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Old 10-23-2009, 11:16 PM
 
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Hi all! We will be transitioning from living at sea level to living well, a mile higher.. obviously.. .. Do you have any suggestions on the best ways to prepare ahead of time, or after we are there.. to the altitude change? Meaning... getting out there, hiking and biking, wearing our 2.5 year old and 8 month old on our backs, and not dying from lack of oxygen for months on end.. ok.. maybe that part is an exaggeration... but I do want to know how you all dealt with the change and how long it took to get use to things?

I'd also like to include our two 3 year old Golden Retriever's in this question as well since we all like to get out there together.
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Old 10-24-2009, 06:55 AM
 
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I went from 20 straight years at sea level to all sorts of elevations in Colorado last year. I didn't feel much altitude effects under about 10K. Maybe its dependent on each individual but I don't think Denver elevation is going to require a lot of acclimating to. You might start taking Ginkgo Biloba... google it up to see if you think it's a good idea or not. I started taking it a month before and in theory it helped but I don't know if it really did or not.
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Old 10-24-2009, 08:41 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,982 posts, read 102,540,351 times
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https://www.google.com/health/ref/Ac...ntain+sickness

There is also a ton more on the web from reliable sources.
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Old 10-24-2009, 09:07 AM
 
549 posts, read 1,218,553 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outdoorsychica View Post
Hi all! We will be transitioning from living at sea level to living well, a mile higher.. obviously.. .. Do you have any suggestions on the best ways to prepare ahead of time, or after we are there.. to the altitude change? Meaning... getting out there, hiking and biking, wearing our 2.5 year old and 8 month old on our backs, and not dying from lack of oxygen for months on end.. ok.. maybe that part is an exaggeration... but I do want to know how you all dealt with the change and how long it took to get use to things?

I'd also like to include our two 3 year old Golden Retriever's in this question as well since we all like to get out there together.
Well, we're not living there (yet), but I spent a week there in March and July. It was GREAT! The kids and I flew in March for Spring Break. The days were awesome, nights a bit chilly. The first day there my kids went to bed at 8pm! That is RARE for them. I really didn't notice a difference in our energy levels except that one night.

In July we drove there. Nobody "fell out" like before and we had taken our 7mos old Springer Spaniel with us. We stayed in an extended stay hotel and I got up every morning to take him walking while the kids slept. I enjoyed our morning walk very much and lost some weight while there. My trainer said that the altitude may have contributed to that because I had to breath more. It was a nice benefit if you ask me.

I have a friend that used to live in Denver. She said it took her about a year to acclimate to the thinner oxygen. I don't know, maybe if you're not very active it takes longer than if you are?

I would just recommend taking it easy and seeing how you feel after your first hike and taking ample time to rest if you are feeling winded. Other than that ENJOY the outdoors. Certainly a lot of room to run for the kids and the dogs!
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Old 10-24-2009, 09:37 AM
 
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We just moved here from sea level about 2 weeks ago. 2 out of 5 of us got nose bleeds in the first couple days because of the dryness. I've never been prone to them, so I had no problems. Definitiely noticed my lips and skin were dryer, but lotion and lip balm solves this. We haven't been above 10,000 ft yet, but just on walks in the mornings with the dog I can tell my breath is a little shorter, but it isn't exhausting and I'm not wheezing or anything by the end.

The only way you're really going to get used to it is easing into the exercise, taking it slow, and knowing your limits.

You're going to love it out here!
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Old 10-25-2009, 03:19 PM
 
19 posts, read 45,060 times
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Well, I can only give you my own experience. I moved to Denver 7 weeks ago and I lived in Houston, TX about 15 years.
1st. week.
Blow nose with blood.
Thirsty all the time.
Sleepy all the time.
Dry skin
Walk a few steps and had to stop to breath.

2nd week.
Blow nose with blood.
Not as thirsty like first week.
Sleepy all the time.
Dry skin, specially foot and hands.
Lips not that bad.
Getting better with lack of oxigen.

