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Seniors Hike Denver's High Altitude Trails with the Help of Oxygen Concentrators

Seniors Hike Denver's High Altitude Trails with the Help of Oxygen Concentrators
Seniors Hike Denver's High Altitude Trails with the Help of Oxygen Concentrators
Scott Ridl

One of the great things about Denver, and our area of the country in general, are the beautiful mountains and high altitude hiking trails. You can get your fill of nature and get a day full of fresh mountain air and exercise, as well as do some camping and take some time to get away from it all.

Those with COPD, or those with other types of medical issues that prevent them from bringing in enough oxygen into their blood stream, will need to take precautions and use oxygen therapy to help them get up those mountain trails.

You may or may not already need oxygen therapy, but if you plan on venturing into the mountains where the air gets much thinner, you will definitely need to bring something such as a portable oxygen concentrator with you. An oxygen concentrator is usually the most convenient means of receiving ambulatory oxygen therapy (oxygen therapy while you are going about your day or exercising), because it doens't require lugging tanks around with you. The concentrator filters the oxygen inside of it, and it delivers oxygen for you to breathe through rubber tube and face mask.

Serious medical issues can arise if you get into the higher altitudes, such as altitude sickness, or if you are over the age of 50 and have a history of heart attacks, stroke, or COPD, you will definitely need to check with your doctor before you make plans to do some high altitude adventuring. Your doctor will examine you, and will likely run a few tests, as well as do a blood test to check your blood oxygen level after you've done some exercising.

If your doctor determines that you do need to bring oxygen with you when you are hiking trails in the mountains, he or she will prescribe a dosage specific to your needs while you are hiking. You can then pick out the portable oxygen concentrator that will sufficiently meet your oxygen needs. Once you narrow this down, you can try to choose the smallest one with the best battery life that will meet your oxygen needs.

There are many small portable oxygen concentrators on the market that are surprisingly powerful for their small size and weight, such as the Activox, and the Freestyle 5. They also come with supplemental batteries that are also very smaller and light, to add even more battery life to the internal batteries, which are rechargeable via an AC and DC adapter. A helpful hint: charge it up in the car while you are on your way to the start of the trail, to make sure it will be 100% ready to go when you get there.

These are extremely convenient little machines that offer freedom to those who need oxygen therapy, who also want to lead exciting and active lives. They will also protect you and keep you healthy while you are going on adventures in the mountains.