Although it may not feel like winter outside with the unusually mild temperatures, the winter season is technically upon us and we may find ourselves facing icy conditions during the next few months. Of course, it is best to avoid walking on ice altogether, as many winter weather injuries occur from falls on ice covered areas. However, it’s always best to be prepared in case we do have to face such conditions. Physical Therapy First’s Maureen Ambrose, PT, DPT, OCS, COMT, offers some of her own tips on fall prevention during icy conditions below.
Fall Prevention Tips
- Many falls on ice happen when getting out of the car. Look down for ice and hold onto the car door when placing your foot down at first.
- When walking on ice, take small steps and keep your center of balance over your feet.
- If you are falling, avoid reaching out with your hand to prevent wrist, elbow, and shoulder injury. Tuck your chin to your chest and roll to your side to take the impact.
Protect Yourself with Bone Health
In addition to the tips above, it’s important to also keep in mind that consuming a healthy balanced diet with an adequate amount of calcium and vitamin D will help preserve your bone health. Calcium is stored in our bones and teeth keeping our bones strong and dense, while vitamin D is what helps our bodies absorb calcium. Building and maintaining strong healthy bones will aid in your fall prevention efforts, and, ultimately, help reduce your risk of fracture and injury.
Some ideas for foods that are natural sources of calcium include dairy products (i.e. milk, yogurt, cheeses), leafy green vegetables (i.e. kale, broccoli, cabbage), fruits like oranges and figs, and legumes such as white beans and black-eyed peas. Even canned seafood, in particular salmon and sardines, provide an excellent amount of calcium. A helpful tip if you’re unsure whether or not a food contains calcium or vitamin D is to read the nutritional facts, as the percentage of vitamins and minerals per serving, will be listed at the bottom!
Stay safe this season and remember to keep these tips in mind during the approaching winter months!
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). (2012). The Surgeon General’s Report on Bone Health and Osteoporosis: What It Means To You. Retrieved from:http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Bone/SGR/surgeon_generals_report.asp#r
CDC. (2012). Outdoor Safety. Retrieved from: http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/winter/duringstorm/outdoorsafety.asp
HHS. (2014). Calcium and bones. Retrieved from: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002062.htm
National Institutes of Health (NIH). (2013). Calcium. Retrieved from: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Calcium-Consumer/
*As a reminder, always discuss any questions or concerns with your physician regarding your health, as the information written should not replace any medical advice.