PTRehab_Tips for Keeping Your Winter Balance

DECEMBER 2019 The Therapy Bulletin The Newsletter About Your Health And Caring For Your Body

TIPS FOR KEEPING YOUR WINTER BALANCE

Just because it is winter, it doesn’t mean you have to stay indoors! It is easy to want to stay in, nestled up in blankets, while it’s snowy and cold. However, remaining active in the winter months is just as important as remaining active during any other season! The winter presents several fun activities that can double as workouts. Taking advantage of nearby ski slopes or ice-skating rinks can give you a fun outing that will get you out of the house and also get you moving. Even getting outside to go sledding or build a snowman with your kids can give you the amount of daily exercise you need. Unfortunately, exercising in colder weather poses a higher risk of injury, such as strains, sprains, and tears. Even something as small as walking to your car can lead to a slip on unseen ice. At Physical Therapy & Rehab Specialists, we want to make sure you stay as balanced this winter, so you can enjoy doing activities the activities of the season without fearing a harsh fall! What Can I Do to Decrease My Risk of Falling? There are some steps you can take on your own to decrease your risk of sustaining a fall-related injury while participating in winter activities. These include: • Choose shoes with winter soles for traction.

You can also get a pair of ski or walking poles to help keep your balance. As an added bonus, these poles will also help you burn extra calories since your upper body is getting a workout too. • Add slip-on spikes to your boots on the extra icy days, to reduce your risk of slips and falls. • Allow at least 10 minutes to warm up when exercising in the winter. When it’s cold, your heart and muscles need more time to get ready and prepare for exercise – this can help you avoid unwanted injuries. • No matter what winter activity or exercise you’re partaking in, warm-ups should always include a combination of low-intensity movements that will make the physical activity easier to perform. For example, if you decide to go on a walk or run through the winter wonderland that your street has become, you could warm up with lunges, squats, arm swings, or jumping jacks, making sure to also get a good stretch in your calves and thighs. This will keep your body warm while you exercise and will be a good way for you to feel out the terrain beforehand to see if it’s too icy. • Add in any additional assists, as needed. Snow and ice are the main culprits for many injuries during the wintertime, which is why it is important to add to your stability. Ice

cleats or rubber-soled boots can provide you with grip and support. Using a cane or crutch can also help in remaining steady on frozen terrain. When Should I Contact a Physical Therapist? Consulting with a physical therapist can also help you keep your balance and reduce your risk of falling this winter. If you are already at risk of falling, or if you have noticed an instability in your balance lately, Physical Therapy & Rehab Specialists can help. If at any point you feel as if you may be at risk of falling this winter, don’t hesitate to contact us. At Physical Therapy & Rehab Specialists, we are dedicated to helping our patients live their lives with joy, rather than fear. We want you to be as comfortable as possible as you participate in your winter activities. While we hope there won’t be any issues, so you can enjoy the season at its fullest, we are always here to assist you in the event that there are. Our dedicated team will provide you with any help and support you need to take this winter by storm – without the risk of falling! Give us a call today to see how our services at Physical Therapy & Rehab Specialists can help you.

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