Winter is the time of wonder but also significant stress. Whether it’s the holidays, the snow shovelling or the cold temperatures bringing you down, we are here to help! Be Canadian winter-ready and stay well with the following tips straight from our experienced practitioners — Dr. Michael Payan and Sanil Taneja, PT.
???? Wellness care is a year-round priority. You want to prepare your body for winter before it comes, which means caring for yourself and your well-being always, not only when the times get tough. Easier said than done… but be said it must!
☃️ Winters in Canada mean lots of snow and snow shovelling. It is a hard exercise that always takes place outdoors, so you need to prepare for it accordingly. This means warm-ups and stretches, especially for your lower back, to prevent injuries in the long run. It may feel strange to warm up before grabbing a shovel, but your back will thank you later.
???? Before going outside for prolonged periods of time in general, consider a light warm-up, just like you would before a workout. Warm your muscles up and get ready for walking in the snow which otherwise could strain your ankles, calves, and knees.
???? Weather changes are swift in winter. Make sure to dress accordingly and keep yourself warm with enough layers. Going outside in frigid temperatures is no small feat, and being cold makes you more injury-prone.
???? Wear good winter shoes with grooves and a solid grip. Not only will they keep your feet warm and dry, but they will also help prevent slipping and thus injury.
???? Not surprisingly, slips and falls are one of the main causes of injury during winter. To minimize the likelihood of a fall, walk like a penguin in slippery conditions. It may look funny but you will stay mobile and moving!
???? Carry extra walking supports. When a penguin walk isn’t enough, supports like canes, walkers or even shopping trolleys can help! No matter how young you are, using a walking support is just fine — no compromises when it comes to winter safety. It’s only a temporary measure.
⛸️ Know your limits and handle only what you can handle — no heavy lifting or wearing heels on ice! Pushing it too far is how a lot of our patients hurt their backs, necks, and shoulders. We are always here to help if you need it.
Stay well and enjoy the winter wonderland! ❄️