The Health Benefits Of Living At 5,000 Feet


If you’ve lived at or near sea level for a significant amount of time and visited somewhere much higher in elevation, then you’re probably aware of the potent effects that elevation change can manifest in. There’s even a name for being negatively affected by the elevation, and the name makes a lot of sense: elevation sickness. Yet, as much of a pain as it seems to live somewhere above a few thousand feet in elevation, mountain towns and other areas around the country seem to draw some of the healthiest, fittest people around. Is this strictly due to living in a high-elevation area? Yes and no.

Fort Collins rests at about 5,000 feet (4,982 is what you’ll officially see on our city limit signs for all you hair-splitters out there) in elevation, and that’s significantly lower than many mountain areas to the west. For comparison, Leadville, Colorado actually sits around 10,152 feet in elevation – over twice the elevation of Fort Collins! (fun fact: Leadville is the highest incorporated municipality in the United States). Due to Colorado’s relatively high elevation, we frequently enjoy things like breathtaking scenery, clean air and a bounty of recreational activities to choose from.

Fort Collins Fitness Festival Will Make History – Be A Part Of It!

The Fort Collins Fitness Festival will, as you may be able to guess, also take place at our town’s elevation of around 5,000 feet above sea level, and so we figured that the health benefits of living this high up seemed like an appropriate blog topic. Our readers still have plenty of time before the Fort Collins Fitness Festival drops, but just make sure that you, your family and your friends don’t miss out on the latest and greatest in Fort Collins activities. Mark your calendars for June 30, 2018, get active until then, and get your tickets ahead of time here!

Enjoying Better Cardiovascular Health

High-altitude living might not be the secret to living forever, but you might actually live longer. Though there need to be more studies on human health and elevation, a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health suggests that high-altitude living could very well be healthy for us. In the study, researchers examined the link between elevation, life expectancy and mortality rates from chronic diseases for hundreds of counties in the United States.

(Potentially) Living A Longer, Healthier Life

What the researchers found was that the millions of Americans living in counties above 4,900 feet (we barely made it!) live up to three years longer than people who live near sea level. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that elevation is responsible for adding years to one’s life, so take this information with a grain of salt. The researchers speculated that the thinner air is probably the reason why high-elevation residents have a longer life expectancy. Higher elevations may improve cardiac efficiency, resulting in beneficial vascular effects. Since the heart and lungs have to work just a little harder to breathe thinner air, this makes sense.

Exercise Is Challenging But Rewarding

If you normally run something like 10 miles at or near sea level, you might have trouble knocking out only six miles at a higher altitude. While this sounds like a huge inconvenience for all of you fitness junkies looking to make the move from the beach to the mountains, chances are that you’re getting the same quality and intensity of exercise. The lungs must work harder to breathe in oxygen to replenish the body during high-intensity workouts, so doing only a part of your normal beach workout might be enough to really wipe you out. The extent to which elevation affects exercise performance depends on the individual, but in general, count on getting tired more easily at higher elevations.

Moving With Us At The First Annual Fort Collins Fitness Festival

If community engagement, empowering one another and celebrating the incredible capabilities of the human body are things that sound good to you, then you simply cannot miss out on next year’s Fort Collins Fitness Festival. With a variety of amazing vendors, live music to keep you moving, and fun activities suitable for the whole family, this is a historic Fort Collins event that you’ll want to be able to brag about participating in for the very first time. Get active with us and learn more about Fort Collins Fitness Festival ticket information here!

Questions? Get In Touch With Us Here!