Cecilia Gaffaney, MD, Discusses Preparation for High-Altitude Hiking

Even recreational hikers need to prepare before they hike in high altitudes. Thinner air can impact a person at altitudes as low as 5,000 feet above sea level. At these and higher altitudes, the percentage of oxygen in the air is the same, but with each breath, a person’s lungs take in less total air. At 12,000 feet, each breath carries 40 percent less total oxygen.

Any hiker who is planning a trip should first consult with a doctor to ensure that they are in good health. Preparation must start at least two months in advance and should include practice hikes at varying altitudes. Interval training is another excellent way to exercise. This involves elevating the heart rate with physical activity, recovering, and then elevating it again in repeated patterns. Finally, developing a deep breathing routine helps increase lung capacity, which is an asset at higher altitudes.

Dr. Cecilia Lyons Gaffaney is an experienced hiker who has hiked at high-altitude locations in South America.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Cecilia Gaffaney and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s