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Ithaca College… Fittest In The Land?

Whoever thinks Ithaca College trains only its students’ brains should take a look at the most recent issue of Men’s Fitness magazine. After surveying more than 12,000 students at 115 campuses nationwide, Men’s Fitness rated Ithaca College among the top 25 schools in the nation in terms of physical fitness.The magazine based its rankings on student responses to questions about their diet and exercise habits as well as the availability of fast food, nutritionists and fitness trainers. Knowing that Ithaca College’s students were fit in body as well as mind came as no surprise to Stasi Kasianchuk, a senior exercise science major. “Not everyone at IC is a varsity athlete or enrolled in a health-related major,” Kasianchuk said. “But it’s fair to say that a majority of the students here are committed to maintaining their own health, fitness and well-being.” Brad Buchanan, recreational sports manager, agreed. “A big reason for the high ranking is our Fitness Center,” Buchanan said. “It’s a wonderful facility that offers students a variety of physical activities and at the same time serves as one of the top social meeting places. At Ithaca College, a fit body is just as important as a sound mind.” There’s more to fitness than hitting the gym, though. The college scored an A+ in its ability to offer nutritional food in the dining halls, wellness initiatives and alternatives to junk food. “Last semester I was able to take my students to a small local tofu and tempeh making business,” said Julia Lapp, assistant professor of health promotion and physical education. “It’s the same business that supplies our Campus Center dining facilities with veggie burgers. Once the students got a sample of healthy and underappreciated foods, they actually ended up liking them.”“We have a culture of fitness here,” added Frank Micale, clinic director and clinical associate professor of exercise and sport sciences. “It starts with our president, Peggy Williams, who’s an avid bicyclist and swimmer. We’ve got a mindset that students as well as staff need to be fit and healthy, and that mindset starts at the top.” Micale also cited the college’s location as a deciding factor in the survey. “Because of its natural beauty, the Finger Lakes region promotes hiking, biking, and other outdoor activities,” he said. “The people who live here and the students who come to school here absorb these values of health and wellness.” For more information on the rankings, visit www.mensfitness.com. To find out more about fitness at Ithaca College, contact Keith Davis, assistant director of media relations, at (607) 274-1153 or kdavis@ithaca.edu.

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