The combination of icy and snowy sidewalks, stairs and streets can make the winter a dangerous season for walking. Injuries from falling during winter are common, and often result in ankle sprains. Here are a few tips before heading out into the cold:
- Warm Up – If you choose to exercise outdoors, be sure to warm up your muscles and joints properly. Excess strain is a higher possibility when you exercise in the cold without properly warming up your body (allow at least 10 minutes to do so!).
- Choose the Right Footwear – Make sure that the shoes you wear outdoors have good treads on the outer soles. Choose low-heeled shoes with support in the heel and arch. For exercise, choose footwear with ankle support.
- Beware of Surface Conditions – Take extra precautions when stepping outdoors in the winter. Check for indications of icy on streets or sidewalks, and beware of uneven surfaces (especially if you’re running outside). Always tread lightly to avoid ankle sprains.
- Lighting – Outdoor exercise in the winter should be limited to daylight hours. If this isn’t possible, choose pathways that are well lit, and always wear reflective clothing. Keep a close watch on the sidewalks.
Use your best judgment if conditions are too severe to exercise outdoors. If you happen to suffer an ankle injury in the winter, don’t hesitate to call the Bone & Joint Center to make an appointment.
Reference: Trinity Orthopedics, “How to Prvent Ankle Injuries During Winter,” January 30, 2013. http://www.trinityorthopedics.com/how-to-prevent-ankle-injuries-during-winter