First Year Forecast: The Hill

Oh the hill ! by Rachel Sparling

We all remember our first encounter with the University hill. The soreness that those first initial walks presented was obvious. This fatigue inducing exercise is one that the majority of the Acadia student body experiences, and especially in the first couple of months of school.

Did you know that hiking up that hill every day actually has poses benefits for your body? The American College of Sports Medicine has stated that 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise, five times a week, leads to major health changes. Walking up hills is vertical movement, which develops your body faster than horizontal movement. By walking up the hill you are toning lower body muscles such as the glutes and hamstrings, which are involved in knee flexion and hip extension. When walking on flat ground you are causing a minimal amount of stress on these muscles, as opposed to walking upwards in which those muscles would be contracted actively.

This added benefit of going to Acadia helps to shed light on other issues that exist in a transportation dependent society.

Our society has evolved to become very technologically advanced, which is a great thing for aspects such as health care, education, scientific research, and the economy. As a result of this relatively new concept, there has yet to be a lot of research to aid statements that health hazards are posed by a technologically dependent culture. There is now an overdependence on transportation to complete common tasks within a shorter amount of time. While this may seem helpful initially, this over emphasis of time management and under emphasis of physical activity is harmful for the health of many North American individuals. The added benefit of walking up the hill every day has led to the development of muscles that would not exist in people that used transportation available at other Universities. Many people live with weak lower back muscles which causes them to hunch over and suffer from bad posture. Looking down at a cellphone can only contribute further to this millennial problem.

Walking a large distance every day can also work to minimize stress and to aid in better sleep. A minimized amount of stress directly correlates to better concentration and the ability to have a clearer focus on one’s future goals. Why cut out something that may physically and mentally benefit you? Why do people feel the drive to use transportation when the hill provides us with a considerably big health advantage? Why do we, as a society feel the need to be glued to our devices? I think we should all take the pledge to take the time to walk up the hill each day for the next week to enjoy the multitude of health benefits that it provides us with. As the familiar expression declares, “every day at Acadia is leg day.”

Rachel Watts

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