Staying Healthy in the Colorado Rockies

The base of Vail, Colorado sits at 8,022 feet (2,445 meters) above sea level and the summit rises to 11,570 feet (3,527 meters). As with any trip to the mountains of Colorado, altitude sickness is something that travelers should keep in mind. Symptoms may present themselves for some individuals beginning at 8,000 feet due to the decreased presence of oxygen pressure in the air. Symptoms manifest differently for each person, but often include, a decrease in mental and physical alertness, headaches, fatigue, nausea, insomnia, and shortness of breath.


It’s important to take the effects of altitude sickness into consideration when planning and there are a number of things you can do to relieve symptoms and prevent illness while you are here. The first thing to remember is to take it easy. Many people want to arrive in Vail and then hit the slopes and take advantage of our beautiful powder snow immediately; this may not be the best plan. Take a day or two upon arrival to relax and get acclimated. See how you feel after a day before participating in any physical activity. In the meantime, explore the wonderful town and shops of Vail. Secondly, drink a lot of water. Drink as much water as you think you need to, and then drink even more. It’s better to be safe than sorry and you should start as soon as you get off the plane and continue through your time in Colorado.


While it can be hard on vacation, try to refrain from alcohol at least for the first day or two. Having alcohol in your body slows down the acclimatization process. If and when you do begin drinking during your stay, remember to take it easy and that a little goes a long way at a higher altitude and to never drink and drive – Vail has a great, free public transportation system and taxis and private drivers are also available. In order to help with symptoms, the town of Vail is also home to a few oxygen bars. At these locations, sit, relax, and choose from a variety of oxygen “flavors” to breathe in in order to help get your body what it needs. Some services will also deliver oxygen systems right to your vacation rental.


Even with all of these tips, the best thing to do if you are feeling ill and not getting better as a result of altitude sickness is to descend to a lower elevation. We hate to see you go, but heading down to a city like Denver will often make sufferers feel much better. As you plan your vacation with Exclusive Vail Rentals, simply take possible altitude sickness into consideration as to not derail your experience completely and help make the most of your time away.

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