The cold New England winter months can be a difficult time to find ways to keep children or grandchildren busy and active. While it’s warmer and cozier inside, getting outside to burn off some energy is much needed and can be a lot of fun. Playing in the snow is a great way to spend the day. Plus, teaching children how to be active and explaining why exercise is important can provide them with lifelong benefits and set them up with long term healthy habits. NEBH Physical Therapists recommend keeping the following tips in mind to avoid common injuries this winter.
Take Extra Care to Avoid Falls
In cold temperatures, walk with caution and assume that all wet, dark areas on pavements are slippery and icy. If a walkway is icy and you must walk across it, follow these tips:
Wear Proper Footwear
Wear boots with a thick, non-slip tread sole and wide, low heels. Avoid boots with smooth soles and heels.
Dress for the Weather
Make sure to dress appropriately. Layers of light, loose, and water/wind resistant clothing are ideal. Remember your hat, gloves and sunglasses and don’t forget the sunscreen, which many people often overlook, but should be worn year round. Make sure to change clothes that get wet or damp from the snow or sweat.
Take Rest Breaks
There is plenty to do outside in the snowy winter, so whether you’re building a snowman, making snow angels, snow shoeing or taking a simple walk, remember to take breaks during these activities and take time to hydrate and rest joints and muscles. When active in the cold weather, we still continue to sweat so don’t forget to replenish your fluids. When you’re building a snow fort or snowman, limit the excessive repetitive motions and prolonged postures by changing tasks or taking a quick rest. This can help avoid aches and pains over the next couple days or even serious overuse injuries.