The cold weather is here again! We are all too aware that when we get a cold spell this can bring icy conditions, making pavements and roads hazardous, and this can lead to slips and falls. As a result we tend to adopt our own ‘ice walk’, an unnatural walking posture or ‘gait’ that can cause its own problems, as we tense up.
Wearing waterproof, lined shoes can help. Thermal socks to keep your feet warm. Cold, numb feet could be less sensitive and slower to react to changing conditions. Footwear with solid and deep treads will ensure a firm grip on slippery surfaces. Walking boots can be a good choice, particularly if they have a good ankle support as this can prevent you from going over on an ankle, as they ensure greater stability.
Warm clothing is essential but it should enable you to move freely and not restrict movement too much, so you can walk normally and not lead to a fall or walking unnaturally. Wear gloves and keep your hands out of your pockets to maintain good balance. Balance can always be improved by simple exercises that you can do at home, such as standing on one leg.
Try to keep an eye on the pavement in front and ahead of you, and avoid areas that are under trees or in shady areas that are more likely to be covered with black ice. If you do feel yourself falling, try to stay relaxed and curl and roll. Try to avoid putting your hands out forward as this could cause a wrist injury.