Falls are more than just embarrassing – they are the primary cause of non-fatal injuries in adults over the age of 45. Winter is full of falling hazards, so knowing how to prevent falls is crucial. Here are some tips to help you stay active, even in the coldest weather.
1. Appropriate Shoes
High-heeled or slick-soled shoes do not work well on ice. The best choice in winter are flat, rough or rubber-textured soles that offer plenty of grip. You can also attach temporary shoe covers with ice grips. These are inexpensive, re-usable, and readily available from sporting goods or shoe stores.
2. Accessories and Rails
Assistive devices such as canes and walking sticks can be modified with a spiked tip to help dig them into the ice. And for those walks around populated areas, handrails are a simple but effective way to steady your balance and stay upright. They’re there for a reason, so use them!
3. Look Where You’re Going
Watching your step is the number one way to avoid mishaps. You can circumvent slick patches and trip hazards if you pay attention. Often a clearer route is available, but if not, knowing the lay of the land will inform you how to proceed safely. To this end, get your eyes checked. You can’t avoid a hazard if you can’t see it!
4. Slow Down
Falls are significantly more likely when you’re rushing or multi-tasking. Slow down; take small careful steps. When in doubt, walk like a penguin. Looking at your phone affects your balance and increases fall likelihood, so steer clear of distracted walking.
5. Avoid Unnecessary Risks
Lastly, use some common sense about when it’s safest to go out. If there’s a freezing rain storm forecast, you may be better off delaying your plans to another day wherever possible.
There’s no reason you can’t enjoy the winter weather and stay healthy, as long as you remember to put safety first.
Did you already experienced a fall and you are still feeling it on your body?
Make an appointment today with one of our physiotherapists to help you relieve your pain.
Physio Proactive, 2018.