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How To Avoid These Typical Winter Injuries

How To Avoid These Typical Winter Injuries

When you think of winter injuries, a ski hill probably comes to mind first, followed by car accidents. While slipping and falling on an icy road might not seem detrimental, you can acquire a variety of serious injuries, like, broken bones, displacement of the joints, and damage to your back. This has become so common that there have been laws put in place, making people accountable for their property. Nowadays, businesses are obligated to take reasonable steps that ensure safety for those using their property. No one should wound up being permanently injured because a shopping mall didn’t tend to an icy parking lot in a timely manner to ensure public safety. To put it in perspective, there are lawyers that specifically deal with property owners who are negligent in their snow and ice safety practices.

In order to avoid an injury that can cause you to miss out on the slopes or work, here are some precautions to take this winter:

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1 Choose slip grip shoes over vanity

Yes, it’s great to wear stiletto boots with your favorite work outfit to make you feel good, but don’t do it. Shoes or boots with slip grip soles might not be attractive, but you’ll thank yourself if you are presented with an icy pathway. The best advice is to take your favorite boots to work in your bag and change once you get inside and wear your slip grip shoes outside.

2 Use nordic poles

This may seem absurd if you live in a city, but it comes in handy in snowy and icy terrains where you would rather have the support instead of falling over with a busted hip. Nordic poles help keep you steady no matter what the terrain. An added bonus is if you have to climb over a heap of snow (thanks to snow plowing), you’ll know just how deep you’re going to fall.

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3 Allow yourself extra time

If you’re running late, you are far more likely to get into an accident while driving or walking. If you’re driving, you’ll have to take into account that your car might need to warm up and that windows need to be scraped. If you’re walking, being able to take it slow will help aid in the prevention of an injury.

4 Stay aware

Even if most of the ice seems to have melted off, there might be spots that don’t get sun or areas where the ice is thicker than others. Watch the road diligently, avoiding any ice patches that might present themselves as an issue during your travels.

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5 Shovel your driveway and sidewalks safely

The hidden danger of ensuring nobody slips and falls on your driveway is that you might put your back out while you’re shoveling snow. Bend your knees and take breaks when you get tired. This is the time to use those core muscles, instead of putting all the pressure onto your back.

6 Avoid the first week of ski hill opening

This is my own personal piece of advice based on what I saw when I lived in a winter ski resort. I worked at a large hotel and we would lose 10% of our staff during the first week of the season. This usually had something to do with the amount of snow on the mountain. It might have also had to do with an over-ambitious mind combined with underworked muscles from the ski/snowboard crowd. Whatever the reason, heading up the hill when the conditions aren’t great and people are still a bit clumsy sounds like a recipe for disaster to me.

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7 Avoid 4 X 4 in ice and snow

Again, living in a winter wonderland, I saw some pretty bad practices from city people that had never used their 4 X 4 option. The road to most ski hills are windy, go uphill and downhill a lot, and usually have a sheet of white over them. For some reason, people felt safer putting their vehicle into 4 X 4 mode. It was usually the SUVs that ended up in the ditch because of that. What people don’t realize is that when your vehicle spins out while in 4 X 4 mode, all four tires spin out. It’s better to drive slow and steady in ice and snow and turn the 4 X 4 on your vehicle off.

Featured photo credit: mitjamikol/pixabay via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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