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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.)

        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.

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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 January 15, 2019

                          8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                          8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                          In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

                          Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

                          Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

                          Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

                          Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

                          The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

                          There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

                          How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

                          According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

                          Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

                          Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

                          The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

                          Listen carefully:

                          We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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                          The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

                          Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

                          8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

                          There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

                          Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

                          1. Pray Daily

                          You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

                          When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

                          Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

                          Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

                          2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

                          A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

                          By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

                          Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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                          If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

                          This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

                          How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

                          3. Smile Often

                          Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

                          Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

                          Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

                          The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

                          4. Organize Your Working Desk

                          A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

                          When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

                          Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

                          Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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                          5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

                          I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

                          Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

                          What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

                          6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

                          God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

                          I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

                          I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

                          7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

                          You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

                          How do you do that? This is my formula:

                          First, go to my website (find my website here in my profile) and take the smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

                          If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

                          If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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                          If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

                          Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

                          8. Go Exercise

                          Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

                          The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

                          You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

                          12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

                          The Bottom Line

                          It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

                          It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

                          Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

                          More Resources About Mindfulness

                          Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

                          Reference

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