I recently traveled to California to see some family that I haven’t seen since before the pandemic.

I had a wonderful time. One day we decided to go to Pier 39 in San Francisco. This involves a lot of walking.

At the end of the day, we counted our steps with our Google fit trackers and discovered we had taken close to 15,000 steps.

Something was different this time, though. I wasn’t gasping for air. In New Mexico, when I decide to go for a brief walk (no where near 15,000 steps), I am usually fighting for every breath.

But after 15,000 steps in San Francisco, I was still breathing as if I had been sitting all day.

Athletes usually train at high elevations so they don’t suffer when they travel to places like New Mexico. When you go from Sea Level to a higher altitude, the air gets heavier in a way.

I have seen some athletes who didn’t know any better pass out here.

So when I came back to the Sunport in Albuquerque, I became a bit dizzy from the change.

As New Mexicans, I think we get used to the air once we’ve lived here for a while.

Traveling elders should be careful with this though, as it can cause some severe health problems.

If you find yourself getting nauseous from altitude sickness, there are a few easy remedies:

  • Sip on some water
  • Take painkillers if you have a headache
  • Don’t travel higher up in elevation until you feel better and take it slow
  • Take slow deep breaths