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Smart Ways To Avoid A Nasty Fall This Winter
6. Think More Like a Penguin
In icy weather, walking normally just isn’t smart. Heck, sometimes, it’s not even possible! So this time of year, it’s time to take a cue from our penguin friends. Think about how they shuffle along. Take short, flat footed, baby type steps and point your feet outwards slightly. Don’t step up on your toes; try to even out your weight between your two feet. Bend your knees just a bit and do the penguin shuffle. Watch a video of how they shuffle along on the ice to get an idea of just how it should be done.
7. Use Kitty Litter
If you walk regularly, say from the parking lot to your office, on icy surfaces, bring along a small zip lock baggie with (clean) kitty litter. Throwing some of it in front of you will help give you a little traction so you don’t fall on your butt in front of your boss.
8. Smart Shoe Choices
Although everyone loves the comfort of sneakers, they simply aren’t snow friendly. Forget about those sneakers or other shoes with smooth bottoms for ones that have better traction. Try boots with non-slip neoprene or rubber soles. You can also buy some crampons, which is what professional ice climbers use. These simply slip over your existing shoes and the metal plates dig into the ice for better traction.
9. Stay Off the Streets
Although the street is generally plowed first so many are tempted to walk there, you should remember that cars and trucks slide as easily as people do. Walking in the street might mean you put yourself in the path of an SUV being driven by someone in a rush for that 3 hour Christmas sale at the mall.
10. When All Else Fails
OK, despite your best efforts, when you know you can’t avoid it and you are going to fall, at least fall in such as a way that you minimize damage to your body.
Lean towards the direction of the fall and just roll into it. Try to fall on your side rather than on your knees, wrist, or tush. Although the tush might seem ideal, especially if yours is well padded, you can fall directly on your tailbone and cause damage up your entire spine this way, much like hitting a nail head with a hammer. Falling on your side, if possible, will help distribute your weight more evenly and greatly reduce your chances of breaking anything.
Prevention takes very little time and it will go a long way towards making sure you stay safe or, if you do fall, you will have nothing more to show for your little icescape than a few bruises.