Note to Self – Altitude Matters

While in AZ over Thanksgiving, I went on a hike. Many kids grow up running through the forest, I grew up and played in the desert. School field trips included hikes, my parents are hikers so the children would often join and now, I love to go on hikes when I am home. I haven’t regularly hiked in a while, and one thing that I noticed last week, was that no matter how much I go spinning or running the altitude makes a huge difference.

My dad and I made good time to the top of the mountain, but I was gasping for air. Good news was that I recovered quickly and I have many spin instructors to thank for that. Since I will be skiing the week  before Christmas, I need to make sure I prep myself for altitude. Hydration is key and I will, unfortunately have to limit the coffee and wine intake.

Any other tips to adapt to altitude would be greatly appreciated. Mountains are my home turf, but my lungs are a little out of practice.



One thought on “Note to Self – Altitude Matters

  1. Tip 1: Don’t forget the water. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. The desert as well as any altitude tends to bring on mild dehydration. Dehydration only exacerbates the physiological challenges of altitude.
    Tip 2: When exercising at altitude, I like to take little “RIMs” so that I can keep moving and simultaneously bringing my heartrate out of the red zone. What is a RIM? Rest in motion. If riding a bike and I notice that I’m struggling for several minutes, I’ll spin easy for 30-60 seconds. I just sit up and take in the scenery for a moment. If running, I’ll adopt an 8-1 or 9-1 pace — eight minutes running followed by one minute walking or nine running and one walking. The point is that I don’t care much if I have to pull back from a great effort to one of barely moving if that is what it takes to be able to do the full ride/hike/run.
    I find that rest in motion can be found in nearly any activity if you are purposeful and thoughtful about how your body is reacting to the stresses of the environment (pace, grade, altitude, temperature etc.).
    Have a great time on your Christmas ski trip.
    A yogi at heart, if not yet in body,

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