Altitude Adjustment

28 Sep

Mountains - Autumn in Denali

Anytime that you go somewhere that is higher geographically from where you are, you have some adjusting to do. Some people can deal with it better than others, but there are some things that everyone can do.

The number one rule is to take it easy. Make sure that you are not overexerting yourself on the first day you are in higher altitude. Your body is not adjusted at all and you cannot do the same things you can at the lower elevation (yet!). If you usually run three miles a day at sea level (or close) then you should try a mile or maybe a mile and a half. It is really difficult to run when your oxygen intake is lessened so you need to take it easy to prevent passing out.

Make sure that you are getting enough liquid. If you are not getting enough liquid, your dehydration can really affect your physical performance. At higher altitudes, you are much more likely to become dehydrated because the water content in the air is much less. If you usually drink 60 ounces, then try for 80 and then you can go from there.

If you are going to a ski resort, then you want to be doing physical activity right away. You want to make the most of your time. There are actually things that you can buy (usually at a shop near your resort) that sells “shots” of oxygen. You inhale from it once when you are really struggling, and then you are fine.