By Mary Pletsch 14 Dec 2018 no comment 217 Views

When “the weather outside is frightful,” it’s tempting to stay home.  And during a weather warning or storm watch, staying home is wise.  But we can’t hibernate all winter long.  We have to go out for winter walking sometimes:  for work, for groceries, to see friends and family.

And for those of us who are active walkers during the spring, summer and autumn, it can feel frustrating to be cooped up inside all winter long, losing the endurance and muscle tone we built up over the rest of the year.

The good news is that with some extra precautions, it’s okay to bundle up and go out for a walk in the wintertime.  And when you’re running your necessary errands, these tips will help to keep you safe.

Safe winter walking

Choose the right footwear.  You’ll want supportive boots with rubber soles and non-slip tread.  Avoid “fashion” boots that don’t keep your feet dry.  Check old boots carefully.  If the tread’s worn off, it’ll be easier to slip.  Also, older boots may not be as waterproof as they were when they were new.

Watch out for ice.  To be safe, assume all dark or wet pavement surfaces are slippery.  Keep your phone in your pocket – your risk is higher if you walk while distracted.

Choose your route wisely.  Hiking trails are often closed in the wintertime.  Walking around the neighbourhood might be a better choice.  Choose paths that receive maintenance whenever possible.  Avoid routes with steep hills, or places where snow-narrowed roads don’t leave much separation between pedestrians and traffic.

Keep your balance.  Walking with your arms swinging at your sides is the best way to maintain balance.  Wear gloves or mittens so you won’t need to cram your hands into your pockets to keep them warm.  Avoid carrying items in your arms whenever possible.

Use supports.  It’s what they’re for!  If there’s a handrail (for example, on stairs), make use of it.  Steady yourself on the doorframe of a vehicle when you’re getting in or out.

Give yourself extra time.  It’s a lot easier to slip if you’re rushed.

Dress warmly.  Wear a hat that covers your ears, a scarf or turtleneck to keep your neck warm, and layers underneath your coat.  If you start to sweat from exertion while winter walking, you can always open your coat.  Don’t forget your gloves or mittens!

If you have a fall, call Sheppard Chiropractic Centre right away, at (506) 635-8182 or (506) 847-7172.  Falls can cause injuries that may not be apparent right away.

Or, if you don’t already have your next maintenance appointment scheduled, contact us today.  Regular maintenance care can improve your flexibility and range of motion.  It will help to keep you active all winter long.

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