Falling on ice can leave you red-faced with embarrassment, or far more seriously, hurt badly from taking a knee to the ice or falling awkwardly on icy snow. Slippery sidewalks, driveways and icy parking lots can be risk factors for falls in winter. Avoid a bad fall with these top tips!
Walk like a penguin
- The penguin waddle helps you keep a centre of gravity over your front leg as you step, instead of split between the legs.
- Short strides also help keep your centre of gravity, which help avoid falls.
- When walking, extend your arms out from your sides to increase your centre of gravity. Don’t keep your hands in your pockets!
- Walk slowly, with short strides and try to land your steps with a flat foot.
Keep walkways clear
- Shovel snow and scrape ice as soon as possible.
- Liberally sprinkle ice melt product or sand onto walkways to provide foot traction and to make sure surfaces don’t turn to ice. This not only protects you and your family, but also postal carriers and others when they’re walking around your property.
- Where possible, install or use handrails for extra support.
Take all precautions
- Be extra cautious walking after a storm. Tap your foot on potentially icy areas to see if it’s slippery.
- Hold a railing while walking on icy steps.
- Stay steady by wearing proper winter footwear. Lightweight boots with a thick, non-slip tread sole will provide good traction on ice.
- If a sidewalk is icy down the middle, walk on the snow beside it to avoid slips.
Lighten your load
- Carry fewer bags on snow days, since excess baggage can throw off your balance and make it tougher to regain your balance once you lose it.
- Keep your hands free by putting away your phone while walking – you may need to catch yourself!
Boost balance with exercise
- You can’t control the weather but you can improve your balance through regular exercise. Exercise is an ideal way to help you stay safely on your feet because it helps improve balance, flexibility and strength.
- Talk to one of our health professionals and contact us about ways to improve your balance and strength to prevent falls.
Book an Appointment
Do you have a winter injury that is causing you distress from shoveling or slipping on the ice this winter? Book an appointment to talk to one of our health care professionals about how we can help!