Autumn brings with it potentially hazardous conditions underfoot. To help you stay safe, Catherine Quinn, chiropractor and President of the British Chiropractic Association, shares her top tips on how to put your best foot forward.
1.The perfect pair – Many of us reach for the wellies when the wet weather hits, but they often don’t provide enough support and can also be difficult to take off! Walking shoes with a firm ankle support are ideal as they help prevent you ‘going over’ on your ankle and make you feel more stable in slippery conditions.
2.Top gear – Anything that stops you from walking ‘normally’ can make you more prone to falling over, so it’s important to wear clothes that keep you warm but still allow you to move freely. I recommend keeping your toes just as toasty by wearing thermal socks too, as cold, numb feet are less able to sense and adapt to changing conditions.
3.Be prepared – There are some really quick and easy things you can do to prepare yourself for better balance. Something as simple as standing on one leg as an exercise, for example, is a great way to improve your balance. When you’re out and about, try and keep your hands out of your pockets so that you can use your arms for better balance as well.
4.Graceful falling – The art of falling over doesn’t sound like it should hold any decorum, but there is a technique to it. If you do fall, try, and curl up and ‘roll’ with the fall. Remember to stay relaxed as this will minimise any jarring to your body and, whilst it may be an automatic reaction, try to avoid putting your hands out to save you – this may cause wrist injuries.
5.Enjoy it – Autumn is a beautiful season, so don’t forget to enjoy yourself! Relish the changing scenery, the fresh air and all the other physical and mental benefits that walking brings – even if the weather itself it a little bit miserable!