You would be surprised at how many people fall and injure themselves every winter from walking on the snow and ice.
The best way to avoid such accidents is to exercise some caution and have the proper equipment for those cold icy conditions. Not exactly sage advice, but sometimes the simplest advice is the wisest.
Here are some tips to get you where you need to go safely.
How to Walk in the Snow and Ice Safely in the Winter
1. Plan your route
In snow and icy conditions, traffic will slow down a lot. Allow yourself more time to get where you need to so that you do not feel rushed.
2. Wear shoes with good traction
Rubber and neoprene composite soles offer better traction than plastic and leather soles. Shoes with flat soles are recommended. No surprises, but heels should be avoided. Cleated footwear can provide extra traction when walking on snow and ice, though be sure to take them off when you get indoors as they can also be slick
3. Be extra careful when going downstairs
When entering a building, car, stairs, or changing paths walk slowly. Remove snow from your shoes when you come inside. Use handrails if you feel unsteady and keep your hands out of your pockets while doing so.
4. Walk on the sidewalks
When walking in the snow, don’t take shortcuts over snow mounds or areas where snow and ice removal is not possible. Black ice is difficult to see, so even areas that look free of snow and ice might be slick. If sidewalks are completely covered walk along grassy sections for traction. If you are texting or reading, keep your eyes forward on the ground.
5. Walk Slowly
Take short steps or shuffle for balance. (Or you can try the penguin shuffle) Bend forward slightly and walk with your center of gravity directly above your feet as much as possible. Try not to carry objects that might make you lose your balance, instead use a backpack to allow for free movement of your hands.
6. Be careful of what’s under your feet
As weather conditions change or as temperatures fluctuate, the quality or thickness of snow and ice can vary. These changing conditions can cause hidden hazards
7. Extreme Cold weather
If you are walking in below zero weather, especially if you are alone, or walking in non-urban environments, it is recommended that you have a winter survival kit with you. The kit should include items like food high energy snacks, warmer clothing such as gloves and boots, a flashlight or headlamp, a pocket knife, and waterproof matches.
Takeaway Winter walking tips
Now that you know how to stay safe while walking in the winter, get out there and enjoy the snow! Bundle up, wear your warm coat and take a nice long walk. The fresh air will do you good, and you’ll be glad you got some exercise on a cold day.