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Weight No More, Howard's Free Burr Membership to Stay Trim

Published: Friday, February 27, 2004

Updated: Sunday, August 10, 2008 00:08

Beyond the physical education requirements that students must meet in order to graduate, there are other on-campus resources that can aid students in fitness, weight loss and proper nutrition.

Howard University offers its students a free Burr Gym membership to get fit and a weight-loss support program through the Office of Health Education called, Weight No More.

Burr gym has two weight rooms, an indoor track, basketball courts and an Olympic size pool that give students various options for getting fit. There are also several intramural sports programs, which include aerobics every Tuesday and Thursday at 5:30pm.

Kareena Cruise, a newcomer to Nyla Lyons' aerobics class, wishes she had known about the aerobics class earlier in the semester. The sophomore Psychology major said, "It is a shame that more people don't know about the class because the instructor gives you a really good workout and it's free." Cruise learned of the class because it was temporarily relocated to the Glass Room where she had been stretching.

Nyla Lyons, a personal trainer and a Howard alumna, instructs these classes in the Tae Kwan Do room, located on the lower level of Burr Gym.

Nia Taylor, a senior psychology major, receives a good workout from Lyon's class. Taylor said, "[Lyons] has good exercise techniques and the arrangements of the exercises are good because you can really feel the burn."

Taylor finds it hard to reap the full benefits from her workout because the healthy dining choices on campus are limited. "I just wish there were a nutrition component [to the class] because eating at the Punch Out doesn't help," Taylor said.

When it comes to shedding pounds and eating right, students can attend a weekly Weight No More weight loss support program. The Health Educator for the Weight No More program, Chonda Walden says, "A lot of times people jump on the bandwagon for fad or trendy diets and they do not know the information and strategies they need to maintain their weight loss." Weight No More provides this missing information and group support to keep students motivated and aware of their weight loss goals.

The program creates a comfortable, informal and relaxed environment similar to Weight Watchers and other programs that use the group weight loss system. At the first meeting, students are weighed and then asked to set their own weight loss goals and strategies to be successful. Walden said, "The program provides students with information you need to know about nutrition, weight loss, [weight] maintenance and fitness."

Walden is an expert in health and fitness; she has a degree in community health education from North Carolina Central University and masters in "Exercise Physiology" from Miami University. Walden is also a member-at-large on the board of the American College Health Association.

Walden, along with her assistant Nathalie Mondesir, a senior nutrition major, help to provide Weight No More students with strategies, techniques and support for successful weight loss and maintenance throughout their lives. Walden says she wants to "help to change students' eating habits and how they think about food and fitness."

Weight No More sessions are held in the Student Health Center on the 3rd Floor every Monday at 3:00 pm. For more information on the program, call the Office of Health Education at 806-6927.

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