Snow, ice, rain, sleet, hail — some climates see it all in winter (and some might see it all in a 24-hour period). While some of it can be pretty to look at, oftentimes that beauty comes with its own set of hazards, by way of icy walkways, snow shoveling, sports injuries, or car accidents. The good news is, with a little preparation and know-how, you can avoid serious injury for yourself or others this winter.
Tips for Preventing Winter Injury
1. Prevent an icy situation. The best way to keep from falling on the ice is to make sure there’s nothing slippery under your feet. Make sure to salt or use a de-icing solution on all your steps and walkways before the snow hits. If this isn’t possible and you find yourself needing to clear the snow or ice after the fact, make sure you have on boots with good tread and that you take short, careful steps or use available railings for balance while you put down the salt. Carry your cellphone as well, in case of emergency.
2. Slow down that shovel. Don’t let it fool you — shoveling snow is hard work. Not only are you lifting heavy snow off the ground with a shovel, but you’re also carrying those heavy loads off your walkways. Doing all this exercise in the freezing cold only makes the task more difficult. However, it’s better to go slowly and take breaks if necessary to avoid back strain or a twisted neck muscle. Rushing through the job only sets yourself up for injury. Make sure you are wearing boots with a heavy tread and warm clothing, including a hat and gloves and face protection, if necessary.
3. Recognize the need for speed. Slow speeds, that is. Weather-related accidents account for 1,235,000 vehicle crashes a year! To avoid adding to this statistic, take heed when driving in bad weather. Only drive if you absolutely have to, and pay attention to area road conditions and closures.
If you must get on the road, remember to dress appropriately, to warm your car up ahead of time, and to make sure to remove all snow and ice from all of your windows and wipers before heading onto the roads. Drive slowly and give yourself plenty of room and time to stop in case your car slides.
4. Exercise caution. If you want to get outside for some exercise — whether that’s going for a walk, a run, sled riding, or playing another outdoor game, you’ll need to take extra precautions in winter weather.
• Make sure you are well hydrated and that you have water on hand during your activity. Just because you’re cold doesn’t mean you’re not sweating.
• Use appropriate footwear for your activity, and double up on warm wool socks to keep from getting frostbite. The same goes for hats and gloves.
• If you’re already tired, skip the activity. The cold weather can take more out of you than you think, which can lead to injury or illness.
• Use the buddy system. Never venture out alone on a winter hike or decide to ice skate on a frozen pond without bringing someone with you. That way, there will always be someone to help or call emergency services, if necessary.
• Watch the weather reports. If more snow, ice, or rain is predicted, don’t risk getting stuck outside. Wait until weather conditions abate before resuming your outdoor activities.
At Live Well Chiropractic Center, we know sometimes injuries can be unavoidable. If you are dealing with pain or an injury, we can help, and with chiropractic care from our clinic, you can expect to feel better. Call us today at 513-285-7482 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to learn more about the health benefits of our brand of chiropractic care.