So, you’re probably not asking “What are mountain towns?” Well then my non-inquisitive reader I’m glad I made you ask, because I’m going to explain it to you either way. When you see houses hanging off the side of a mountain and people milling about carrying on with their days is a mountain town, a town located on a mountain with the elevation of 7000 feet or higher. “So what?” you scoff indignantly, “I’ve visited mountains, camped on some pretty nifty sites and even hiked up a trail once, big whoop.” Whoop all you want, living or visiting mountain towns specifically is on a different beneficial scale than just going round to the pretty places and then driving back to your industrial smog snorting cities. And then you look at me sadly and say “You need to stop the pills, you’re talking to yourself again.” Shut up. Don’t tell me what to do.
What I want to focus on here are the benefits of lengthy exposure in places like Mountain towns. In no way am I downplaying the absolute beauty the sights of said places hold, as in even reading the words mountain towns you probably think of quaint Disneyesque alpine sceneries with narrow winding streets and homes with chimneys huffing out smoke, maybe even a narrow waisted damsel waiting to be saved by an unnamed pretty boy. But there’s more to these mountain huggers than just visual appeal. Let’s look at some of them.
Scientists discover the secret to counter obesity, Moms Shocked! Okay, now resist the urge to punch the screen from reading that sentence and continue ahead. Research has proven that living in high altitudes reduces weight. The reason behind it is a lack of oxygen, which scientists call hypoxia, because they’re fancy like that. In a study, test subjects were allowed to eat anything they wanted while placed in high altitude chambers and they still lost significant weight. You don’t need more incentive than that. A report by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation states that Colorado has the lowest obesity rate in the U.S, the only state with less than 20%. You know what else Colorado has? A high altitude.
In other news, high altitude has also been honourably attributed to a lack of Coronary Artery Disease, which is a heart disease, which means it’s serious. Most diseases are but still. A study published in 2004 showed researches studied villages in Greece and discovered that coronary mortality rates were lower for people living in mountainous villages.
An important impact of living in high altitudes is altitude sickness. This basically means that if you’re a dweller of sea-level lands, then traversing altitudes higher than 4500 to 5000 feet is going to start putting stress on your body. Symptoms of this occurrence include fatigue, nausea, headaches, vomiting, dizziness, insomnia, water retention and high blood pressure. Sounds horrifying? True. Also the low oxygen levels can be tough to get used to, so why put yourself through that? We probably shouldn’t forget that our bodies adapt. Meaning that when you get start acclimatising to atmospheres you’re not used to you end up psychologically and physiologically tougher. A study released in the fall of 2010 compared two groups from The U.S. Air Force Academy, one from about 5000 feet and the other from sea levels. The students from the higher altitudes showed higher concentrations of hematocrits, hemoglobin and iron. Athletes also often come to high altitudes to train because lower oxygen levels forces the body to produce more hematocrits to aid in oxygen fixation providing a stamina boost.
I’m not exactly saying you’ll turn into a Super Saiyan by just taking long trips to Mountain towns, but I’m not exactly denying it either.