Walking In A Winter Wonderland

Stepping into this new year and decade Sonic Relief is dedicated now more than ever to ensuring the health, fitness, and pain-free living of our users. For many, as the calendar changes over from December to January, this time of year brings around many changes and millions of people decide to make resolutions. Surveys show that many of these resolutions relate to wellness, losing weight, eating better, exercising more, or simply just getting healthier. This time of year the weather also starts to change, the winter can be beautiful, with fresh layers of glistening white snow and a shiny layer of frost. But winter can also be dangerous especially for those attempting to stay fit, motivated, and warm. So keep your Sonic Relief handy!

For those who want to keep exercising but don’t want to take the risks of going outside when it’s chilly and slippery consider indoor exercises, swimming in local indoor pools, walking through a museum or a mall. The health benefits to a vigorous walk include improved balance and coordination, strengthening your bones, maintaining a healthy weight, and more. (Home Watch Caregivers) (Care.Com)

Below are the winter safety tips to stay safe, fit, and enjoy this chilly time of year.

Common Injuries

Slip and Fall:

Icy, snowy roads and sidewalks make it easy to slip and fall. Often these falls cause major injuries such as hip and wrist fractures, head trauma and major lacerations. While younger people often recover relatively quickly from such injuries, older adults face complications which are a leading cause of death from injury in men and women over the age of 65.

Before you decided to head out into the elements, here are some important ways to avoid injuring yourself:

  • When shovelling snow, it is important to warm up before you start shovelling. Shovelling is a workout in itself! Just like you would at the gym, warming up before shovelling could prevent back and muscle injuries.

  • Keep entranceways and sidewalks clear of ice and snow. Report hazards on sidewalks or pathways to your landlord or the City. Carry a small bag of grit, ice melter rock salt, sand, or non-clumping cat litter in your jacket pocket or handbag, to sprinkle when you are confronted with icy sidewalks, steps, bus stops, etc.

  • Choose a good pair of winter boots. Look for these features: well-insulated, waterproof, thick non-slip tread sole made of natural rubber, wide low heels, light-weight, correct fit. (Canadian Safety Council)

  • Ice grippers on footwear can help you walk on hard-packed snow and ice. But be careful! Grippers become dangerously slippery and must be removed before walking on smooth surfaces such as stone, tile and ceramic. Before buying the grippers, be sure that you are able to attach and remove them from your boots, this is best done sitting down.

  • Use a cane, or even a pair of ski poles or walking sticks to help with balance. If using a cane, consider attaching a retractable ice pick to the end. Just like ice grippers, cane picks will be slippery on hard surfaces so be sure to flip it back as you get indoors.

  • Walk slowly and deliberately. A good practice is to ‘walk like a penguin’. Extend your arms to the side to keep balance, keep your centre of gravity over your front leg. Take short steps or shuffle for stability. Also, If you slip and fall on ice, you need to have your hands free to break your fall. Don’t keep them in your pockets, where you won’t get them out in time. (Vox)