Adjusting to High Altitude

image of a Cadet hiking one of our fourteeners
Altitude at the U.S. Air Force Academy varies from approximately 6,200 feet near Interstate 25 to 9,000 feet on the Farish Recreation Area grounds. Newcomers to Colorado may experience symptoms related to altitude sickness until their bodies adjust to the lower air pressure.
Altitude Sickness Symptoms may include:
• headache
• nausea
• vomiting
• dizziness
• tiredness
• insomnia
• loss of appetite

The following steps can help you prevent or reduce the effect of high altitude until your body adjusts to the climate:
  • Stay Hydrated Fluid loss often accompanies the acclimatization process, so drink three to four quarts of water per day to remain properly hydrated.
  • Don't Overexert Yourself Light activity during the day is better than sleeping because respiration decreases during sleep, exacerbating symptoms of altitude sickness.
  • Avoid Alcohol and Tobacco Alcohol acts as a depressant to depress respiration during sleep. In addition, tobacco products may decrease lung capacity.
  • Eat a High-Carb Diet More than 70 percent of your daily calories should come from complex carbohydrates such as starches.