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Old 05-14-2007, 02:28 PM
 
119 posts, read 418,740 times
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Default Altitude / Acclimation / Dizziness / Breathing / Heart

How long does it take to adjust to the change in altitude when you move from a sea level state to the altitude of say, Denver? I seem to be more sensitive than others, because I am always affected when I visit the area. My sister wants us to move there, but I'm not sure I'd ever get far from the couch! Any insight/advice?
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Old 05-14-2007, 02:43 PM
 
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You should adapt pretty quickly. I was in Colorado Springs (even higher than Denver) for my cousin's graduation 3 years ago. I hadn't exercised for a while so I was out of shape. The first day, we took a very short but steep shortcut from the parking lot to the assembly area and I thought I was going to keel over from my heart pounding so hard. Two days later, we walked all over campus including some hills, and I was fine.
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Old 05-14-2007, 02:49 PM
 
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We moved to Louisville near Boulder last June from New Orleans. I like to run a lot and honestly it took me 3-4 months to get used to the altitude during heavy exercising. If I wasn't jogging, I'd say I stopped breathing hard going up and down the steps in about 4-6 weeks. This was my experience, yours may vary. I was actually moving from below sea level!
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Old 05-14-2007, 03:07 PM
 
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For a healthy individual, usually a week or so will get a person acclimated for normal acitivities. As someone else posted, acclimation to do heavy sports, etc. may take a little longer. If, however, you already have significant lung or breathing problems (emphysema, significant lung damage, etc.), you may never acclimate. A good idea is to check with your doctor before you move. Also, spending a couple or three weeks "at altitude" can tell you a lot.

Remember, too, that it takes all the way from the East Coast to Denver to get to that "mile high" elevation, but only about 35 air miles to add another mile and three-quarter plus (to 14,000 feet+) to that elevation.
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Old 05-14-2007, 04:20 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
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I sometimes feel lightheaded when I fly into Denver from Phoenix (about 1,000ft above sea level) for an hour or two; then it quickly goes away. As the other posters have mentioned, though, if you're not in good shape to begin with, you'll feel even more out of shape here--- for a while. Ultimately though, you can train at high elevation better than lower-- that's why so many people go to the Olympic training center in CO springs. Oh yeah, and Denver is routinely voted as one of the "fittest" cities in America. Any neighborhood anywhere in the city will have people constantly jogging around. If you are a couch potato here, that's your own choosing-- not the environment.
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Old 05-14-2007, 04:42 PM
 
Location: on an island
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I moved to Denver from Long Island, which is very flat.
I had periodic nosebleeds the first year, at the worst times, but finally adjusted.
My older son, who is a Denver native, would have the occasional rough time with altitudes over 11,000 feet, but he still snowboarded. My husband would have occasional ear trouble but he still went skiing.
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Old 05-14-2007, 06:50 PM
 
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According to my doctor friend it takes 3 months for the red blood cells to be completely replaced by larger more efficient ones, but you will begin to feel much better within a few weeks
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Old 05-14-2007, 07:21 PM
Status: "Corn well over knee high!" (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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MorningGlory is correct. In three months, you will have more red blood cells to carry oxygen to your body parts.
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Old 05-14-2007, 08:40 PM
 
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So since I've been here for almost a year, I guess I can no longer use the altitude as an excuse for a bad run!
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Old 05-20-2007, 10:21 PM
 
Location: South of Denver
291 posts, read 1,374,573 times
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Look at the other side of the coin. People who live at higher altitudes live longer. Even if you live a moderate lifestyle, normal daily activities give the heart a greater workout. No health club needed.

Most reactions can be mitigated. The dryness is as much of a problem, and nose and eye drops can help that.
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