Many people travel to Colorado for vacation because of the fantastic natural landscapes and the ample opportunities for outdoor activities. However, there can be some nasty side effects for unprepared tourists. Use these tricks to avoid altitude sickness in Colorado so you can spend more time enjoying the great outdoors and less time nursing a headache.
What Is Altitude Sickness?
Altitude, elevation, and mountain sickness are all names for the same condition, which can occur from spending time in high-elevation areas. Symptoms include headaches, nausea, vomiting, exhaustion, and trouble sleeping. Despite what you may have heard, there’s not less oxygen at high elevations, but a lower atmospheric pressure that makes it more difficult for you to take in oxygen.
Take It Slow
No matter how tempting it sounds, don’t try strenuous activities on your first day in the mountains. Your body needs time to acclimate to the lower atmospheric pressure, and jumping right into a hike or a bike ride will only put you on the fast track to elevation sickness. Stay below 7,000 feet on the first day to lessen your chances of feeling ill.
Because the air in Colorado is dry, you’ll need to drink more water than usual to keep your body hydrated. Try to drink an additional one-and-a-half liter of water while at high elevation. That’s equal to about six glasses.
Yes, you’re on vacation, but think twice before downing a craft beer right after arriving. Alcohol binds water and oxygen together, reducing your body’s usable supply. Avoid drinking alcohol on your first day, and then drink sparingly as you acclimate.
Get Plenty of Sleep
While adjusting to higher elevations, your body must work harder than usual. Giving yourself plenty of rest is one of the most critical tricks to avoiding altitude sickness in Colorado.
Talk to Your Doctor
If you have any pre-existing health issues, you should speak with your doctor before your trip to ensure you’re aware of any possible complications from the high altitude. While it’s not common, a few prescription medications work differently in the mountains, and your doctor may want to alter your dosage temporarily.
When you first arrive in Colorado, rushing outside and participating in the many outdoor activities can be tempting. However, you’ll have the best experience if you take it slow and allow your body time to acclimate.
Are you visiting Colorado soon? Even if you’re just a tourist, you don’t have to look like one. Check out YoColorado’s online Colorado store for fantastic apparel and accessories that will make everyone think you’re local. That is unless you’ve got altitude sickness.