Those who embark on a ski trip often come full of anticipation and expectations for an unforgettable getaway, but they often underestimate the effects of the high altitude. It has been shown that ski resorts higher than 8,000 feet are the greatest danger to those not acclimated to high elevations. Those coming in from sea level should be aware that above 8,000 feet, oxygen is decreased by 25%; however, those already at higher altitudes may not perceive the impacts. The resort’s lower parking lot is at an elevation of 7,988 feet, while its highest point is at a height of 10,035. At higher altitudes, there is less oxygen in the air, which can lead to unpleasant symptoms, including headaches, dizziness, lack of appetite, nausea, and, in the worst case, altitude sickness. This blog will discuss ways of staying healthy at high altitudes.
Consider your house elevation while planning your trip
Regarding the height, neither your current location nor your final destination will be under your control at any point in time. However, when making plans for your vacation, you should take into account the varying altitudes. We all know hiking is healthy for you, but if you are going from sea level to a higher altitude, for example, you should probably give yourself a few extra days to acclimate to the change in altitude in order to stay safe.
Two or three days at a steadily rising altitude will allow your body to adjust to the new conditions. Put an immediate stop to your plans to fly or drive to a high altitude. Instead, progress daily, rest, and then continue on the following day. If you must travel by air or road, stop at a lower altitude for 24 hours before continuing your ascent.
Plan rest stops at lower altitudes along the way if you’re hiking a long distance. Make sure to know how to climb safely, never climb more than 1,000 feet in a single day, and take a day off for every 3,000 feet you ascend.
Choose foods high in carbohydrates
One of the tips for staying healthy at high altitudes is to consume extra carbohydrates. The body requires excess carbohydrates at high altitudes. The stress hormones adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol increase when exercising at altitude. These hormones encourage the body to use carbs for energy. In addition, carbs are your body’s principal energy source, especially at a high altitude.
Studies have shown that a carbohydrate diet is associated with improved health. That’s especially true for staying healthy at high altitudes. You can do this by drinking lots of water and eating carb-heavy meals.
Drink plenty of water
Water is your best buddy; you may have to stop more often than you’d like, but trust us on this. The importance of hydration is often underestimated, so drink plenty of fluids. Even before you depart, make sure you drink a lot of water. If you want to refuel your body like a pro, try drinking something with electrolytes in it, such as coconut water or a sports drink. Don’t feel embarrassed if you want water in its purest form. Due to the dry air at higher elevations and your exertion, you will need to drink roughly twice as much water as normal to maintain your regular level of wellness.
Talk to a doctor
If you think you could be affected by altitude sickness, you should consult your doctor or a travel medicine professional after doing some preliminary research. Diamox, or acetazolamide, is the most well-tested medication for preventing and treating altitude sickness, and doctors may prescribe it if necessary. Bring ibuprofen for headaches caused by the altitude and ginger chews, capsules, or tea if your doctor says so for nausea and vomiting caused by the altitude.
Hold off on strenuous activity
Avoid strenuous exertion until your body has time to acclimate to the higher altitude. In order to avoid altitude sickness, it’s best to take it easy for a day or two after reaching a high altitude. Acclimating to the new environment might take up to five days. Remember that exercising too intensely and too rapidly at a high altitude might negatively affect performance and increase the likelihood of altitude sickness. That means you shouldn’t overdo the first couple of days of snowboarding or skiing. Expecting to maintain your typical marathon pace at high elevation after only a short period of acclimatization is unrealistic for someone who lives at sea level.
You should stay away from macchiatos and beer
Staying healthy at high altitudes means avoiding caffeinated drinks. Avoid coffee, tea, and other caffeinated drinks the day before your trip. You should also abstain from alcohol in the hours leading up to your departure for a holiday. In addition, you should avoid them if at all possible. Most people travel for fun, but studies have shown that consuming alcohol or caffeine might hinder our ability to adjust to higher altitudes. The fact that they do not provide any water means you should also avoid them.
Recognize the warning indications
At altitudes above 2,500 meters, it is common to experience dizziness and a little headache. Take care of yourself by getting the same amount of sleep, drinking enough water, and taking your prescribed medicine as if you were at sea level. It’s normal to feel out of breath after exercising at high altitudes, but you should also be on the lookout for symptoms of shortness of breath at rest if you’re over 3,000 meters in elevation. Coughing, an intense and persistent headache, nausea, and a loss of coordination or disorientation are all signs of acute mountain sickness (AMS). In order to avoid harm, you must drop quickly.
Don’t forget the sunscreen
Another tip for staying healthy at high altitudes is always use a high-SPF sunscreen and remember to reapply it frequently. When you’re at a high altitude, getting a sunburn can be extremely painful and even dangerous. Sunburns are made worse by the reflective properties of snow and the fact that the air at higher altitudes contains less water vapor, both of which reduce the effectiveness of UV protection. Use sunscreen to protect the inside of your nose and lips. Always be sure to use and often reapply a sunscreen containing titanium dioxide and zinc regardless of skin tone.
Staying healthy at high altitudes is attainable even for those accustomed to living at sea level. You should generally maintain your health by sticking to a nutritious diet, drinking enough water, and engaging in moderate physical activity at an appropriate altitude. Remember that the key to successful acclimatization is gradual progress, so go easy on yourself.