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Staying Safe During the Winter

Winter means holidays, hot chocolate, friends and family. But it also means icy sidewalks, slippery roads and cold weather. Follow these tips to keep you safe this season:

  • Watch Your Step: Proper footwear is very important during icy months to prevent falls. Shoes with rubber or neoprene soles with plenty of tread are your best bet. Avoid soles made of leather or plastic, the material is smooth and doesn’t offer enough grip against the ice.
  • Slow Down: DC is a fast-paced city, but it’s important to give yourself a few extra minutes to get where you’re going safely. It can be hard to see icy areas and falls can happen easily so make sure you walk at a steady pace. Also, always make sure your footing is steady when entering and exiting vehicles and use handrails if available.
  • Warm Up: Stretching and warming up is important to do before any workout and is especially important in the winter months. The cold temperature leaves muscles and joints stiffer than usual so make sure you take the time to properly stretch and warm-up. Doing this indoors will get the blood flowing faster.
  • Be Careful When Shoveling Snow: Snow shoveling can strain the lower back and shoulders so it’s important to take precautions when clearing snow. Lift small loads of snow at a time, take frequent breaks to straighten out and stretch your lower back when shoveling, and avoid twisting too much, instead face the direction that you are moving the snow. For more tips, check out the APTA site.
  • Stay Active: The lack of sun and colder weather makes it almost too easy to skip a workout and instead opt for sitting on the couch with a warm blanket. However, becoming sedentary can lead to aches and also make it difficult to get back to an active lifestyle come spring. Try doing winter activities like ice skating or snowboarding or indoor activities to keep yourself active.