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How to Acclimatize to High Altitude

    • 1). Avoid the use of tobacco products. Reduce the use of cigarettes or cigars while living or working in a high-altitude environment. Chemicals found in these products reduce the amount of oxygen in the human body. In addition, tobacco use creates potential respiratory hazards because the amount of oxygen available to the body's red blood cells decreases at higher altitudes.

    • 2). Avoid drinking alcohol. Normal respiration at higher altitudes increases the amount of bicarbonates present in the human body. Alcoholic beverages interfere with normal sleep patterns while affecting kidney function by preventing the flush of bicarbonates and toxins from the human body.

    • 3). Reduce work rates. Avoid prolonged periods of continued physical activity when moving to higher altitude. Allow the lungs enough time to adjust breathing rates and acclimate to the higher elevations. Increase break periods and monitor the effort needed to perform normal breathing.

    • 4). Increase water intake. Increase the amount of water ingested over an eight-hour period. The dry environment associated with higher elevation increases the likelihood of dehydration. In addition, increased water intake provides an additional benefit by assisting normal kidney function.

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