Winter has come in with a vengeance this year, and we have several more months to go. During this time, you should keep in mind the proper way to go about activities as you cope with ice and snow, to avoid falls and injuries. Proper ergonomics as you shovel snow, scrape ice, and walk on slippery surfaces can keep you safe and well.
Some factors that determine how well you deal with winter’s demands include overall strength, and particularly core (abdominal) strength, balance and flexibility. In addition to your physical condition, proper clothing and footwear are critical to staying safe outdoors. Staying warm will ensure your focus is on how you are moving. Footwear should be warm, stable and have excellent grip.
Posture is key, especially when shovelling snow. Keep your back straight, and use your knees to bend, not your back. Use your core muscles to stabilize you as you move. Avoid twisting movements with your torso. Breathe out with pushing and avoid holding your breath. Move slowly and take frequent breaks. Know your limits; stop and go inside when you become fatigued. Injuries can happen more easily when you’re tired and not paying attention.
Walking on snow and ice can result in slipping and falling, with potentially serious injuries. It requires strength in your legs, core, and good balance. Footwear is important; strap-on cleats are inexpensive and may be worth the investment. Take your time and don’t rush – better to be late than not arrive because you’ve fallen!
If you do suffer a winter fall or other injury Aim Rehabilitation Centre can provide you with a wide range of physical rehabilitation services, including physiotherapy, chiropractic, massage therapy and acupuncture. They can work with you to improve your flexibility, strength and balance, to help prevent winter injuries. They can also help you recover from injuries that may have happened.