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Top 5 Effects of High Altitude Living in Colorado Springs

Posted by Susanna Haynie on March 6, 2012
| 2 Comments

High Altitude Living

Living in Colorado Springs, means you’ll have to deal with altitude. Depending on where you live in Colorado Springs, you could be anywhere from 5,000 to 7,000 feet. It may not seem to have an affect on you aside from some heavy breathing, but you will learn over time that some things will help you and make dealing with the altitude easier.

If you don’t know anything about it, you’ll be surprised to hear about some obvious and lesser known effects it has on your life.

  • Breathing. You’ll get out of breath faster and breath heavier with more strenuous activities. Breathing will be easier as your body adjusts so keep in mind that most likely it’s not YOU, but the elevation. However, if your breathing problems seem unusually heavy, or you have a preexisting condition, then a check up with your physician might be a good idea.
  • Dehydration. We all know that we need to drink a certain amount of water each day. But in high altitude where the air is even dryer and the cooler temperatures can be deceiving, you can be fooled.  Take a bottle of water everywhere, even if you just go shopping
    • Watch for signs of dehydration:
    • Lack of perspiration
    • Dizziness
    • Shortness of breath
    • Nausea
    • Headache
  • Exhaustion. Coming from a lower altitude you will have fewer red blood cells carrying oxygen in your body. you will be out of breath faster (see above) and you will also tire more frequently. It’s not a big deal, but it could take 4-6 weeks for your body to fully adjust.  Rest, take breaks, and maybe even a nap is in order?
  • Sunburn. Don’t be surprised just how easily you burn here even in the foothills. At 6,000 feet the sun is much stronger, less filtered through the atmosphere, and can quickly burn your skin. Wear a hat and sunscreen, and keep your skin protected. Spring is especially risky for sunburn since most likely you’ve spent more time inside during the winter, and your skin has not seen the sun in awhile.
  • Eye Protection. Besides the obvious advantages of sunglasses like cutting down on glare and light intensity, the sun’s rays up high are so much stronger. It’s good to wear sunglasses to keep your eyes healthy in the altitude.

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