Sunday, February 05, 2023

Tips for staying healthy this winter

by Adam Little
| December 3, 2010 8:00 PM

With the winter months now upon us Pinnacle Physical Therapy would like to provide some tips for staying healthy this winter season.

Shoveling snow: When shoveling, start shoveling early when the snow is light and less compact. If possible, try to shovel multiple times throughout the day rather than allowing for the snow to accumulate. Shoveling more often with less snow accumulation will lessen the chance of straining your back and shoulders from lifting a large amount of snow.

The way you shovel can also lessen the risk of injury. Pushing the snow, rather than lifting and twisting at the waist to throw the snow, is a much more safe movement. Consider using a shovel with a longer handle or one with a bend in it, to allow you to keep your back straight and your legs bent.

Shoveling related injuries can become problematic as the more snow falls and individuals are forced to continue the activities that caused their pain. If you are injured while shoveling, whether your back, arms, or other areas, make sure it is properly treated and take the necessary precautions when beginning the activity again.

Although shoveling may be a strenuous activity, it can also be considered very good exercise if done properly. The act of shoveling increases the heart rate and offers a workout to your arms, legs, shoulders, and back.

Walking: Walking in the snow and ice can be very dangerous. Wearing the proper footwear is imperative to walking safely. Boots or shoes with proper traction, coupled with walking slowly with short steps can prevent most winter related slips and falls. Yaktrax and other traction products that attach to shoes can be a great way to limit slipping on ice and snow, and ultimately avoid injury. Be aware of your surroundings and watch the ground ahead of you to avoid slick spots.

For the kids: Sledding is a winter pastime. Although fun, sledding can result in injury, some serious. When sledding, know your limits. Extreme sledding hills are fun and exciting, however broken bones or painful sprains are not. Take precautions such as wearing a helmet, elbow and wrist pads, and extra layers of clothing.

Pinnacle Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine is a full service, outpatient physical therapy clinic located in Post Falls and Coeur d'Alene focused on getting everyone out of pain and back to enjoying life. For more information please contact Adam at (208) 777-4242.

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