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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.

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    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.

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        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.)

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          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.

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            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.

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              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.

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                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.

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                    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!”

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                        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

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                          Last Updated on March 25, 2020

                          How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

                          How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

                          When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

                          So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

                          1. Exercise

                          It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

                          2. Drink in Moderation

                          I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

                          3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

                          Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

                          4. Watch Less Television

                          A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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                          Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

                          5. Eat Less Red Meat

                          Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

                          If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

                          6. Don’t Smoke

                          This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

                          7. Socialize

                          Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

                          8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

                          Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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                          9. Be Optimistic

                          Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

                          10. Own a Pet

                          Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

                          11. Drink Coffee

                          Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

                          12. Eat Less

                          Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

                          13. Meditate

                          Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

                          Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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                          How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

                          14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

                          Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

                          15. Laugh Often

                          Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

                          16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

                          Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

                          17. Cook Your Own Food

                          When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

                          Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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                          18. Eat Mushrooms

                          Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

                          19. Floss

                          Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

                          20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

                          Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

                          Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

                          21. Have Sex

                          Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

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                          Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

                          Reference

                          [1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
                          [2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
                          [3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
                          [4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
                          [5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
                          [6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
                          [7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
                          [8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
                          [9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
                          [10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
                          [11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
                          [12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
                          [13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
                          [14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
                          [15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
                          [16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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