by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
The Mile High City really is a mile high. That's 5,280 feet for those of you wondering. This is generally no problem for locals, but for those traveling to Denver from out of town may need some time to adjust to the high altitude. Staying in Denver can be pretty fun, but make sure you are prepared before heading out to enjoy your fun.
Just slow down and breathe.
When at high altitudes, the air is thinner than at sea level. This can make some people nervous. If this is you, try taking deep breaths and then just relax. There's really not much to get worked up over.
Try some yoga.
It may not be the altitude, but rather anxiety causing you to gasp for air. Yoga can help relax your nerves, and it's a good warm-up exercise to prepare your lungs for the new altitude.
Take a moment to reflect.
While the air is thinner, it is generally not going to be harmful unless you have a serious medical condition that advises against high altitudes. Rest assured, there are plenty of people with heart and respiratory diseases living in Denver with little to no extra effects on their health. That said, there are still some tips that should be followed when staying in a city with a higher altitude than your body is used to.
Drink plenty of water while staying in Denver.
Because of the high altitude and low humidity in Denver, the air is much drier than in some other places. Be sure to stay hydrated. Your body may even automatically signal you to drink twice as much as before while staying in Denver.
Be sure to eat foods rich in potassium.
Potassium can help the body better replenish electrolytes by balancing salt intake. This is your excuse to eat a generous amount of some of your favorite foods, like chocolate and grand-mama's greens. Some foods rich in potassium include avocados, bananas, beets, broccoli, beans, bran, cantaloupe, celery, chocolate, dates, dried fruit, figs, granola, greens, halibut, honeydew melons, oat bran, prunes, papayas, orange juice, potatoes (sweet and regular), raisins, spinach, tomatoes, and tuna.
Reduce your alcohol intake.
At high altitudes, the effects of the alcohol will increase, so keep this in mind when reaching for your favorite adult beverages. While this may sound like a good thing to some people, it can actually be quite dangerous, so be aware of how much you are drinking.
Save strenuous activities for the end of the trip.
Out of breath? Perhaps you forgot to ease your body into that 3K trek you took around town. Start off with lighter exercises in the first few days of your trip if possible. Don't expect to run a marathon the moment you step off your plane.
Pack essential personal care supplies.
Ouch! The higher the altitude, the closer you are to the sun. In fact, in Denver, there is 25% less sun protection than in places with lower elevations. Be sure to wear sunscreen, protect your lips, and wear sunglasses.
Watch the weather.
If the weatherman says it's going to be sunny, you don't want to have on thick clothing while taking a hike. This will only wear you out faster. Always remember to check the weather before dressing and remember that Denver's weather is not predictable by just looking out the window. Watching the report is important because it can change from sunny and hot to pouring rain in an instant. Just ask and most Denverites will agree.
If you cook, remember to use high altitude recipes.
One thing people forget about when cooking in Denver is that some recipes may need to be adjusted for the high altitude. Ever tried to scrape a hardened cookie thinner than the spatula off the baking sheet? Unless you're into that sort of thing, I'd suggest using a high altitude recipe while staying in Denver.
Other high altitude tips:
Denver.org High Altitude Tips
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
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