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Portable Oxygen

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Anyone have any experience with the various portable oxygen cans on the market? Heading out to CO and the first few days I find myself ( as I get older LOL.. ) breathing a lot heavier with semi aggressive runs.   .. and yes I am a VT/NJ based flat lander.
post #2 of 14
post #3 of 14
Go to your Doctor and get some Acetazolamide (Diamox)the stuff works great!!  You can even get it on line but that is up to you.  I tried it both ways. from my doctor and on line..  I took 500 milligrams 2 X a day..  If you are staying in Denver at night you will not need it as the altitude is much lower.
post #4 of 14
Just a note to the last post..  If you plan on drinking carbonated beverages after taking Acetazolamide (Diamox) IE Beer, POP - It will taste like Ass..
Edited by kc8suj - 11/30/09 at 4:27pm
post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by panelman01 View Post

Anyone have any experience with the various portable oxygen cans on the market? Heading out to CO and the first few days I find myself ( as I get older LOL.. ) breathing a lot heavier with semi aggressive runs.   .. and yes I am a VT/NJ based flat lander.

Take a look at the wiki on Altitude and Acute Mountain Sickness.   About 25% of people experience difficulty acclimating, regardless of physical condition, and Diamox is the most recognized drug to mitigate symptoms of headache, dizziness, sleeplessness and shortness of breath.   While it can make carbonated beverages taste bad, it may be worth-while to avoid the altitude symptoms and get right into your skiing.  Oxygen is not your best answer.
post #6 of 14
Seriously - don't believe the Diamox hype. The best thing you can do is start doing hours and hours of hard cardiovascular exercise RIGHT NOW. As far as oxygen goes - it may help but I've had far better results with nitrous oxide.
post #7 of 14
How quickly do you take yourself up to the mountains? Do your body and brain a favor and give it time to acclimatize to the altitude. I never understood the people that drive straight up to the mountains and start skiing. Arrive at least a day before and let your body do at least some adjusting. You also need to drink a ton of water. The air is very dry here and you need to drink more water than normal just to stay as hydrated as you do at home. Then you need to add even more water to help your body become more acclimated.

Here is a fun little article about the effects of altitude on your brain.
http://outside.away.com/outside/bodywork/200910/mountains-thin-air-brain-cells-intro.html?imw=Y

Granted we are not going to the extreme altitudes they are but it still touches on the issue of acclimating to altitude. Doctors recommend over 5000' you should not climb more than 1000' a day. How many flat landers come from close to see level to 9000' in a half day then participate in a strenuous activity for the second half. Sure you could ski with an oxygen bottle but what about at dinner or hanging out at the condo? We treat people for altitude sickness in the first aid room all the time. After a few minutes on oxygen they feel great. This does not mean they can go back out skiing they still need to get themselves to a lower altitude.

Personally if you are considering skiing with a oxygen bottle, I think your body is trying to tell you to slow down and give it time to acclimatize.
post #8 of 14
I've used  canned Oxygen, mainly the first few days of the year if I do a lot of hiking at someplace like Alta. Coming from sea level, it feels like there's no air up there and it's very tough to catch my breath. 3 or 4 shots works great, back to breathing normal in a few seconds.   I've used the Sansomania brand, fairly small can, easily fits in your pocket, and they pack a lot of Oxygen in there. Bought it on ebay in the past, but don't see any there now, tried a couple other brands, but they were bigger and had less Oxygen content, still worked OK though. You can't check them on a plane, against FAA rules, so you have to send them ahead if you're not driving.
 
 
post #9 of 14
I saw a guy skiing with an oxygen bottle at Alta last year.  It won't be too long before you see me doing that.  Diamox may help avoid altitude sickness, but it doesn't add any horsepower.

BK
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jer View Post

Seriously - don't believe the Diamox hype. The best thing you can do is start doing hours and hours of hard cardiovascular exercise RIGHT NOW. As far as oxygen goes - it may help but I've had far better results with nitrous oxide.

This real does help. As much as it hurts to read it and hurts to go exercise....
post #11 of 14
 Preconditioning, breathing exercises, lots of water.........those will help more than anything.

When you ski(or hike) don't forget to breath!!!

I think a major problem for many people is that they hold their breath when they ski without realizing it.

Don't clench your teeth, don't hold your breath.......Breath in and breath out, get a good rhythm  going before you move so your body gets the oxygen that it needs.

And the Wiki that Cirquerider posted is great info!
post #12 of 14
There is a lot of input here that emphasized conditioning, and its hard to argue that physical and aerobic conditioning is not important.  However, acute mountain sickness (delayed acclimation) is a significant problem for about 25% of the population, and it does not correlate with poor physical conditioning.  Athletic people can suffer tremendously if they are unable to acclimate, and its just not worth losing the better part of a ski vacation week because you think it might be a sign of weakness to take something like Diamox.   I posted the link to the wiki because for a significant number of people, there is a way to mitigate symptoms of altitude that may not be avoidable through exercise and conditioning alone.  I'm not suggesting condition cannot significantly improve your high altitude skiing experience, but for those affected by AMS, it simply won't prevent the problem.
post #13 of 14
I always have a hard time the first night, i usually can't sleep all that well and feel like i can't breath when i lay down. I fly in the night before and then on the first day i drink a ton of water and usually only do greens and some blues to warm up. By the end of the 2nd day i feel fine and can ramp it up from there for the rest of my trip. I don't get headaches or dizziness though. I should be in good shape this year, doing a half marathon a month before.
post #14 of 14
 Not to be flip about this, but these are two different issues.

Having headaches, shortness of breath when just standing or moving slowly, inability to sleep etc... are signs to watch for related to delayed acclimatization.

This is different from the original questions which needed help regarding: 

"breathing a lot heavier with semi aggressive runs"

30 min 4-5 times a week of hard work capacity efforts - not just jogging on the treadmill a little - will take care of the second problem. You'll find that very very expensive time out in the mountains much more enjoyable, ski better, and have one less thing to buy. 

Try 5 rounds of:
Leg Blasters (20 bodyweight squats, 20 lunges, 20 jump lunges, 10 jumping squats w/ no rest between each exercise) 60 seconds rest between each round. 
This sounds deceptively easy and you may want to start with 3 rounds of Full Leg Blasters or just do 5 rounds of Half Leg Blasters (10 bodyweight squats, 10 lunges, 10 jump lunges, 5 jumping squats)

Then put 30lbs in a backpack and do:
5 rounds of:
50 stepups to a 20" bench,
followed by 45 sec hold in a tuck position with the backpack on
then 60 sec rest.

Presuming you own a backpack, some water bottles for weight, a sturdy chair or have access to a park bench to do step ups on, and have 20 minutes 4 or 5 times a week, you'll be fine. Just 3 weeks of this will get you significantly stronger than you were before. You'll be pleasantly surprised.

As my old ski coach used to say when we were sucking wind: "What are you complaining about? Gravity's doing the work. You're just along for the ride."
Edited by riggs - 12/1/09 at 1:40pm
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