Health Care Advice | Staying Healthy in the Mountains
Visitors who live at lower elevations may experience a period of physical adjustment when they reach higher altitudes as their bodies need time to acclimate.
High Altitude Advice: Be aware of your activity level. High altitude sickness most commonly occurs at elevations greater than 8,000 feet. At this elevation, oxygen is 40-45% less dense than at sea level and has 50-80% less humidity. Ease into exercise at first and enjoy your unscheduled time!
QUICK TIP: Moderate your physical activity, eat high- arbohydrate and low-fat meals, and limit alcohol.
Dehydration: Hydration is the key to healthier travel! Be sure to drink a lot of water, especially if you are participating in physical activities. It sounds simple, yet is often overlooked. Dehydration may be caused by the higher elevation and dry climate. The dry mountain air increases your respiratory rate due to the lower oxygen content. Alcohol consuption will increase dehydration, so alcohol and caffeine intake should be moderate.
QUICK TIP: Keep a bottle of water with you. An adult should drink a minimum of 8 glasses of water per day.
Sunburn: Be sure not to underestimate the sun at a higher elevation. Spend less time in the sun than you would at home. Always wear sunscreen and don’t forget your sunglasses or goggles! You are more than a mile closer to the sun than you are at sea level and there is less atmosphere to block out the sun’s rays. Sunburns occur much faster. Be careful of the sun reflecting off the snow and back onto the body.
QUICK TIP: Protect yourself by wearing a hat, sunglasses & sunscreen (SPF 15-30). Carry nourishing lotion or Aloe Vera gel for dry skin and overexposure.
Drinking more water is one of the best ways to prepare for higher altitudes and dry climates. Begin drinking more water before you arrive, as well as during your stay. It is your best defense against dehydration.