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Know Before You Go: Preparing for Aspen's Altitude

Did you know that Aspen is situated nearly 8,000 feet above sea level? To make the most out of your Aspen Ideas: Health experience, it’s important understand the impact the elevation can have on your body and the steps take you can take to prevent altitude sickness. Dr. John Torres of NBC News shares some tips!

  • June 9th 2024

The Aspen Institute's Rocky Mountain campus sits over a mile and a half above sea level. While it's easy to get swept away with the beauty of the setting and the excitement of the event, it's important to learn how to help your body acclimate to the elevation to prevent altitude sickness, which can include extreme fatigue, upset stomach, headache, and other flu-like symptoms.

Dr. John Torres, an NBC News Medical Contributor and 2024 Aspen Ideas: Health speaker, explains what you need to know in this "NBC Nightly News: Kids Edition" segment:

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Dr. John Torres' Tips for Adjusting to Altitude

1) Give Your Body Time

You'll want to take it easy during the first few days of your trip. Our Aspen Ideas: Health agenda offers a range of activities perfectly suited to help you enjoy the unparalleled setting without overtaxing your body, including morning yoga and guided nature walks. Additionally, stop by the Wellness Lounge in the Marble Garden tent to try out the oxygen bar and other services to help you relax and rejuvenate.

It is recommended that you monitor your alcohol consumption as well. Alcohol actually slows the body's adjustment to elevation. Be sure to check out the variety of mocktails and non-alcoholic beverage options offered during our evening gatherings.

2) Drink Plenty of Fluids

Water is the best way to help your body adjust to Aspen's high and dry air. Altitude accelerates dehydration, so you'll want to drink twice the amount of water as you would at home. If you begin to feel the symptoms of altitude sickness coming on, that may be a sign to increase your water intake.

Aspen Ideas: Health attendees will find a water bottle in their Aspen Ideas backpack and filling stations throughout campus to make hydrating easy.

3) Prepare for the Sun

High elevation equals high sun exposure. No matter what the weather predictions are during your trip, it's good practice to pack and use sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, and layers to ensure maximum comfort and protection.

4) Ask for Help

We take the health and safety of our participants very seriously. If you are experiencing altitude sickness and need assistance during the event, please see a member of our staff or volunteer team. They can help get you to our onsite EMTs to treat your symptoms.

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