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  • Writer's pictureDr. Maya Pande

Tips for a Safer Winter

I'm not ready for the snow - mentally, emotionally or physically (I still have pots of plants outside!). I was born in Canada but every year I always think I have more time. And every year, I'm unpleasantly surprised. As you can tell, I'm not someone who loves this season. It's unfortunate as most of the year is 'this season'.

Winter can be dangerous for a number of reasons: The snow, the ice, the early darkness and the cold can increase the hazards that are out there. Here are some tips to help you during the winter:

Have enough tread on your shoes or boots. Just as it's important on your tires, it's important on your footwear. Traction cleats can be worn to make your existing shoes winter-ready. Wearing your regular shoes will increase your chance of slipping and falling. No matter how much balance you have in yoga class.

Make sure that your hood, hat or scarf doesn't block your view of the street ahead of or beside you. The lack of light, dark winter clothing added to your obstructed vision can pose a real threat when you're crossing the street. Keep your sightline clear when you're driving as well.

Don't carrying loads (laundry, groceries, children) that you can't see over when walking up or down icy/snowy stairways. Climb stairs one at a time or make more trips.

Take smaller steps than usual over slippery areas. If walking on ice, walk like a penguin - bend your knees slightly and try not to lean forward. Shuffle if necessary.

Bend your knees to protect your back while shoveling. If the snow is wet and heavy, pick up less snow with each dig. It will take more time, but recovering from a back strain will take much longer.

Leave more time when you're trying to get somewhere. Speeding or rushing can lead to accidents of all kinds.

These may sound like extreme cautions to take for some of you but even minor falls can lead to pain and problems in the future. I've seen it happen. Don't wait, consult your chiropractor or another health professional if you have continued pain after experiencing a fall.

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