SLOW your roll (slow down) – literally. Take the extra time to get to your destination if necessary.
Do also keep your mobile phone with you. But don't talk and walk.
Ask yourself, “What would I do if I fall down? How would I get up?” Simply, have a plan.
Take heed of three pearls of wisdom (of eight) for preventing falls doing what may be a cold, long, hard winter in many parts of the country from Mike Ross, exercise physiologist at the Gottlieb Center for Fitness. Perhaps this advice seems trite but it does bear repeating, considering the consequences.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 1 million people fall each year. A significant number occurs during the winter months when it is wet and slick. One chilling statistic is that each year around 20,000 die from injuries related to falling.
As good a reason as any to heed Pearl 4: Wear proper footwear. Shoes and boots should have good traction, which can help you keep your balance on icy surfaces.
“Many falls can be successfully avoided or the impact minimized by applying a few basic strategies,” said MR, author of “The Balance Manual - How to Improve Stability and Prevent Falls with Simple Exercises.”
A few steps to help you keep your feet solidly on the ground during the winter.
Having the strongest legs possible (Pearl 5) is another strategy. As MR stresses, strong leg muscles can help you steady yourself if you slip. In the event of a fall, stronger leg muscles make it easier to regain your feet
To help keep legs strong, he recommends walking up and down stairs repeatedly or doing a set of 10 squats out of a chair at least twice a week.
MR works with people 60 and over at the Gottlieb Center, which is part of Chicago's Loyola University Health System. However, his advice can apply to just about everybody. Whether one is 12 or 92, s/he wants to be supported by sturdy railings (Pearl 6) leading up to a front door or entry way.
Ditto for keeping a shovel and salt in the house (Pearl 7). “The reason you have a shovel and salt indoors is so you don't have to walk on a slippery sidewalk,” MR asserts. “Having them in the garage defeats the purpose.”
Finally, you know the saying, “Pride goes before a fall.”
The "Jaro" Waterpoof Boot for men from Blondo has a rubber sole and plenty of traction.
Don't let that be you. If you need help navigating a slippery sidewalk, crossing a street or parking lot or simply standing until you get your bearings – ask someone for help! (Pearl 8.)
Visit http://www.thebalancemanual.com/ to learn more about about “The Balance Manual,” the book and Mike Ross' philosophy for a better quality of life.