The April 2021 Rec of the Month is the Wallman Wellness Center at North Dakota State University (NDSU).
Mission: We promote a culture of life-long wellness by developing innovative programs and services for the NDSU community.
Vision: A destination that inspires healthy lifestyles.
History: The Wallman Wellness Center is a student-funded facility. NDSU students first voted in 1999 to increase the health and wellness fee to finance the construction and operation of a Wellness Center. The 36,000-square-foot facility opened in August of 2001. Due to the overwhelming use, it quickly became apparent an expansion was needed. In 2007, a 72,000-square-foot addition was completed. After another student-initiated fee increase, a 28,000-square-foot aquatic addition opened in the fall of 2016.
Staff: The Wellness Center employs 11 full-time staff, two graduate assistants, and 200 student and part-time employees.
DESCRIPTION OF THE WALLMAN WELLNESS CENTER
The 136,000-square-foot facility offers students and members numerous programs, services and amenities to improve each dimension of wellness.
Aquatics features a lap pool, leisure pool with vortex circle, 23-person hot tub and gas fire pit for relaxation. The lap pool is six lanes and 25 yards in distance. It hosts many events including community swim lessons, sunrise and night swim, canoe battleship, indoor triathlon, and floaty night. Two basketball hoops and a volleyball net are set up at all times for use in the leisure pool. Aquatics also offers SwimTrain, a personal training style swim program available to new swimmers or someone looking to refine their swim strokes. The west classroom is used for scuba diving instruction and safety education classes such as: CPR/AED/First-Aid, lifeguard certification and water safety instructor.
The Wellness Center has a strong and passionate climbing community. The 33-foot wall was built in 2007 and resembles features of the terrain in the western part of North Dakota. It is the tallest indoor wall in North Dakota. Programming at the wall includes Rock Climbing 101 for beginners, Women with Altitude to increase the female climbing community and two climbing competitions each year. The facility also has a bouldering wall and hosts a university climbing class.
Something unique to the NDSU Wellness Center is the licensed and affordable child care and education program exclusively for NDSU students. The program serves children ages six weeks to five years whose parent(s) or guardian(s) are NDSU students registered for academic credit. Full and part-time reservations are available depending on the student’s class schedule. Undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students have been able to pursue and complete their educational goals with the assistance of the Wellness Center Child Care.
The Wellness Center has over 200 pieces of state-of-the-art fitness and strength equipment. Many of the cardio machines feature web accessibility so students have access to data tracking, Netflix, ESPN, Hulu and more. The most popular pieces of strength equipment are the five power racks that feature a bench press, squat and platform space. First floor is where most of the free weights, barbells, kettlebells and other functional fitness equipment is found. The second floor is home to the majority of cardio and selectorized equipment. The third floor boasts a two-lane running track and a variety of cardio equipment.
BodPod and Fitness Assessment Room: The Wellness Center provides a comprehensive fitness assessment using the Bod Pod and anthropometric measurements. The assessment will give a baseline of current fitness level to determine health and fitness improvements over time. The fitness evaluation includes a test to determine resting heart rate, blood pressure, aerobic capacity, muscular strength, endurance and flexibility, and body composition via the Bod Pod analysis.
Studio A: This studio is reserved exclusively for personal training clients. We have approximately five to six certified student personal trainers. This space provides clients with a comfortable and private space when they first begin to train. The goal is to transition clients to public spaces on our fitness floor.
Studio B: This large studio is used for group fitness and for a more private workout.
Martial Arts Studio: This space is equipped with heavy and speed bags, and provides students and members with a more private workout space.
Cycle Studio: For cycle classes or personal use.
Walking/Running Track: The Wellness Center is fortunate to have separate tracks for running and walking.
INTRAMURALS AND RECREATION
Intramural and recreation facilities include three wood floor basketball courts, a multipurpose activity court that can be used for basketball, volleyball, futsal, tennis and floor hockey. These facilities host all of the court-based intramural sports and many facility rentals throughout the year. The Wellness Center has four racquetball courts, including one that can be converted to a squash court and an area for table tennis. The equipment and towel checkout desk offers free towel service and equipment check-out.
Other Facility Features:
- Men and women locker rooms.
- Aquatic men and women locker rooms.
- Three all-gender locker rooms.
- Atrium area for relaxation or study.
- Student Health Service is located in the Wallman Wellness Center. Student Health Service has a staff of 20 including physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, medical technologists, pharmacist, dietitian and health promotion staff. Student Health Service provides a multitude of health and wellness services to NDSU students.
