Keeping Fit

University of Miami ranks among the Top 50 “fittest” colleges in the country; tops in Florida.

By Maya Bell
UM News

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (December 04, 2013) — Thanks to its adoration of sports, array of intramural competitions and bounty of healthy offerings at campus eateries, the University of Miami ranks among the Top 50 fittest colleges in the country.

Landing at No. 39 on The Active Times’ inaugural ranking of the 50 Fittest Colleges in America 2013, UM earned the highest fitness rating in Florida, edging out both UF (No. 40) and FSU (No. 46). Virginia Polytechnic Institute in Blacksburg, Virginia, where the dining halls boast organically grown sustainable food systems, claimed No. 1.

To come up with its 50 fittest colleges, the new online publication, which aims to provide inspirational content for living active, adventurous lives, said it evaluated athletic facilities and team sports participation, campus eateries and overall quality of student life.

“‘U Miami’ is another school that adores its sports scene (especially football) and has produced a long list of exceptional athletes who have made it to the NFL, NBA, major leagues and the Olympic Games,” the UM overview states. “And the athletic action isn’t exclusive to the elite. Intramural sports include everything from golf to ultimate frisbee and the club sports program offers more than 34 ways to play. There must be something about the sunshine and palm trees that keeps Florida students energetic and active."

Indeed, says UM’s Norman C. Parsons Jr., director of Wellness and Recreation.

“Coupled with South Florida’s mild climate, our outstanding facilities and recreational sports and fitness programs provide the perfect world for students and employees to engage in healthy activities,” he said.

Launched in 2012, The Active Times says it set out to honor colleges that place a special emphasis on keeping students active, promoting athletics and providing healthy dining options because “it certainly makes a lot of sense to consider a school’s attitude towards health and fitness before committing to four years in an environment that’s bound to bombard you with some pretty unhealthy temptation.”

UM also cracked the Top 50 and tops all Florida schools in U.S. News & World Report’s annual America’s Best Colleges list.

Maya Bell can be reached at 305-824-7972.

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