If you are heading to the mountains to go skiing or snowboarding, make
sure that you don’t get altitude sickness. Regardless of your fitness
level, altitude sickness can happen to anyone when they reach at least
8,000 feet or higher. Altitude sickness occurs when your body experiences
oxygen deprivation, as the air is thinner at higher levels. Symptoms include
headaches, dizziness, loss of appetite, vomiting, and even trouble sleeping.
To help ease your body into the oxygen changes you are about to experience
in a higher altitude, it is important that you prepare yourself and keep
these helpful tips in mind.
Make sure you keep your body well rested. You should be sure to get enough
sleep before your trip—especially the night before your ascent.
High altitudes can cause you to tire easily and become dehydrated, which
increase your risk for altitude sickness.
Keep Yourself Hydrated
Low humidity at high altitudes makes the air dry, causing you to dehydrate
easily. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your ascent to
keep the symptoms of altitude sickness at bay. It may also be best to
avoid drinks that can make you more dehydrated such as caffeinated and
Foods that are high in carbohydrates and potassium can be helpful in alleviating
the symptoms of altitude sickness. Before you start your ascent, load
up on bread, fruits, pasta, and other heavy carb meals. Avoid eating foods
that are high in sodium as this can lead to dehydration of your body’s tissues.
When you are traveling to high places, don’t rush getting there especially
if you are going higher than 8,000 feet. Pace slowly to allow your body
to acclimate. Consider spending a day or two at an intermediate altitude
to reduce your risk of altitude sickness.
Listen to Your Body
If you are already experiencing some symptoms of altitude sickness, don’t
push your body to much and risk making it worse. Listen to your body and
rest more if you need to. Wait for at least 12 hours to see if your symptoms
improve. If not, try to descend at least 1,000 feet or take medications
that were prescribed by a doctor.
Going up in the mountains should be a relaxing and divine experience. Don’t
let altitude sickness get in the way of your holiday by planning your
trip carefully and giving much thought on acclimating your body to high
This article contains general information about medical conditions and
treatments. The information is not advice and should not be treated as
such. The information is not intended to replace the advice or diagnosis
of a physician.
If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should
consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.