We’ve learned a lot in the high country this season! For example, it isn’t too late or too warm for a snowstorm. We’ve conducted several interviews with professional, high-altitude athletes, athletic and tourism organizations in Summit County, physicians, podcasters, interns, and a local brewer. They’ve shed so much light on fitness, health, child growth & development, and acclimation at elevation, it warrants a re-cap:
- 8,000 ft. seems to be the pivotal elevation at which the body starts to experience a significant deficit in the oxygen and water it needs to function, affecting everything from sleep to metabolism.
- A plant-based lifestyle has benefitted athletes under extreme training and competitive conditions at altitude.
- Training at altitude significantly reduces your ability to reach cardiovascular and strength goals, even while preparing your respiratory and circulatory systems for the severe decrease in oxygen. “Live High, Train Low” is an effective strategy more and more athletes are advocating for.
- Preparation for backcountry excursions is as much mental as physical.
- Foods high in nitrates (like red beets, red bell peppers and arugula) can facilitate acclimation and recovery.
- Oily foods may inhibit your body’s ability to cope with a significant increase in altitude.
- We metabolize and experience the effects of alcohol differently at altitude.
- Current research suggests some people suffering from Parkinsons disease may experience some relieve from symptoms at higher elevation.
- Increased muscle mass requires increased oxygen. Being an athlete does not necessarily mean you will have an easier time acclimating.
- As always, the best way to facilitate acclimation and deal with symptoms of altitude sickness is to drink plenty of water, allow yourself ample rest, and monitor your blood oxygen saturation levels with a pulse oximeter.
Be sure to subscribe to keep up with what this summer has in store for your elevated experiences at altitude! And if you have any questions or are eager to read more about a particular topic, let us know in a comment!