Winter is coming – tips on how to walk on snow or ice

By Doug Williams
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Winter is coming – tips on how to walk on snow or ice

Doug Williams
 
 
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Winter is about to start, and for many it heralds the coming holidays, the snowfall, and the beauty that winter can bring. For others, there are more practical concerns that come with winter, such as how they will manage to get around when snow and ice are everywhere, making it quite difficult to walk.

This can be particularly troublesome for older people and people who already suffer from conditions that make it difficult for them to get around under normal conditions. Here are some helpful hints to keep in mind when walking on snow or ice this coming winter.

The right footwear for the conditions is essential for safety
The right footwear for the conditions is essential for safety

If you decide to brave the elements and venture out in the winter weather, be sure to plan a route ahead of time. This is especially important if you plan on driving a car in wintry conditions because traffic moves very slowly. Having the right route can really make things a lot quicker, with less stress. Be sure to give yourself some extra time to find the best route, whether you are walking or in a car.

Another great tip is to wear either shoes or boots that will provide good traction in the snow and ice. If you’re not wearing the right shoes the chances of a slip and fall are much increased, sometimes leading to serious injury. Ladies should also leave their high heels at home on days when the roads and paths are frozen – heels can be hard to walk in at the best of times and are even harder when there is little solid ground to stand on. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes that will not only provide good traction but also keep you warm.

If you’re going to drive in bad weather be sure to take extra special care when exiting or entering vehicles. When on foot move slowly, because it can be harder to control your body when maneuvering through snow or over ice. Scrape off the snow and ice from your shoes. Use the handrails on stairs and keep your hands out of your pockets so you can catch yourself if you lose your balance on the slippery ground.

It is not always so easy to tell if a surface is slippery until you step onto it
It is not always so easy to tell if a surface is slippery until you step onto it

Look for the places that are plowed or where others have already been. Don’t try to take a shortcut over drifts or berms; keep your feet as close together as practically possible. In bad winter weather especially, don’t get too distracted by looking at your phone to pay proper attention to where you’re going. You can hurt not only yourself but also other people around you.

Yet another tip is to not take large strides but to take smaller steps or maybe even shuffle. This way you can retain more control over your body and keep better balance. Be prepared to fall – if the worst thing happens and you do fall, being prepared can help minimize any pain or injury that might occur.

Winter weather demands special preparation. It is important to know ahead of time how to handle the snowy, icy, and cold conditions.

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