1 / 1
1 / 1
Denver really is a mile high, but most people don’t even notice the altitude difference. The air is just thinner and dryer. In fact, many people with respiratory problems move to Denver for the benefits of the dry air. Follow these tips to stay happy and healthy.
Before your trip to Denver, and while you are here, drinking plenty of water is the best way to help your body adjust easily to our higher altitude. The low humidity in Colorado keeps the air dry, like the desert, so you need about twice as much water here as you would drink at home closer to sea level. Dehydration is a contributor to altitude sickness, in addition to the obviously reduced blood oxygen saturation levels.
In Denver's rarified air, golf balls go ten percent farther... and so do cocktails, at least until you've acclimatized to the altitude and dry climate. Recent studies have shown that until you are fully acclimatized, your body can't process alcohol as well, so go easy on the libations. Alcohol can also exasperate dehydration.
Foods such as broccoli, bananas, avocado, cantaloupe, celery, greens, bran, chocolate, granola, dates, dried fruit, potatoes and tomatoes will help you replenish electrolytes by balancing salt intake.
The effects of exercise are more intense here. If you normally run 10 miles a day at home, you might try 6 miles in Denver until you build up the red blood cells.
With less water vapor in the air at this altitude, the sky really is bluer in Colorado. But there's 25 percent less protection from the sun, so sunscreen is a must. Denver receives more than 300 days of sunshine each year (more than San Diego or Miami). Bring sunglasses, sunscreen, lip balm... even in winter.
Two days before your trip to Denver, check the weather and use this information to pack appropriately. Because the sun is especially powerful in Denver, it can feel much warmer than the actual temperature during the daytime, but then become very chilly after sundown, particularly in the spring and fall. It is best to layer your clothing.