Workout with altitude

14 Nov

Wyoming and altitude 

Here in Wyoming, we live at a high altitude. According the local sites, Cheyenne’s elevation is 6,062 ft  . The problem with higher altitudes is the lack of oxygen. As altitude increases, the lack of oxygen in the atmosphere decreases. However, the body’s need for oxygen remains the same. The theory behind high altitude training is that if you can adjust your body to perform at competitive levels with less oxygen in your blood and muscles, then when you travel to sea level to compete you should have a higher level of endurance


According to Everyday Health, there are certain benefits of working out in higher altitudes.

  • Improvement of the body’s oxygen utilization.
  • More red blood cells and hemoglobin.
  • More capillaries grow, carrying more blood to more places.
  • More mitochondria and mitochondrial enzymes, to use oxygen more efficiently.
  • Enhanced anti-oxidative defense.
  • Decreased heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Increased production and release of human growth hormone.
  • Increased fat burning.
  • Decreased oxidative stress from free radical

Problems of high altitudes 

Among the benefits of working out in higher altitudes, there is a down side.  Increase in red blood cells makes the blood thicker and can make blood flow sluggish. This makes it harder for the heart to pump blood throughout  the body. This can actually decrease the amount of oxygen getting to where it is needed. At very high altitudes some people may encounter loss of appetite, inhibition of muscle repair processes and excessive work of breathing.

Such thing as  mountain sickness

Working out at higher elevations can also make a person sick. Symptoms affect the nervous system, heart, and lungs. The symptoms of moderate mountain sickness include the following.

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Dizziness or light-headedness
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Rapid pulse(heart rate)
  • Shortness of breath
More severe symptoms included chest tightness, confusion, cough, coughing up blood, and inability to walk a straight line.

One Response to “Workout with altitude”

  1. Chelsey November 14, 2011 at 8:24 pm #

    Very interesting blog, I didn’t know the altitude effected that much to working out.

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