Physical wellbeing at UNBSJ and in the Saint John community

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Physical exercise is an all-important component of self-development.

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This is especially the case for students who handle courseloads consisting of heavy memorization and critical thinking. It is cardinal for students to be physically active, as this enhances not only their academic abilities but their general sense of well-being. In short, a healthy mind is a powerful mind.

However, students tend to focus exclusively on academics, neglecting other physical and recreational activities. A classic case in point; as a student delves deeper into the term, they often find themselves swamped with assignments, and often end up studying for extended periods of time. In the worst case scenario, a student may find themselves pulling off an “all-nighter”, a situation where they get very little to no hours of sleep.

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While there are many factors that may contribute to a student’s inactive lifestyle, perhaps one of the core reasons is a lack of awareness regarding physical exercise and recreational activities in their vicinity and neighbourhood. Thus, the following article aims to provide a brief guide on such facilities, including, but not limited to the University of New Brunswick Saint John Campus.

G. Forbes Elliott Athletics Centre 

Understandably, many students are on a tight budget. Furthermore, a significant portion of students live in residence. As a result, they do not have ready access to facilities off-campus.

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The solution lies in making optimal use of the G. Forbes Elliott Athletics Centre. The centre contains several athletic facilities available to not only students but UNB staff as well. These facilities include a fitness room, weight room and multi-purpose room. The Athletics Centre is also well equipped with showers, and a designated locker changing area. These facilities are available to students free of charge.

Fitness Classes Available for Students

In addition, several fitness classes are carried out weekly in the Athletics Centre. These classes include Strength & Stretch, Bootcamp, Kickboxing, Low Impact Body Weight, and Yoga. Partaking in these classes is an excellent opportunity for new students to get physically involved on campus, all the while meeting new people.

A description of each class along with its schedule can be accessed here.

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Campus Trails

For students who prefer a more tranquil form of exercise, another recreational opportunity lies in making use of the campus trails, a network of trails stretching across more than 5 km. This trail system can take students to Tucker Park where they can appreciate some of the natural wonders Saint John has to offer, including a beach and multiple river-side trails.

A trail map can be accessed here. 

Ice Skating Arenas

Off-campus, there are many opportunities for students, both local and international, to immerse themselves in the city’s culture, while being physically active. For example, Saint John has several ice-skating facilities, many of which can be accessed free of charge. Ice skating is a sport which yields several powerful results; increased coordination and endurance, a boost in cardiovascular health, and an enhanced general sense of well-being, are but some of the many benefits of taking up ice skating as a pastime.

Provided below is a link to the City of Saint John website, where a list of skating arenas alongside several other recreation facilities can be found here.

Swimming as a Form of Recreation

As is the case with ice skating, swimming is a proven way to enhance one’s cardiovascular health. Furthermore, swimming involves the use of all the body’s muscles. This makes it a prime way to relax one’s body while improving physical endurance. The Canada Games Aquatic Centre provides swimming lessons, pool hours and a “Wellness Membership” program. Some of the benefits of joining this program include access to fitness classes, a sauna, and fitness assessments. To learn more, click here

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By and large, there are many facilities students can use to remain physically active. Even in the case of crunch periods when students are presented with large volumes of projects and assessments, it is possible to stay physically active. Floor exercises, such as yoga, push-ups, and simple stretches can be easily executed in the comfort of one’s bedroom, even on the day of an exam. The key to physical well-being lies in understanding the benefits of physical exercise as a life-changing habit, and thereafter committing to having a set minimum number of minutes per week. 

Mutale Mubanga is a 4th year BBA Digital Business student. In addition, he is minoring in French Communication. Coming from Zambian, he enjoys meeting people of different nationalities and cultures. Also, he strongly believes in the concept of growth mindset; that it is possible for anyone to learn anything given enough time and practice. His favourite place to study is the Commons, because of its serene and calm feel. When not studying, you will find him drinking water to remain hydrated.