Heavy snow and rain coupled with freezing temperatures has been a constant theme so far this new year, leaving some walking surfaces slippy and even treacherous.
Getting outdoors for a walk is great for your physical as well as your mental health and is permitted under current Scottish Government guidelines. So if you can get out and walk safely from your own front door, or find routes nearby that have been treated, then do.
We’ve put together some advice to help you avoid slips and falls, but, if you don’t want to venture out, we’ve got ideas to keep you active indoors too.
Advice on how to stay safe
- Dress sensibly by wrapping up warm and wear shoes or boots with a good grip
- Take slow, short steps, and use your arms to help you balance
- Walk like a penguin. NHS Tayside used Smarty the penguin to launch their winter campaign in 2018, and are still using it today. The health board says “bend the knees, point feet slightly outwards, and extend arms to each side. Walk flat footed, taking short slow steps and keep your centre of gravity over your feet.”
What you can do to help?
If your paths and pavements are particularly bad, try contacting your local authority to log your concerns.
Keeping our own paths and driveways clear is a good start. Doing it early in the day is recommended by the Met Office as is using salt or grit rather than using water. If you are able and have elderly or disabled neighbours, help out by clearing a way with a shovel and salt or pick up some basic shopping for them if they'd rather stay home.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents also have good advice on avoiding slips and falls and helping neighbours.
If you feel you can’t walk outdoors, stay active indoors
We have lots of advice to help all ages keep active indoors. Why not have a look at our collection of Strength and Balance animated videos.
Or, if you want to keep the kids busy, indoors or outdoors, see our advice.