WALLMAN WELLNESS CENTER PROGRAMMING HIGHLIGHTS
The Wellness Center employs over 200 students from a variety of academic programs. Professional staff enhance employee engagement through being present in the student’s work environment, conversations and semester reviews. Students report developing stronger skills in the following competencies: time management, communication, critical thinking and problem solving; working effectively with individuals from a variety of backgrounds, experiences and cultures; holding self and others accountable; and conflict resolutions skills. Student employees also report learning more about their career options. We are proud of our hard-working students in and out of the classroom. The average grade point average of our students from the fall of 2020 was an impressive 3.38.
Women with Altitude
This program was created to engage female participants to try the climbing wall with no experience required. Climbing by nature is an intimidating activity. With more male participation, that can sometimes create a barrier for female students wanting to try climbing. By holding this program strictly for female participants and having it taught by female staff, it adds a new level of comfortability for many first-time women climbers. This targeted instruction and community building aspect helps engage individuals who might not have participated in this activity. The ideal outcome after this program is these new climbers gain the confidence to continue using the Wellness Center climbing wall.
Floaty Night is one of the most popular programs in aquatics each semester. Floaty Night features large floaties in a variety of shapes and sizes, including some over six feet tall. Over 50 floaties are placed throughout the lap and leisure pools with the overhead lights turned off to give a relaxing and fun environment for attendees. Approximately 200 students attend the event each year. The Wellness Center also partners with Campus Attractions for a Dive-In Movie with the floaties. A few of the past showings include Elf, Moana and Jaws.
BOGAFiT is a fitness program developed by combining yoga-based movements and HIIT style principles. The workout is performed in the lap pool using BOGA’s FiTMAT, a floating yoga mat. Warrior I, burpees, surfer pose and many more exercises challenge and improve balance and core strength throughout this 50-minute class. This program is popular in California, but very unique to the Midwest. This class has a few similarities to the popular summer activity, stand-up paddle boarding.
The Crawl is a rock wall challenge that was developed based on having to cancel in-person climbing competitions due to COVID. Students set three different challenge routes each week labeled as beginner, intermediate and advanced. Individuals receive prize entries based on completed routes. Beginner routes receive one entry, intermediate routes receive two entries and advanced routes receives three. Climbers may finish one route per day without falling. Routes rotate between the top rope and boulder routes every two weeks. At the end of the competition, a drawing is held for a variety of prizes.
Wellness Center Challenge
The Wellness Center Challenge is a semester long, complete on your own triathlon that includes a 50-mile swim, 500-mile bike and a 125-mile run throughout the course of a semester. Individuals record their progress and each completed challenge receives an entry for a grand prize such as an Apple Watch, AirPods, Beats, etc. The winner is drawn at the end of the semester. This program challenges an individual to complete one or all three activities on their own, encouraging self-discipline.
Candlelight Yoga was added to the group fitness schedule after seeing high participation. The Wellness Center also offers it in the Memorial Union to reach a larger audience during finals week. The lights are turned off and battery-powered candles are placed throughout the room to provide a relaxing ambience. This program promotes a healthy way to better manage stress during a busier time of year for students.
Outdoor Adventures features rental equipment available to take wellness outside. This program opened in February of 2021 with plans to add outdoor trips and workshops. Both summer and winter equipment are available including camping equipment, cross country skis, canoes, kayaks, snowshoes and more. The Wellness Center received a large grant from NDSU Student Government to purchase the new equipment.
The Wallman Wellness Center intramural sports program gives students, faculty and staff the opportunity to participate in a variety of intramural activities throughout the academic year. There are over 35 intramural sport programs offered each year, averaging over 3,300 participants during the last three years. A few of the programs include Spikeball, flag football, basketball and softball. Men’s, women’s, open, coed and Greek leagues are available, along with many one-day tournaments and fantasy sports, such as March Madness and Bowlmania.
Esports launched during the pandemic in 2020 and has continued to expand. This year is the first full year offering a variety of play-on-your-own leagues and tournaments. Games include NBA 2K, Call of Duty, FIFA and Rocket League. With the recent addition of a gaming lab on campus, there are growing opportunities for esports moving forward.
Canoe battleship is a fun and exciting event held in the lap pool. There are three canoes in the water during each heat or round and the objective of the game is for each team to sink the other two canoes as quickly as possible while only being able to throw water using buckets. It all comes down to who has the best aim and balance to stay afloat once the water starts rising in your canoe.
Stay up-to-date on the NDSU Wallman Wellness Center:
- Instagram: @ndsuwellnesscenter
- Twitter: @NDSUWellness
- Facebook: @NDSUWellnessCenter
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