you just don’t want to make a mess of yourself struggling with some weird workout on a mat at Chapman’s fitness center.) Here are a few ways to mix up your workout sessions, all while staying on campus.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

High intensity interval training (HIIT) is a rigorous workout program that’s gained popularity as a way to maximize exercise while minimizing time – which makes it an attractive option for busy college students. HIIT consists of brief periods of high intensity exercise interspersed with recovery periods of medium intensity exercise, great for people who are trying to burn fat or build muscle. But be careful: every person maxes out at a different point, so be sure not to overdo it with the high intensity.

If you want to give HIIT a try, the student union offers free sessions every week on Mondays at 7 PM.



Kickboxing is pretty much what the name implies: combinations of various kicks and punches designed to burn calories, originally based on martial arts techniques. Like HIIT, this is a great workout for those who want to burn fat and build muscle – plus, it’s a healthy way to work out frustration.

There are kickboxing sessions in the student union every Monday night at 7:45 PM, right after HIIT.



This isn’t your average poolside sunbathing – swimming can be a great workout to build endurance, without necessarily gaining a ton of muscle bulk. The different types of strokes (like butterfly, backstroke, freestyle, and breaststroke) engage large muscle groups, so you avoid focusing on any one part of your body too much.

For the fall semester, the Allred Aquatics Center is open from 12 PM – 2 PM and 6:30 PM – 8 PM on weekdays, and 10 AM – 2 PM on weekends.



Many are drawn to yoga because of its combination of physical and mental benefits; many yoga sessions incorporate elements of meditation, such as mindfulness and breathing techniques, along with physical workouts. Yoga helps improve balance, core strength, and flexibility, without the muscle mass of traditional resistance training.

The student union holds yoga classes every Tuesday at 7 PM and every Wednesday at 9 PM.



For those who find the repetition of the gym boring, Zumba is a great alternative way to work out. Using a combination of dance and aerobics (and good music), Zumba can be adapted for pretty much anyone, whether you’re trying to get your heart rate up with cardio, improve flexibility, or just have fun while burning calories.


Zumba classes are offered in the student union every week on Tuesdays at 8:30 PM and Wednesdays at 7:30 PM.


It’s been a long week of studying (again), and you know you should get to the gym, but you’re just too tired to even get up from your desk. What better way to get moving than by updating your workout playlist?

Once you’ve exhausted Spotify’s Dance Workout tracks, try adding these songs to your personal gym playlist – you’ll be up and running in no time at all!

  1. Let Me Be Your Lover – Enrique Iglesias, Pitbull
  2. Misery – Maroon 5
  3. Hair – Little Mix
  4. Ain’t Been Done – Jessie J
  5. Work This Body – Walk the Moon
  6. Closer – Tegan and Sara
  7. Reflections – Misterwives
  8. Talking Body – Tove Lo
  9. I Really Like You – Carly Rae Jepsen
  10. Toxic – Britney Spears
  11. The entire soundtrack of Mad Max: Fury Road. Trust me on this one.


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