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Health and Wellness

Work Out with the Wolfpack

If your New Year’s resolution is to focus more on fitness, the brand new Wellness and Recreation Center is a convenient, affordable option right on campus and offers a free 30-day trial for new members.

The Wellness and Recreation Center at night

For about 12 years, Benji Martin has been on a fitness journey with NC State Wellness and Recreation. On almost any given day, you can find him using the wide variety of equipment in the gym or participating in one of the many group fitness classes offered at the Wellness and Recreation Center. 

“I’ve always believed that the two key elements in living a long and healthy life are exercising and eating healthy,” Martin explained. “The WellRec facility allows me to work on one of my key focuses. Exercising and working out are physically and mentally stimulating for me. I remember when I first visited the WellRec Center I would see other employees taking advantage of all the great equipment in the gym, [and] I knew this was something I wanted to do. It also became a great way for me to meet lots of other workers and students, where eventually I started helping and motivating others to strive to live healthier.”

As a plumber for University Housing, Martin appreciates the convenience of being able to work out on campus before or after work, or even during his lunch break. It’s also more affordable than most gyms off campus. Martin finds great value in his monthly $25 membership fee (payroll deduction). The fee covers regular gym and swimming pool access as well as Wellness and Recreation Center’s state of the art climbing wall, indoor running track, tennis courts, yoga studio and many other amenities. 

“Wellness and Recreation is here to support you through your fitness and wellness journey,” said Mary Yemma Barnhart, associate director. “We have a variety of programs, services and facilities to help you achieve your goals. Today you could lift weights, tomorrow you could swim laps in the Aquatic Center and the next day you could take a group fitness class. We challenge you to move more in 2022.”

The new Wellness and Recreation Center opened to faculty, staff and students on October 26, 2020.

More Than a Gym

Martin is one of hundreds of NC State employees who enjoy membership at the Wellness and Recreation Center. He’s also part of a close-knit community of faculty and staff who support and uplift each other along their fitness journeys. One of the primary ways employees connect is through group fitness classes before work and during lunchtime. Among the newest and most popular classes is F45 cardio and strength workouts. Others include cycling, yoga and BodyPump™.

Students in a yoga class strike poses
Participants strike a pose in a yoga class

In addition to year-round access to the gym and all of its equipment, faculty and staff members can also participate in intramural sports versus other employees as well as beginner-friendly, off-campus excursions like hiking, cycling or kayaking. Employees can also rent kayaks, bicycles and camping equipment like tents, sleeping bags and portable stoves for their personal outdoor adventures.

Get Moving

If you are interested in becoming a member of NC State’s Wellness and Recreation Center, please visit the main entrance across from Talley Student Union to confirm eligibility and register. New members can also start with a free, 30-day trial when they register at the facility. Employees and their families can register for additional classes on the MyWellRec Portal and through the WellRec App.

Gym members exercise on the turf on the top floor of the Wellness and Recreation Center
The new Wellness and Recreation Center has three floors full of exercise and weight equipment, classroom and studio spaces, and a turf track

“We are excited for the return of Family Recreation on January 10, 2022,” Barnhart said. “Members can register their dependent children, 17-years or younger, at the member services suite to take advantage of weekend family recreation hours at no additional cost. Family Recreation is open to the basketball courts, racquetball courts, indoor track, climbing center and aquatic center.”

Learn more about Wellness and Recreation and all of the opportunities available to employees at