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Venturing into the mountains must be accomplished with caution. Mountain altitudes pose health risks to the human body. Simple guidelines help diminish the effects of altitude. With the proper preparation, time in the mountains can be safe and enjoyable.
Guidelines for diminishing the effects of altitude.
At altitude, drinking plenty of water is crucial. The body loses increased amounts of water during respiration, exertion, and more frequent urination. In addition to water, utilize sport drinks and juices to hydrate while replacing lost electrolytes. Avoid using drinks that sabotage hydration such as caffeine and alcohol.
With less oxygen available in the thinner air, the body will labor to perform normal activities. Give the body time to adjust by resting and reducing normal physical activities by 50 percent. Take the opportunity to get a good nights rest. If necessary, sleep on your side, use a nasal saline spray, or descend to a lower elevation when sleeping.
Many people associate the effects of altitude sickness to a hangover/flu with symptoms such as headache, dizziness, nausea, poor appetite, fatigue, and shortness of breath. Following these guidelines will help diminish the effects of altitude on the body. If hydration and rest fail, descend to a lower elevation, as time is the only way for the body to successfully adjust to altitude.
Staying high above the water line!
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