It can be difficult to deal with dry, high-altitude climates when your body is used to Playa’s humid, sea-level conditions
When traveling to a climate so drastically different from that of Playa del Carmen, it’s important to know the effect it can have on your body, mind and energy levels.
As I write this, I’m connecting in Mile High City, Denver, where my hair has never looked better, but the dryness of the air has an instant effect on my nose and throat. I’m en route to Santa Fe, New Mexico. It is an area of high desert and the highest state capital in the U.S., with an altitude of 7200 ft. (1.36 miles, 2.2 kilometers).
It takes the body approximately 48 hours to adjust to such an altitude, but I am still hoping to manage the agenda of hiking, yoga and various other physical activities. Luckily, the spa treatments will help!
Here are some ways to help your body and mind adjust well when traveling to high altitude destinations:
Drink lots of water
Hydration is of vital importance to counteract the effects of altitude sickness. Remember to drink before you feel thirsty and always have water with you.
Limit caffeine, alcohol and salt intake
As they can dehydrate you, reduce or eliminate consumption of caffeine and alcohol at least for the first few days and go easy on the salt.
Cover up and wear sunscreen
At this altitude, the sun is incredibly strong. Covering up and wearing a hat, long sleeves, sunscreen and lip-balm sunscreen can help you avoid sunburn, which is more of a risk as the atmosphere is thinner at high altitudes.
Eat foods high in potassium
Bananas, tomatoes, greens, dried fruits and even chocolate are good sources of potassium, which can help the body acclimate.
At sea level in Playa del Carmen, we can get away with very little moisturizer as the humidity is great at keeping the skin hydrated. At high altitude, the air is much drier and if your skin is used to humidity it will not adjust quickly. Moisturize well to create a barrier that stops hydration escaping from the skin. Spa treatments are a great option to hydrate the skin and also to relax and re-energize the body.
Enjoy the humidity on your return
Although we may not love the summer humidity here in Playa, it always feels so great to breathe in the air upon landing in Cancun. Your nose, throat and skin will instantly feel the difference, although the effect on your hair may not be quite as nice, if you’re anything like me!
Spa, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert, Speaker, Spa Consultant and Founder of Spa & Wellness MexiCaribe magazine