Managing slippery ice and reducing your risk of falling – How physiotherapy can help…

Winter brings with it a new set of obstacles and problems to solve. At the Human Performance Centre, we often see an increase in the number of injuries related to falling or slipping on ice. Would you be excited to hear that there are ways to help reduce your risk of falling during the winter months?

Tip 1: Walk like a penguin.

By taking short steps and keeping your feet under your body you’re ensuring that your base of support remains under your centre of gravity. This significantly reduces the risk of your feet slipping out from underneath you.

Tip 2: Use ice cleats over your shoes and/or boots.

These accessories can significantly increase the traction between your shoes and the outside surface. Just remember to take them off when going indoors as the metal cleats tend to slip on firm, indoor surfaces such as concrete or tile.

Tip 3: Seek advice from your local physiotherapist.

Physiotherapy not only helps following injury, but we can often help prevent injury by reducing your risk of falling. The risk of falling increases with reduced balance, a loss of strength and a loss of mobility. Through exercise prescription, physiotherapy can help improve your balance, increase your strength, and get you moving – all of which can help reduce your risk of falling.

Call us at the Human Performance Centre, 738-8299, to start your path on a more active and injury-free winter.

Trevor Watson, PT

Ask a Health Professional

“Fail to prepare – prepare to fail”

You have probably heard or read the title statement before. We are very happy to say that gyms are allowed to reopen and we are optimistic that they will stay open. However, we also want to be prepared. You, like many of us, are probably growing tired of hearing about how Covid has had such an impact on many aspects of daily living. One of those aspects that may be disrupted for you is your regular exercise program in a fitness facility. We’ve been asked to close repeatedly and the disruption in workout routine can be just enough to knock you off the roll you are on this new year. Having a plan to resort to when you do have to give up your gym routine can help keep you on track.

Here are a few suggestions:

1. Have a mini exercise equipment stash with a few basics to help facilitate a home exercise program. Having an exercise ball, a lighter and a heavier set of weights, a mat and some elastic bands will give you a great assortment of exercises to choose from.

2. Have three or four exercise routines at the ready that you are familiar with and can resort to when closures happen. Ensure these are balanced workouts and choose some of your most favorite exercises to help make workouts at home as enjoyable as possible.

3. If you typically go to the gym at the same time each day, try to keep that same schedule going. This will help keep you prepared for your return to gym upon reopening.

4. Pick some fun music that really helps to motivate your workout. Maybe take a trip back in time to an era of music that really gets you moving or floods you with positive memories of great times as a youngster.

5. If you find yourself falling into the trap of delaying your workout by doing other home chores or watching too much TV, set your phone alarm to give you a nudge. Pick a sluggish time of day and take that nudge to get up and get your workout in. You will feel great for doing it and will likely have more energy for a few more chores.

Reach out to us if you need some help deciding which exercises are right for you.

Sarah Estabrooks

Sarah is a kinesiologist and manages the fitness centre at the Human Performance Centre. You can contact her by email or call 738-3554.