Advertising
Advertising

20 of the Healthiest Colleges in the US

20 of the Healthiest Colleges in the US

You’ve seen the lists of the top party colleges in America, but have you ever wondered which universities are best for your health? The healthiest schools in the US offer a lot more that just awesome workout facilities (although we’ll talk about those, as well).

So here’s a list 20 of the healthiest colleges in the US, with a variety of reasons why these campuses are pegged as a great fit for overall student wellness:

1. The University of Akron

The Midwestern city of Akron, Ohio, might not be the first thin that pops into your mind when thinking of healthy locales. But the school affectionately known as “Akron U” has a Student Recreation and Wellness Services exercise facility that is legendary. With a state-of-the-art rock-climbing wall, an aquatics pool, a spa, and more, the institution is a favorite in the area. The university itself is ensconced within a city famous for gorgeous greenery, while Cuyahoga Valley National Park is right nearby.

zips

    2. Cedarville University

    This private Ohio-based college has been named one of the best for sober students and who seek a relatively drug-free campus.

    Cedarville-University

      3. Dartmouth College

      Sure, most everyone knows the prestigious private Ivy League school. But they might not realize that Dartmouth offers students 27,000 acres worth of northern New Hampshire wilderness—known as the “Second College Grant”—to explore. There are also plenty of nearby outdoor activities, with the Appalachian Trail dissecting the campus and the Connecticut River very close by.

      Advertising

      college-dartmouth

        4. Harvard University

        Not only has the famous Cambridge school banned nicotine in Harvard Yard, but also every two seconds a new health report seems to published by the respected university. (And let’s not forget what a prosperous life even some Harvard dropouts have had, like Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg.)

        harvard

          5. The University of Denver

          Denver is already known as one of the healthiest cities in the nation, what with the popular outdoor lifestyle providing the perfect venue for fresh air and extreme calorie burning. The University of Denver itself allows students to experience a variety of fitness classes in their recreation center, and their HYPE program is a successful promotion from the school’s health and counseling center.

          6. Georgetown University

          If you’ve got a hankering for cherry blossoms in the spring, this Washington, D.C. private institution might be right up your alley. Especially since the school just recently broke ground on the new John R. Thompson, Jr. Intercollegiate Athletics Center.

          georgetownuniversity

            7. The University of Alabama

            Life at UA can offers some seriously health socializing in the form of Crimson Tide athletics. Students just grab their Alabama apparel and head off to a rousing game. Studious sports fans can balance out their studying woes with fun-filled play time.

            Advertising

            bama-fans

              8. The University of Texas

              Bigger can be better in terms of large schools, and everything’s bigger in Texas. This Austin-based state university enjoys more than 50,000 enrolled students who are blocks away from downtown Austin, a city known for its eclectic and artistic vibe. High-quality recreation facilities within the 350-acre campus ensure there won’t be many dull moments.

              uoft

                9. The University of Michigan-Flint

                Whilst some schools are just now jumping on the anti-smoking bandwagon, UM-Flint has enjoyed a smoke-free campus for more than three years—all part of its initiative to create a healthy campus community.

                um-flint

                  10. Central Piedmont Community College

                  It’s not always the high brow and pricey schools that should be considered the healthiest. After all, many folks can’t afford some of the Ivy League book fees, let alone approach their tuition and housing rates. That’s where places like CPCC fill in the gap, offering performing arts programs, event facilities and transitional programs that benefit a diverse community of students, fulfilling a boatload of health and wellness needs.

                  Advertising

                  central-piedmont-community-college

                    11. Cincinnati State College

                    Perhaps the healthiest thing about Cincinnati State is that a couple of years spent there will cost you about 50% less than the expenditure made at other traditional universities. Nestled in a city teeming with cultural gems—like the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center—the school prides itself on providing career-ready teaching that can help students enter fields such as nursing and health and public safety.

                    cincy-state

                      12. Rice University

                      Rice University is consistently ranked right alongside top tier schools due to its excellent athletics, exquisite campus and a diverse student body. The school even ranks high as one of Houston’s best places to work.

