Let’s Get Physical

A healthy diet and regular physical activity are major factors in promoting and maintaining good health.  According to the World Health Organization, an unhealthy diet and the lack of physical activity are two primary risk factors for high blood pressure, raised blood glucose levels, abnormal blood lipids, overweight/obesity, and for major chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and diabetes.  Did you know that overall,

  • 2.7 million deaths are attributable to low fruit and vegetable intake,
  • 1.9 million deaths are attributable to physical inactivity

With a little creativity and planning, even the person with the busiest schedule can make room for physical activity.  For many folks, before or after work or meals is often an available time to walk, cycle, swim or simply play.  Think about your weekly or daily schedule and look for or make opportunities to be more active.  Every little bit helps.  Consider the following resources:

Anderson Athletic and Recreation Complex (AARC)

For on-the-job fitness convenience, look no further than St. Paul’s North Campus, site of the brand new Anderson Athletic and Recreation Complex.  This 180,000 square foot facility contains a fitness center, weight and aerobics rooms, aquatic center and much, much more.  Work out on your own or enroll in one of the different fitness classes that will be offered such as yoga, spinning, aerobics or boot camp.

Effective June 1, 2013, current regular full-time and part-time employees of the University of St. Thomas will be offered complimentary AARC access.  This complementary membership is valid for the individual only.  All other employees must purchase a membership.

Medical costs for the university and insurance premiums for individuals and families continue to increase at double-digit rates on an annual basis.  This new building allows faculty and staff unparalleled access to outstanding facilities and the opportunity to improve their health and mitigate expected increases in medical costs for the university and their own health-care premiums.

McCarthy Gymnasium

The McCarthy Gym, located on the South Campus of the University of St. Thomas’s St. Paul Campus, is a multi-purpose gym facility intended to support the recreational, intramural and athletic activities of the university community.  The McCarthy Gym facility was remodeled to offer:

  • Modern locker facilities for men and women
  • 2 wood floor gymnasiums with markings and setups for basketball, volleyball, badminton, pickle ball, and other activities.
  • Cardio equipment
  • Strength (non free weight) equipment
  • 4 racquetball and handball courts

The facility is free and open to all St. Thomas students, staff and faculty.  A valid St. Thomas ID, which will be swiped through a card reader at the gym’s front desk, is required for each visit. 

Blue Cross Blue Shield Fitness Center Rebate

Beginning in January 2011, an even bigger incentive is in the works.  For employees who workout elsewhere, we offer a fitness center discount through Blue Cross Blue Shield of MN.  This plan allows employees covered on the St. Thomas health plan and up to one eligible dependent the opportunity to earn a $20 rebate per month on their regular fitness center costs.  To qualify for the monthly discounts, employees must use their fitness club membership at least 12 days or more per month.

There are over 700 participating health clubs in this program, which will make it easy to find one convenient to you.

Wellness Center

St. Thomas' Wellness Center offers programs, resources, and educational materials on health promotion and illness prevention as well as classes on kickboxing, Pilates, and yoga.

UST Running Club

If you could do with some companionship in what is otherwise a solitary sport, join this group of runners to help get you motivated.  The group gets together for occasional training runs as a group and members find other times to meet on their own.  There are opportunities for races each year, including the Ragnar Relay each August.  For more information, or to get on the distribution list, contact Dan Gjelten