5 Tips for Winter Walking
The arrival of winter doesn’t mean it’s time to disappear onto the couch with blankets. We’ll leave the hibernation to the bears!
What it does mean is that we have to find ways to remain active, because we know what a sedentary lifestyle can do to your physical and mental health. So whether you are going outside for some exercise, to run errands, or to go for a stroll, walking in the winter has its hazards.
Of course there are some precautions you can take before heading out, here are 5 tips to help you avoid hurting yourself on the ice or in the snow:
- Wear the correct footwear. Snow and ice are not conducive to fashionable footwear. In order to place your safety first, you should wear boots or shoes that are slip resistant. Look for boots made specifically for wearing in the snow, and for those with rubber soles and non-slip tread.
- Don’t compromise your steadiness or balance. Try to avoid carrying too many items at once, or awkward items that could cause you to lose your balance or footing. If your hands are full, this also prevents you from being able to break your fall if you do slip. It’s also a good idea to not walk with your hands in your pockets for this same reason.
- Be prepared. Keep your walkways free from snow, ice, and items you can trip over. Salt or cat litter on potentially slippery surfaces and stairs will help you to maintain a safe walkway.
- Be aware. We have all at some point been walking in the winter and slipped on ice we didn’t see. Being aware of your surroundings, and being aware of potential icy hazards will save you from a nasty fall. If pavement looks dark and shiny, it’s safe to assume it is icy. Avoid using your phone while walking as well, you’ll miss seeing ice and snow banks that could pose a hazard.
- Use supports. When available, use the handrails to keep yourself steady, and use the doorframe of your car to leverage yourself while getting in and out of your vehicle.
Checking the weather updates before heading out will help you to determine the best course of action. Being aware of upcoming storms will help you remain prepared, and to make the necessary arrangements if you hire help to keep your walkways snow and ice free.
Regular Chiropractic Care
Remember to make your Chiropractic care a regular part of your winter regimen. Taking care of yourself can easily take a back seat to family responsibilities and other tasks, but you are only as good to others as you treat yourself.
Winter isn’t all about hazards and safety, it’s also about enjoying some shopping, time with family, good food, travel, and winter sports. Winter is enjoyable and you should do what you can to remain active for your physical and mental wellness. And while all seasons require some safety tips, with the right preparation you can prevent injuries and make some great memories!
Give Your Immune System a Boost
We’re deep into flu season, and with winter comes a weakened immune system. Our immune systems are so complex, and keeping it working at full force requires some extra TLC.
Eating well, reducing stress and getting the required sleep that your body needs is a sure way to keep it in top shape. Here are a few things you can do to keep your immune system working well over the next months.
Exercise is known to keep our bodies fit and strong, but did you know that it also maintains a strong immune system?
Maintaining a healthy body weight, regulating your blood sugar and blood pressure, and keeping your digestive system working well are all sure ways to keep your immune system functioning. Regular exercise will also allow you to have a more restful sleep.
Get Enough Sleep
If you are a parent, you’ll remember telling your kids to “sleep it off” when they are ill. Having a rested body allows it to function well. When we don’t get enough sleep we are increasing stress to our bodies, depleting our mood, and compromising our immune system.
Don’t wait until you are already sick to power sleep either. Getting enough sleep regularly is what will allow you to be proactive.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that will help to strengthen your immune system and increase immunity. Foods like citrus fruits, dark green leafy vegetables like kale and spinach, and vitamin C supplements are a great way to get the antioxidant support you need.
We are much more than your guide to a healthy musculoskeletal system. We are a part of your circle of care, and can also provide nutritional, fitness, and practical health support.
Get Enough Fluids
The air is much drier during the winter months, which means staying hydrated is something we should all be proactive with. Don’t wait until you are thirsty to reach for a glass of water, it’s just as important to remain on top of your hydration in the winter as it is during the hot summer.
Just as in the summer, it’s important to remember that sugary drinks will actually dehydrate your body.
Prepare Your Home
Aside from regular hand washing, wiping down door handles and light switches when cleaning is a great way to ensure you aren’t spreading germs.
Clean out the fridge and throw away stale or old foods, check expiry dates, and ensure it is stocked with fresh fruits and vegetables that are easy access for snacks.
We may not be able to avoid colds and flus entirely, but taking precautions and arming yourself with the knowledge to maintain a strong immune system will surely help to keep illnesses at bay.
The Role of Nutrition in Your Chiropractic Care
People often think that Chiropractic care is related only to the spine and adjustments. It’s important to note that when you come and see us, you have signed up for a holistic journey. Injuries and ailments come with their own set of individual requirements to heal properly and fully. Our goal as your Chiropractic team, is that you can complete care with the knowledge to not have an injury repeat itself and to be able to maintain a healthy balance in relation to your body’s individual needs.
How Much Do You Know?
Your job isn’t to be a nutrition expert, although this would never hurt. OUR role as Chiropractors is to educate you about how nutrition can be a catalyst to your healing, and to point you in the right direction within our own practice, or with a referral.
Proper nutrition is imperative to the health of your brain and musculoskeletal system. When an injury occurs, nutrition becomes even more important. If you are recovering from a muscular injury an increase in protein may help with the recovery process. With a spinal injury, you could be faced with restricted mobility – which makes caloric intake important. Weight gain caused by an inability to exercise will put added strain on your spine which can hinder healing.
Is my Chiropractor a Nutrition Expert?
Chiropractors receive training that is necessary to be able to provide you with the advice you need to ensure you receive the best Chiropractic care. It is mandatory for Chiropractors to take classes in physiology, nutrition, and biochemistry. In addition, training in whole body wellness and healthy lifestyles is a crucial component of our learning.
Foods That Heal
Yes, there are foods that can ramp up the healing process. Because your body will require more energy to digest foods that are processed or unhealthy, less energy is left to heal your injury.
Choose fresh fruits and vegetables, organic meats, unprocessed foods, WATER, and vitamins as a part of your everyday regimen. The goal here is to provide the most nutritionally dense, easy to digest, and delicious foods you can offer yourself.
Being open to dietary alterations can be frustrating for some – for others it’s a walk in the park. Either way, your body will love you for it – and you will be able to get back to your regularly scheduled activities sooner.
Ask us for specific recommendations on how simple changes in your diet can have a dramatic improvement in your health.
I’m here to serve the health needs of yourself and your circle of family and friends. Remember, I will always accept your referrals as members of my practice.
Dr. Peter Fraser
32 Brock Road North
TeL: 519 763 1200