How to beat altitude sickness

Did you know that approximately 25% of all skiers and snowboarders when coming up to Altitude like Summit county, Colorado or Vail, Aspen , Steamboat or Winter park experience some level of altitude sickness.

Symptoms include nausea , headache , and weakness.  Yes you are here to ski and snowboard but hard exercise can only increase the symptoms of altitude sickness. The brain wants to play but the heart, kidneys and your stomach want more oxygen because the body is working harder to taking care of those other organs. Vacationing almost always includes eating more rich foods and consuming alcohol. Too much food and alcohol will multiply the effect of altitude sickness. So what is creating this lousy feeling? Cool air, the lower barometric pressure thins everything out, which means you are working harder to move the same amount of oxygen. The best solution is to either take a day at a lower elevation, like Denver or to take it easy for the first 2 days both in exercise and partying.

Factors other than exercise that effect altitude sickness can be body weight or even pregnancy will have a bearing on how you feel. Many people feel that water is the simple answer, does it help ? yes, but it’s not that simple. The stress altitude has on oxygen effects the organs in your body as mentioned before, so taking in too much water can also have similar effects especially when your body is already stressed.  The answer is to stay hydrated and start drinking water 1 to 2 weeks before your vacation. If you continue to feel the effects of altitude sickness, and the symptoms get worse go to the ER. Or just pick up a couple cans of oxygen to inhale during the day.

Remember altitude affects people in different ways so take it easy when you get here, stay hydrated, and have fun.



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