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Falls are a major preventable cause of injury for adults 45 and older. One out of five falls causes a serious injury, such as a broken bone or head injury. Slippery, wintry conditions increase the risk of a fall. Keep your footing this winter by following these tips from the orthopedic experts at The Center.

    • Improve your balance. Strengthening your core and balance exercises will reduce the risk of slips. Yoga and tai chi exercises are great examples that help with balance, strength, and flexibility. You can also do simple balance exercises at home, like standing on one foot and holding for 10 seconds on each side. Try it while brushing your teeth!
    • Wear proper footwear. Your boots should fit properly, as well as provide good traction and stability.

    • Dress in layers. Cold, tense muscles can make it more difficult to balance; bundle up to keep your muscles warm and relaxed.

    • Walk like a penguin. When you point your toes slightly out and “shuffle” like a penguin, you maintain more stable support.

    • Use care when you get in and out of your car. Go slowly and make sure you have stable footing.

    • Keep both hands free for balance. Don’t put your hands in your pockets or carry loose items.

    • Watch out for black ice.

    • Use handrails on stairs, so you can catch yourself if you slip.

    • Keep walkways clear. Shovel right away after a snowfall. Use salt or sand on your front steps, driveway, and sidewalk.

    • Watch out for slippery or wet surfaces when entering buildings.