Tips to avoiding injury in the winter months
Quite often the cool winter months are a welcome change from the hot, humid weather during the summer. As the temperatures decrease, the chances for injury increase. This is due to adverse weather conditions such as freezing temperatures, snow, and ice. Read on to discover some simple helpful tips to avoiding injury in the winter months.
What You Need To Do:
- Watch Your Step — while they may be beautiful to look at, snow and ice can be dangerous when you are trying to walk from place to place. To decrease the chance of slipping and falling, make sure your footwear has non-slip rubber soles. You also may want to consider purchasing toe grips. These are elasticized bands with metal spikes you can slip over the toes of your shoes. They will give you some additional traction when making your way across slippery surfaces. Also, beware when walking into an office building, store, or even your own home. Melting snow turns into standing water, making it easy to slip and fall. Always thoroughly wipe your shoes on a rug or door mat when you enter a building. If one is not available, request a towel or rag to ensure your footwear is free from melting snow or ice.
- Drive Smart — as with walking, driving in wintertime can be hazardous. There is often ice and snow on the roadways, making it
easy to lose control of your vehicle in an instant. To be safe, only drive after the roads have been completely cleared. If there is an emergency and you do need to venture out prior to that, be sure to drive slowly and keep a significant distance between you and any other vehicles that may be on the road. This will give you a bit more of a response time in case you or another driver loses control.
- Shovel Carefully — with snowfall comes the responsibility of making sure your walkways and driveway are clear. Even though shoveling snow is great exercise, you can easily strain your back when lifting heavy shovelfuls off the ground. Be sure to only shovel a little at a time. It may take longer, but in the end it will be worth it to not strain or even permanently damage your back. Another option to consider is purchasing or renting a snow blower. This is a machine that easily clears away the snow and all you have to do is walk behind and push it where you need to go.
- Bundle Up — it goes without saying that when the temperature drops, you need to be sure to bundle up to protect yourself from the elements. Freezing temps can increase your chance of frostbite, so when venturing outside be sure to cover all of your extremities. For example, use a scarf to cover your nose and mouth, gloves or mittens for your hands, and a warm hat for your head and ears. A heavy coat and sturdy boots should round out the ensemble.