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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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Loraine Couturier

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Last Updated on November 11, 2019

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

4. Feed Your Brain

Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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6. Write it Down

If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

7. Listen to Music

Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

8. Visual Concepts

In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

9. Teach Someone Else

Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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