There are a lot of reasons to choose a particular college. Maybe it’s close to home, or really far away. Maybe it has the major you want. Perhaps it has a good social life or the Greek society you want to join. It could be that they have a good team for whatever sport it is you want to play. Or maybe they encourage good health and fitness in everyday life.
You’ve heard of colleges being ranked in terms of party schools, but now The Active Times has ranked the 50 fittest colleges in America. Sadly, my small college didn’t make the list, but there’s no surprise there. I imagine what some of these schools offer is pretty great though, judging by how much I walked during the college years I spent at my non-ranked school. It wasn’t big enough for shuttles or buses, so we walked everywhere we needed to go: the cafeteria, the dorm, the class buildings so far away they were practically off campus, and even the parking lot that was the absolute farthest away from anything. You even had to walk to the campus gym, so you’d already worked out before working out. I guess all that walking counteracted the unlimited freshman meal plan. Or maybe it was the aerobics class I actually got college credit for.
America’s Fittest Colleges 1 of 11
These fittest schools put my aerobics class credit to shame. From healthy dining options to an emphasis on athletics and activity, these schools are doing it right. Here are the top 10 fittest colleges based on athletic participation, dining options, fitness facilities, and overall quality of student life.
Did yours make the cut?
#10: Vanderbilt University 2 of 11
Vanderbilt is a charter member of the Southeastern Conference. Interestingly enough, Vanderbilt is the only Division I school without a separate athletics department. Instead, the sports programs are housed under the Division of Student Life, which organizes all school clubs.
#9: Penn State University 3 of 11
Home of America's 2nd largest stadium, Penn State has over 50 club sports and holds 68 national titles. The school also has plenty of health-focused majors like Biobehavioral Health and Health Policy Administration.
#8: Kansas State University 4 of 11
Kansas State has one of the country's largest rec centers and a Wildcat Wellness Coalition that helps students focus on all aspects of health, from physical to mental to emotional and beyond.
#7: Wheaton College 5 of 11
Wheaton students are privy to the campus-wide Farm to Fork food program, which brings in healthy eating options. They also have a huge rec facility with a climbing wall, pool, elevated track, and 8,000 square-foot weight room.
#6: Claremont McKenna College 6 of 11
Freshmen at Claremont McKenna get to experience a welcome to campus through a Wilderness Orientation Adventure, which includes trips like rock climbing, hiking, and canoeing.
#5: Whitman University 7 of 11
Not only does Whitman have healthy dining options and great health services, they also have a ton of intramural sports.
#4: Rice University 8 of 11
Rice has more than 35 club and intramural teams, all of which are popular among students. They also have some of the healthiest dining options around.
#3: Bowdoin College 9 of 11
Bowdoin's campus dining system is run by a registered dietitian (woohoo), and emphasizes healthy meals made from local ingredients. They also offer tons of fitness classes, like yoga, bootcamp, and HIIT.
#2: Washington University in St. Louis 10 of 11
This school has 16 eateries with healthy dining options and tons of variety. They may be Division III in athletics, but they still bring home titles and hold an annual Residential College Olympics.
#1: Virginia Tech 11 of 11
In addition to it's successful Division I athletics department, Virginia Tech has almost unbelievable dining options. They have dining options centered on organic foods and sustainable living, as well as high participation in sports activities.
Photo credits: respective school websites