Winterize Your Walking Routine – How to Avoid Slips and Falls

by Jenn

If walking is your preferred way of exercising, winter can be the season where you may be tempted to give up your walking or turn to other options for keeping fit. To some people, not walking is not an option.

If you are in this group, it would mean taking your walks under relatively extreme weather conditions and putting yourself at risk of slip and fall accidents, which are common in icy conditions. This guide offers tips for winterizing your walking routine to ensure that you still enjoy your walks even in the winter.

What If You Get Into an Accident

You probably have slipped and fallen countless times and never thought much of it because you didn’t suffer significant injuries. Some people may not be as lucky. According to the CDC, approximately one million adults in America are injured in slip and fall accidents, with thousands of others suffering fatal injuries. 

Not all winter-related slip and fall accidents occur when a person is out exercising. Many cases occur at other places that could include private premises. If you suffer injuries on private property, you may be eligible for compensation, so you may want to seek immediate legal attention by enlisting the services of a slip and fall accident lawyer. 

How to Lower the Chances of Slip and Fall Accidents during Winter

Invest in the Proper Footwear

When choosing a shoe for your winter walks, you will want to have one that is water resistant because you will need to keep warm. Also, it has to be big enough to allow you to wear a thick pair of socks for that added layer of protection against the cold temperature.

Besides keeping warm, you will want footwear that will provide a good grip when walking in slippery conditions. The best options would be rubber-soled shoes with good grooves for better traction. They do not always have to be athletic shoes. You could use your winter boots because they are made for the weather and can help minimize the chances of an accident.

Keep Your Hands Free

Your hands play a big role in keeping balance when walking. While not all sections of your walk will be slippery, you may not know when you could slip, so you want to ensure that your hands are free. 

In other words, your walk may not be the time you want to chat with your friends on social media. If you must do anything with your phone, it’s best to stop for a moment and proceed after you are done using it.

Take Smaller Steps

Taking smaller steps while walking helps keep your center of gravity centered, which is critical for keeping balance. So if you are walking through a slippery section, for example, when walking downhill, you may want to keep your steps short. 

You may also consider shuffling along without picking your foot. If you have to choose between the footpath and grass, you will be safer walking on the grass rather than the concrete path because the grass will be more textured and could offer a better grip.

Use Traction Safety Devices

Sometimes, your best winter shoes may not be sufficient and keep you from falling. So, you may want to add a layer of protection by using traction safety devices. For example, you could invest in shoes with built-in cleats to help improve traction. Alternatively, you could use slip-in cleats on your walking shoes. 

For older adults, the risk of suffering severe injuries after a fall can be much higher than for younger adults. So if you must walk, consider investing in some ski poles or trekking poles to help provide extra stability. 

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