The top four fittest colleges in the nation either have a tie to the military or are military based, according to a recent survey.
Texas A&M, College Station, TX, which has more than 2,500 cadets, is No. 1 on "The 50 Fittest Colleges in America 2014" list. Texas A&M is followed by the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, NY; the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD; and The Citadel, Charleston, SC.
The list was compiled by The Active Times, a website that provides content for active and adventurous lifestyles. The Active Times' inclusion of military schools on its fittest colleges list this year is a change from its list last year, although no reason was given for the change.
For the ranking, The Active Times factored in proximity to outdoor recreation, professional dietary advice and campus-wide programs. Other factors were the number, success and involvement of sports programs, the quality of athletic facilities, the healthfulness of campus dining options and quality of life ratings.
Rounding out the top 10 are Penn State University, University Park, PA; the University of Texas, Austin, TX; the University of Florida, Gainesville, FL; California Maritime Academy, Vallejo, CA; Norwich University, Northfield, VT; and Virginia Military Institute, Lexington City, VA.
Texas A&M said the results cited by The Active Times were prior to the start of a $54 million renovation of its student recreation center. The renovation is expected to be completed by late 2015.
"[Texas A&M Recreation Sports] offers a wide range of programs, facilities and services that attracts 92 percent of the student body," Dennis Corrington, executive director of Texas A&M Rec Sports, told the TAMU Times. "The number of students involved in fitness and wellness programs is the reason Texas A&M is the 'fittest campus.'"