Dr. Maya Pande
How To Avoid Falls On Ice
What's an animal that doesn't fall down often?
Penguins! (But when they do fall, it's hilarious!)
The way penguins walk and hold their bodies help them stay upright even on the slipperiest of surfaces. We can learn a lot about them that can prevent US from falling in the winter.
When you're walking on ice or are unsure of the surface (black or snow covered ice), shuffling like a penguin will help you get from point A to point B without landing on your own B. You may feel silly or look like the old Tim Conway sketch from the Carol Burnett Show but it will help.
Here are some tips on how to walk like a penguin on slippery surfaces:
1. Put your phone away and hold your arms out slightly from your sides. Like penguin wings.
2. Move your head and upper body weight so that it's over your feet. This will shift your centre of gravity and mimics a penguin's body position.
3. Keep your knees loose and point your feet outwards.
4. Take short, shuffling steps and move slowly.
5. Concentrate and watch where you're going. (That's just good advice for life really.)
Sometimes even "small" falls on the ice can lead to sprains, fractures, concussions or even head trauma. Falling and landing on the same body part over and over can cause long term problems that you might not even associate with the falls. Pain or even spontaneous cracking of your joints can be due to instability caused by falls.
If you do fall, try to relax into it. When falling backwards keep your neck bent forward to avoid hitting your head. If you're falling forward, try to land on the side of your body so you don't take the brunt of the impact on your wrists and outstretched arms (which can be quite painful and lead to long term injuries).
Use these tips to avoid falls this season. And if you do fall, call me.