Off the Grid  Retirement at our remote log cabin in Colorado

Thursday, June 04, 2015

I Need an Altitude Adjustment

Posted by: Rick

The cabin is 8650 feet above sea level. There are some adjustments that are required at this altitude.

The most obvious when I come here from New Jersey is the inability to breathe. Or, at least breathe comfortably. The air is so thin that I just don't get the oxygen I need in each breath. This leads to quicker breathing accompanied by gasping sounds. My muscles ache from insufficient oxygen, I may feel light-headed. I've known of people to pass out!

It doesn't matter if you are in great physical shape, exercise regularly, get aerobic workouts, or do yoga. You'll feel it.

The good news is that you get used to the high altitude after a while. Your body adjusts. A lot of athletes train at high altitude because it makes them more efficient and gives them more endurance at lower altitudes (at least until they lose their adaptation).

The Rawah Mountains as seen from Sand Creek Pass, around 9500 feet (at the pass)

There are some effects of high altitude that don't go away over time. These are mostly related to the lower atmospheric pressure and thinner air.

I sunburn more easily. The thinner air filters less UV and without protection I will burn.

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