For some of us, hitting the slopes means going from sea level to 8,000 feet to connect with mother nature and fill up our souls. Unfortunately, the rush one only feels in the mountain air may also come with a side of altitude sickness. High altitudes can take a toll on your body, as we’re reminded every year when we stand at the summit of Ajax at 11,000+ feet. In high altitude environments, the air is thinner and there is less oxygen available to your body. If your body is not prepared for this change, you may experience some symptoms of altitude sickness. Most are mild and easily treated, but left unchecked, your health can be in danger.
Here are some tips to help your body cope with the conditions:
1. Acclimate. Some people are more sensitive to altitude changes than others, but you might want to take it easy and avoid intense physical activity for the first 24 hours you spend at a high altitude.
2. Stay hydrated. Drink lots of water, and limit caffeine and alcohol intake.
3. Eat a high carbohydrate diet.
4. Be aware of your body. If you are experiencing a headache and start feeling dizzy or nauseous, don’t ignore it. Descend to a lower altitude, and seek medical attention if your symptoms are severe.
Most cases of altitude sickness are mild, but it can be very serious in other cases. It is important to take good care of your body and listen to it if something is not right, so Pause for Prevention!