                      13. The University of Maryland

                      This higher learning institution—located in College Park in Prince George’s County, Maryland—allows students to remain active by booking tee times on the UMD golf course, taking yoga classes, scaling rock climbing walls and a number of other wellness activities via their campus recreation services.

                      university-of-maryland

                        14. Purdue University

                        One look at the “life at Purdue” Instagram page—especially the video showing the Boilermaker’s band playing a song while inside a fountain—will show you that the six-campus school based in West Lafayette, Indiana, is replete with good clean fun. There’s a lot more going here than just great engineering, science, and technology programs. Laughter is the best medicine, right?

                        15. Auburn University

                        Auburn University’s more than 25,000 students can take advantage of programs like Auburn Outdoors, as well as other campus recreational programs that allow for biking and kayaking. Be warned that the outdoors rental shop is closed for all of the home-based football games, when folks throw on their Auburn t-shirts and scream, “Go Tigers!”

                        Advertising

                        16. Florida State University

                        Hiking this capital city’s legendary seven hills is what keeps Tallahassee, Florida, students in shape—no small feat during warmer months that can see temperatures rise above 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

                        Beyond the weather, the university known as FSU has been named one of the nation’s best universities—not only due to their staff qualifications and student support, but also because of their no-tolerance policy against sexual violence.

                        fsu

                          17. UC Santa Barbara

                          Of course you’d expect to find a California school on a list of the healthiest colleges. UC Santa Barbara has miles of the Pacific Ocean at its disposal, and students can enjoy a plethora of programs that can take them from Yosemite to Santa Cruz Island and beyond.

                          18. Vanderbilt University

                          Located in Nashville, Tennessee, this school is known for excellent campus dining that includes menus chock full of roasted salmon dishes, gyros and other healthy fare. Students also can select a variety of workout classes to enjoy, from Zumba to ballet. And no doubt FIFA 15 is on its way.

                          19. Princeton University

                          This private institution can be great for the financial health of students who qualify for Princeton’s “no loan” policy, in which grants are given only to those who need them so they won’t be saddled with student debt. The famous school also gives third and fourth year students the chance to choose from nearly a dozen eating clubs that foster good social vibes.

                          20. Coe College

                          At this Cedar Rapids, Iowa, school, you’ll find the best of both worlds: a campus tucked within a peaceful community that’s consistently pegged as one of the best in the United States to live in, and a location that’s on the rise. The private liberal arts college has been praised for its smaller and intimate class sizes, with a student satisfaction ranking of nearly 80%, as tracked by US News.

                          Featured photo credit: Low section of people running on treadmills in health club / Stock Photo ID: 47708740 Copyright: Nosnibor137 via bigstockphoto.com

                          More by this author

                          Beauty Hacks: 25 Smooth Shaving Tips for Women 25 Mind-Blowingly Informative Websites That Will Expand Your Worldview 30 Interesting And Scam Free Ways To Make Money Online The 20 Best Work-From-Home Jobs You Should Consider Taking Daughter: You’re Almost 12 – Here’s What Kids Should Know By Adulthood

                          Trending in Health

                          1 The Effects of Stress on Your Body And Mind (You Never Knew) 2 7 Signs You’re Burnt out (And How to Bounce Back) 3 How to Cope with COVID Anxiety And Stress 4 6 Health Benefits of Tumeric (And How to Take It For Good) 5 10 Weight Loss Tips to Help You Lose Weight the Easy Way

                          Read Next

                          Advertising
                          Advertising
                          Advertising

                          Last Updated on September 18, 2020

                          7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

                          7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

                          Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

                          Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

                          1. Exercise Daily

                          It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

                          If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

                          Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

                          Advertising

                          If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

                          2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

                          Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

                          One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

                          This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

                          3. Acknowledge Your Limits

                          Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

                          Advertising

                          Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

                          Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

                          4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

                          Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

                          The basic nutritional advice includes:

                          • Eat unprocessed foods
                          • Eat more veggies
                          • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
                          • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

                          Advertising

                          Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

                            5. Watch Out for Travel

                            Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

                            This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

                            If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

                            6. Start Slow

                            Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

                            If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

                            Advertising

                            7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

                            Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

                            My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

                            If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

                            I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

                            Final Thoughts

                            Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

                            Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

                            More Tips on Getting in Shape

                            Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

                            Reference

                            Read Next