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The Surprising Health Benefits Of Vacationing In The Mountains

From the beautiful weather to the raw beauty of the Rockies’ craggy granite peaks, the mountains are the perfect setting for your next vacation. You can hike, fish, climb, kayak, ski, camp, or just marvel at the snowy summits and roaring rivers, but that’s not all — spending time in the high country can have substantial health benefits. Here are a few!

Altitude Helps With Weight Loss
There’s less oxygen at altitude, which means your heart has to beat faster to get to oxygen to your muscles that they need. What that means is that your metabolism runs faster at high altitudes — your breathing is faster, your heart rate is faster, and your calorie burn is slightly elevated.

Go High For A Healthy Heart
Altitude also helps with the health of your heart. The increased bloodflow of high-altitude exercise has even better effects on your cardiovascular health than normal exercise, reducing the risk of heart disease and heart attack for both men and women.

Breathe In The Fresh Air
Air Quality Index (AQI) is a measure of how many particles and pollutants are in the air at any given time. In big cities, with the lower altitude, denser air, and more cars and people, AQI is routinely in the 50s and up, with bad days straying into the 100s.

In small, high-altitude mountain towns(like Glenwood Springs), you can expect AQI in the single digits. The fresher air helps with respiratory problems, is less likely to trigger asthma or allergies, and just smells clean and fresh!

Getting Away From It All
Spending time in the mountains is a great way to bond with family and friends. The altitude, bracing weather, and physical exercise like hiking up a big mountain presents a challenge that you can face and solve together. Exercising together is a great way to form new memories and strengthen your bonds with your family or loved ones.

The mountains can also be a very meditative experience for lots of people. The peace and quiet, the wind through the trees, the bright sunlight shining on meadows of wildflowers, and the sound of fresh snowmelt cascading over the rocks will slow your mind and bring you peace away from the hubbub of everyday life.

Push Your Limits
The mountains of Colorado are a perfect place to set new goals for yourself. Home of over 50 peaks over 14,000 feet in elevation, some incredible long hiking and mountain biking trails, and some of the country’s best whitewater rafting. Whether you’re hiking, biking, kayaking, rafting, or anything else in the mountains, trying something you’ve never tried before will expand your mental and physical conceptions of what you’re capable of.

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