Saturday, January 24, 2015

How old is safe to walk on snow and ice

British explorer David Hempleman-Adams has spent a lot of time conquering treacherous terrain: he was the first person to reach the North and South Poles as well as the first to climb the highest peaks in all seven continents. Since David has spent countless hours navigating the snow and ice he says when walking we should follow the example of an animal that is also use to this terrain.
'Take your lead from the penguin. On slippery, compact snow and ice, take short,careful, flat-footed little steps, spreading your body weight as evenly as possible across the entire surface of your feet."
For seniors winter is often the scariest season for commuting around our city; In addition to snow and ice, the cold and unpredictable forecasts often make seniors feel they would rather just hibernate until spring. While hibernating may make it safer for seniors to avoid slipping, it doesn't allow them to attend programs to work on their strength and balance or attend any important doctors appointments.
In addition to "Walking like a Penguin" here are some other tips seniors can use to walk on ice and snow
Choose a good pair of winter boots: When picking a pair of good boots you should primarily focus on stability and warmth. Low heel, well insulated, non slip tred and lightweight are also good features to have in a good winter boot.
Use a Cane or Ski Poles: These are helpful for additional support but make sure that they are the right height for you.
Ice Grippers on footwear: Attachable and removable grippers are great for walking on snow and ice. However make sure they are removed before walking on tile because they can often be very slippery.
Take your time: Most things are done better when you take your time and walking on slippery surfaces is not different. It is better to get to your destination a few moments later than having to deal with a fall.
Ask for Help through difficult areas: I know some of us find this difficult at times but asking for help can save you from falling down if you don't have the confidence to maneuver over tricky patches.
Keep your knees loose: This gives you a lower center of gravity thus giving better balance.
If it is hard to remember these points, if there was one I would focus on it would be as David Hempleman-Adams said follow nature and "Walk like a Penguin"
Eric Daw is an active aging specialist and the owner of Omni Fitt. Omni Fitt is dedicated to the wellbeing, health and quality of life of people aged 65 and over. Eric motivates and empowers the older adult population to take responsibility for their independence, health and fitness through motivating and positive coaching experiences.