Committee promotes health

LMC aims for change


Cathie Lawrence

The Battlefit gym offers classes such as boxing, kickboxing and mixed martial arts (MMA). The facility offers a discount to LMC students.

Los Medanos College’s Health and Wellness Committee is gearing up for the year with a new website and a schedule of events.

“The Health and Wellness Committee will plan events on campus, centered around living healthier lives in ways that appeal to faculty, staff and students,” said co-chair of the committee Marie Arcidiacono, who is also an LMC adjunct speech professor and assistant director of forensics.

To help people accomplish their goals, the committee’s new web page will provide information and encouragement to its participants.

“We will also be inviting any interested LMC faculty, staff and students to become members of our new Desire2Learn site where we will also be posting a twice a month blog centered around health and wellness, links to articles and resources, and have a supportive community for those who are making lifestyle changes,” said Arcidiacono.

According to Professional Development Advisory Committee Co-Chair Mary Oleson, who is also the senior administrative assistant and professor learning-flex coordinator, the Health and Wellness Committee is not a new entity.

“In 2009, the Health and Wellness was revitalized as a sub-committee of the newly formed [PDAC],” said Oleson. “The sub-committee was staff-led and invited other employees to join in and bring CCCSIG activities, flu shots, health-related speakers from John Muir health, and other workshops related to diet, exercise and health-related topics.”

But Arcidiacono explained that the coming months will be used as a trial period to investigate what types of functions would excite the LMC community.

“Spring 2015 is our semester to gauge interest and beta test activities and events,” said Arcidiacono. “Fall 2015 will be the big semester for us.”

Some of the activities/events planned include:

         A possible public viewing of the documentary “Fed Up” towards the end of the semester – permit approval is pending.

         Boxing/self-defense lessons for faculty and staff (if there is interest, students will be able to hold their own class next fall), to be conducted by “a local boxing trainer and former Golden Glove.”

         “Lunch and Learns, where faculty, staff and students can come and eat lunch (brown bag style) and learn about relevant health related topics, such as sugar consumption, good/bad carbs, diet fads and myths, etc.”

         “May 2 the Health and Wellness Committee is partnering with the LMC debate team to have a public debate at Pittsburg City Hall, centered around a health and wellness topic.”

Throughout its history, the committee has had a diverse range of leaders, each having unique qualifications for the job.

“Over the past six years, there have been different employees co-chairing this committee, each bringing their own style to the health and wellness activities,” said Oleson.

And according to an email sent to LMC staff introducing the three co-chairs, this semester is no different: Arcidiacono, who has been involved in various sports throughout her life, is a half-marathoner and “hobby boxer;” Courtney Diputado is the Technology and Development Coordinator at LMC, but also moonlights as a Zumba fitness instructor; Kristen Freeman is an adjunct counselor in Career Services but is also certified in personal fitness and nutrition.

LMC Vice President Kevin Horan, who is a half-marathon runner and avid mountain biker, said being active is important.

“Exercising and eating healthy can only help students,” said Horan. “There is a clear connection between mind and body. When one is not being used adequately, the other is impacted.”

Horan draws these opinions from his own experience as a student, who only began doing regular workouts in graduate school.

“I found exercise to be a great stress reducer,” he said, and added that he finds, now, when he doesn’t fit it into his schedule he doesn’t “sleep as well, which then impacts everything else.”

Arcidiacono echoed Horan’s sentiments and she thinks “being healthy and active is important for everyone for different reasons” and added that, for her, “being healthy when it comes to work and/or school it’s important because it provides us with a way to combat hours of sitting and being idle, which is actually very bad for your health.”

There are a lot of ways to get out there and be active, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be on campus. Local organizations sometimes offer deals to students.

A new boxing gym called Battlefit, which opened up next to the Brentwood Center last November, is currently offer a discount to those who attend classes at either LMC campuses – a full schedule and pricing information can be found at their website

“We offer boxing, kickboxing and mixed martial arts, which is MMA,” said Front Desk Receptionist Angelica Wilson, adding that students can either take a class or just drop in and use the equipment on their own.

Wilson said the gym could offer students an amazing place to build “self-confidence, control, obedience, respect, motivation” and help them get healthy, stay healthy, feel great and keep them looking great.

If you would like to get involved or want share your ideas with the Health and Wellness Committee contact Arcidiacono at [email protected]. Or if you want join the committee’s online community send your information to Diputado at [email protected].