Whether you’re going outside for some exercise, running an errand, or simply getting to and from a vehicle, winter walking can be hazardous.
There are some precautions you can take to make sure you get to your destination safely. Here are 8 tips to avoid a slip and fall on snow or ice:
- Choose the right footwear: there are some great options for winter boots that provide slip-resistance. Look for these features: rubber soles, non-slip tread
- Plan ahead: Give yourself extra travel time so you can walk without being rushed
- Don’t be distracted: Avoid walking and using your phone at the same time
- Be on the lookout for ice: Avoid icy patches when possible. When in doubt, assume that all dark and wet pavement surfaces are slippery
- Be prepared: If you don’t have salt for your stairs, driveway, or walkway, use sand or non-clumping cat litter to sprinkle on icy surfaces outdoors. If possible, only walk on paths that receive maintenance. Don’t take shortcuts where snow isn’t regularly removed
- Use support: Use handrails when available and steady yourself on the door frame of your car when getting in and out of a vehicle
- Don’t compromise your balance: Avoid carrying items in your arms as that may cause you to be unbalanced. Walking with your arms swinging at your sides is the best way to maintain balance. Make sure to keep your hands out of your pockets to help with balance and walking posture (don’t forget your gloves)
- Walk like a penguin: When the terrain is super slippery, try practising these “penguin-like” techniques for stability:
- Keep your feet “flat-footed” (place your whole foot down at once—this also slows your walking speed)
- Take short strides or shuffle your feet forward
- Keep your knees slightly bent and feet pointed out. Lean forward slightly
Make sure to check for weather updates before you heard out and sign-up for weather notifications. Take care of yourself this winter!
If you’re experiencing any winter-related aches and pains, reach out to your local chiropractor.