Preventing falls and the potential injuries that can result from a fall is important all year round but especially during the winter months given the nature of the season. Black ice, rushing to get out of colder temperatures and lower visibility can make getting around during the winter season quite dangerous!
Here are a few tips to keep you upright and safe throughout the inclement weather:
- When walking on snow and ice, shorter your steps and walk with a wider base of support. Think penguin waddle!
- Even if you are quickly trying to escape the cold temperatures, try to walk at a slower pace. This will lower your risk of slipping and falling. The slower pace will also give you a better chance of adjusting and recovering from a mis-step or loss of balance to ultimately prevent a fall.
- Proper footwear is key! Invest in good, support footwear specifically designed for snow and ice. Plan and bring another pair of shoes to change into once you reach your destination. Wearing your favorite pair of stilettos and walking on ice unfortunately do not mix!
- Think about visibility conditions. Wear white, bright colors or use reflective products to ensure you can be seen in busy parking lots and especially while taking your dog for a walk.
- Stay active! Often, throughout the winter months we tend to stay in, sit more and exercise less. Make sure to continue to engage in cardiovascular and strength activities safely throughout the winter months to maintain and increase strength, balance and stamina.
The most important point is to SLOW DOWN. No one starts a fall story with, “I was being extra careful, moving very slowly, paying attention to what I was doing in that very moment and then, Boom! I ended up on the floor!” No matter your phase of life, most all falls can be prevented and the injuries resulting from a fall avoided. Take a little extra time to plan and stay on your feet this winter.