Very useful information on reactions of our body when going to higher altitudes.
What does actually happen in our body?
When climbing high mountains, air pressure decreases and, as a consequence, blood is less saturated with oxygen than at lower altitudes. It is necessary to adhere to certain rules with the aim of achieving acclimatisation and gradual body adjustment to high altitude. Acclimatisation to altitudes is a slow and gradual psychological body response to changes in barometric pressure at the attained height, which allows the body to stay and survive in conditions of insufficient oxygen in the inhaled air. These changes in body functions are intended to increase the supply of cells and tissues with oxygen. Sounds serious ... :)
Inhaling pure mountain air helps the body to release our toxins, dry mountain air is easier to breathe and when inhaled it almost directly brings health to our lungs. Now, this is already seriously good and healthy... :)
While being at a mountain, body changes can gradually produce a state of psychological adaptation or “acclimatisation”, which allows someone at the acclimatised height, achieve maximum effectiveness of their actions, as well as mental and physical capabilities. The depth of respiration increases, providing better ventilation of lungs, whilst the body produces a greater amount of red blood cells (erythrocytes), which contributes to greater transfer of oxygen to tissues and cells. These are very positive body changes and are used by athletes for training and increasing their psychophysical abilities. Staying at a mountain is good for the majority of people and has positive effects on their overall body condition. If you are feeling discomfort, nausea and headache, accompanying the process of adaptation to altitudes for several days, you should seek medical advice. Perhaps you are one of the rear people that have difficulty adjusting to higher altitude and you need to follow instructions, or you should go down to lower altitude and your problems will go away.
In order to reach the state of acclimatisation easier it is necessary to consume large amount of fluid, whilst nutrition must be at the level rich in carbohydrates. The state of acclimatisation is much easier to achieve when a person is in good shape. It should be borne in mind that acclimatisation is maintained while staying at the attained height and is lost upon return to lower altitudes. This loss is called “de-acclimatisation”.
The pattern that we follow is: the first day after arriving at a higher altitude (majority ski resorts are from 1500 m to 3500 m high), it is compulsory to ski with reduced load and “let” our body cope with the adjustment. Sometimes, depending on configuration of a ski resort , the first day of our stay we avoid going to the highest peak (if it is above 2800 or 3000 m). This way we facilitate our body adaptation and the effects of this are reflected in a fantastic feeling as well as in achieving a high level of activity and ski load already on the third day of our stay in the mountains. Every following day you are feeling better and better....
Altitude affect on health