3rd week.
- Blow nose without blod. Hurray!!!!
- My sinus start to acting. Houston has a big problem with sinus problems. I feel like I have running nose and had some pain. I always joke that I can predict the weather, here is more real. I know when the weather will change.
- No problem with lack of oxigen, but still not exercising yet. Just walking more.
- Sleepy all the time.

4rd week.
- Running nose.
- Feeling a lot better.
- Lost 14-17 pounds, Just dieting. I think the lack of oxigen help a big deal.
- Having problems with hands. Very dry between the pinky and ring finger.
- Using stairs instead elevator. Gasping for air at the end.

5th week.
- Feeling great.
- Shedding inches from my waist.
- Found cetaphil lotion. It has restore my skin.
- Still using stairs and gasping for air.

6th and 7 week same as 5th.

I had come to Colorado from Houston for vacation and went to Dillon, I guess is 8000 feet and the first 3 days, I was miserable. I took some pills my doctor gave me for altitute, but they didn't helped. I felt dizzy, thirsty, and my body was shaking.

I know everybody is different and I am slow to adjust to altitude, as you can see. So my advice is take it slow, and don't push it. When I use the stairs, I don't feel like gasping until I walking after the stairs, in a flat area. You can be confident you are doing ok, but after a few seconds you feel like you are dying without air.

Don't let my experience prevent you to have fun, just be cautious that's all and enjoy the beautiful state of Colorado.
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Old 10-25-2009, 03:28 PM
 
Location: Aurora, Colorado
2,212 posts, read 4,605,808 times
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We moved from Florida to Denver a few years ago and felt the altitude difference immediately. You have to drink lots of water and you will feel a little winded doing simple chores, like going up and down stairs and even walking up inclines in your neighborhood. We went to Keystone about a month after we arrived and were amazed how out of shape we felt. We are not out of shape...we're regular exercisers and in fairly decent shape and it affected us. We have two young kids and a dog too.

The only advice I can give you is to drink lots of water and take it easy. After about 2 months, we couldn't feel any difference at all and were able to exercise at our usual levels again. You will also get very dry skin. Just buy a good lotion and apply it after you shower every day. Our oldest daughter said she had headaches a lot when we first moved here...so we had her drink lots of water too. I still drink a lot more water than I used to, but that's probably a good thing anyway. Our dog was 5 when we moved here. She's a lab and VERY active. She didn't seem bothered at all...as a matter of a fact, I think she has MORE energy than she did in Florida.
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Old 10-26-2009, 10:32 AM
 
Location: Colorado
87 posts, read 218,997 times
Reputation: 38
The best advice is to just take it slow. The first month just take your time and ease into your workouts. If you currently workout often, perhaps just reducing the intensity and time for a bit and give your body a chance to acclimate.

Fortunately the Denver area altitude is fairly easy to adjust to. Above 7k feet is where you really start to feel the affects dramatically.

Just go slow and enjoy the scenery!
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Old 10-26-2009, 11:38 AM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
5,814 posts, read 9,470,378 times
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It varies a lot of person to person. Some people adjust poorly while others don't notice the change. You'll just have to see how you do over time.
When you first arrive, don't do any strenuous exercises or hiking for several days. The experts say it takes 4-5 days for your body to acclimate to a change in elevation. I wouldn't do any exercise during that time. Then, build yourself up slowly over time. Gradually increase the length and difficulty of your hikes as you feel comfortable with it.

When you're out hiking if you feel lightheaded, dizzy or out of breath, it's probably the altitude. Keep that in mind and be on the lookout for it.

Regular headaches (if you didnt' have them before) is another sign of your body trying to deal with a change in elevation.
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Old 10-26-2009, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Colorado
87 posts, read 218,997 times
Reputation: 38
Also, if you are coming from a "humid" climate, moving into a dry climate can make a difference. Remember to stay hydrated.
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