With the changing weather (freeze-thaw and winter storms), now is a good time to think about safety when out and about. Obviously, when weather is extreme, and conditions dangerous, it’s best to stay indoors if you can. But you can prepare yourself for when you’re ready to go out again.
Walk like a Penguin
Maintain basic fitness. While it’s tempting to hide on the sofa under a blanket, keeping up with moderate regular exercise is important preparation for poor conditions, especially exercises that can be done safely indoors, and those which boost your balance.
Wear good shoes. Warm shoes with rubber soles will help keep feeling in your feet, and give you better grip on outside surfaces.  Consider ice clamp-ons to put over your winter footwear for added traction.
Warm up your muscles before you go out. Take 5 minutes or so to move your arms, legs, head, to get the blood flowing. Warm muscles make it easier to balance and respond to challenges than cold, stiff ones.
Protect your vision. Being able to see hazards like icy patches will help you. Make sure you take prescription (sun)glasses with you if necessary.
Think like a penguin. If surfaces are wet or icy, take smaller steps than usual, and widen your stance slightly. This helps keep your center of balance within your base of support. Keep your knees soft to make it easier for your muscles to react to unexpected changes.

Source: Zibrio, the balance company

5 thoughts on “Avoiding Falls in Icy Weather

  1. Good information, Bonnie…I also find using Nordic Poles for walking helps to stabilize me if I start to slip. Also, loving my new equipment…my body has noticed it – muscles are sore today so a better workout for sure…thanks again, Bonnie.

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  2. Excellent advice Bonnie, but I would comment on one issue – it says to wear rubber soled shoes or boots, but the majority of rubber soles are not real rubber, they are synthetic rubbers, such as Vibram etc. and they tend to be very slippery on ice . There are boots on the market that now have small shell chips incorporated into the surface and they really work well. I know Marks have this type of boots for both men and women and I am sure others do too, but you have to ask for it. One name to ask for is ICEFX

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