If you have ever suffered from Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) on any of your adventure trips, you must be pretty aware of the spoil sport it can be, often causing insomnia, muscle aches, chest congestion and even social withdrawal (in severe cases). If you are planning a trip to Himachal and will be going on any challenging treks such as Indrahar Pass Trek, Beas Kund Trek or Chandratal Baralacha Trek, we advise that you stock your AMS medicines before hitting the road. When in Himachal, you can also opt for a meditation crash course at one of the several meditation resorts in Himachal or visit a yoga retreat resort to learn yoga postures that can help beat AMS. Continuing the discussion, in this post, we list some tips to avoid AMS. Read on.
1. Hydrate Your Body
The human body naturally loses water at high altitudes. To maintain proper hydration levels, add an additional liter of water to your daily intake. Keep your guards up against the signs of dehydration such as a dark stream of urine. On the flip side, do not drink too much water as it can dilute sodium levels in the body and in severe cases result in a condition called hyponatremia. When on high altitude, avoid caffeinated drinks and alcohol.
2. Practice Breathing Exercises
After arriving at your destination, start practicing breathing exercises right from day one. To increase the oxygen level in the blood, practice Pranayama and Kapalbhati at least three times a day. Take long breaths and hold the oxygen inside for at least a few seconds as it has a calming effect on the heart, improves oxygen circulation in the brain and expands the lungs. When hiking, avoid taking long breaths. Instead take short inhales and exhales.
One of the major reasons of AMS is covering too much altitude in a short span of time. In their eagerness to cover more ground, trekkers often forget that the body needs time to acclimatise to the increase in altitude. To avoid this problem, do not move much in the first 24 hours. Try not to sleep at high altitude as the body’s respiration rate increases with an increase in altitude. Avoid strenuous physical activities. To manage your body’s energy levels, consume a carbohydrate rich diet. Stay away from antidepressant drugs, tobacco and alcohol.
4. Watch Your Diet
Increase your intake of foods rich in potassium such as broccoli, banana, avocado, potato and dried fruits. Decrease your salt intake. To avoid taxing your digestive system, do not overeat at any one meal. Avoid going without food for long durations as low blood sugar levels combined with a lack of oxygen can result in nausea and headache.
5. Sleep Well
When on higher altitude, getting a good night’s sleep will help you beat stress and fatigue. If you find it difficult going to sleep, try some common tips such as sleeping on your side or using a nasal spray. If possible, avoid sleeping at a higher altitude and during the day. If you are already suffering from AMS, try breathing exercises before going to bed as they may help relax the body and reduce stress, two of the main prerequisites for a good night’s sleep.
Follow these simple yet effective tips to beat AMS during your adventure trip. If you are prone to AMS, carry preventive medication after consulting your doctor. If your condition worsens, descend quickly. Our activities-team at Rakkh Resort organize a number of adventure activities such as hiking trails and slacklining for our guests and can also provide tips to beat AMS. To learn more, call us at +91 8800 409567, or 0124-4908-616. To make a reservation, click here.