Exercising at High Altitudes

 

by Neil Anderson

This week on the KSL Travel show: your excellent hosts and fellow GPPrs Doug Wren (DW) and Brad Call (BC) discuss high altitude travel.  They invited me to discuss the physical demands of travelling to places like Machu Picchu and Mt. Everest.  Very cool stuff.

It is amazing how just a little training will improve your chances of enjoying an epic high altitude vacation.  It is even more amazing how little or no preparation can ruin your trip...maybe even your health.  This can be temporary and/or permanent. 

To enjoy a high altitude vacation there is no substitute for training at high altitude (over 8000 ft.).  Sleeping at high altitude is also suggested.  Some (super rich types) use hypobaric chambers.  

If training at high altitude is out of the question, consider adding more specific cardiovascular exercise (running, biking, swimming) to your workouts.  We suggest you do this daily for 30-40 min.  Using a HR monitor and keeping your HR between 125-150 bpm (depending upon age) works best.  You should do this for a minimum of 14 days.  The better your cardiovascular capacity, the better your chances of adapting to the altitude is.  

It taxes your kidneys to adjust to high altitude activity so while you are at elevation we suggest you stay well hydrated.  Also consider a high carbohydrate diet and backing off alcohol consumption. 

DW and BC do an amazing job of fitting mounds of useful travel related info into 2 hours.  Check it out every Sunday from noon - 2 pm MDT.