Tips to Stay Safe While Walking This Winter

One of the best ways to reduce your stress and stay fit is to walk. But this isn’t always easy to do when it’s icy and snowy, and you may be nervous about venturing outdoors. But that doesn’t mean you should sit around and not get outside to walk and enjoy some fresh air. Today Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich, and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen of greater Philadelphia’s Your Next Step Foot and Ankle Care Center are sharing some safe winter walking tips so you can get outside and get moving.

Choose proper footwear. Walking outdoors when it’s icy or snow begins with having proper footwear. To avoid a fall, invest in a pair of winter boots with waterproof and well-insulated traction.

Wear footwear with grippers. These can help you walk on the hard-packed snow and ice. But don’t use them on smooth surfaces as they become slippery on tile, ceramic, and stone surfaces.

Consider a walking stick or cane. When considering winter safety tips, you might want to use a walking stick or cane to prevent spraining an ankle. If you have ski poles, these will work too.

Wear a hip protector. You’ll not only feel more confident walking around, but if you fall, it can help protect against a hip fracture. Another idea is to use hip protector lightweight pants with shields to protect the hips.

Wear bright clothing. Regardless of the time of day, you want other people and cars to see you quickly. So, wear reflective or bright clothing so you stand out.

Take it slow. Avoid venturing out when you’re in a rush. Make sure you have plenty of time and don’t go too fast. Keep your body as loose as possible and think about your next move or step before you take it.

Plan a safe route ahead of time. Plan a safe route that may be less icy or snowy than other areas. Avoid tricky roads or paths, and always be prepared for your walk physically and mentally.

Bring your cell phone. You want to be able to make a phone call for help if you’re hurt and need help. Unfortunately, you never know when you may fall or slip or need help right away.

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