We are into fall full throttle now. With the change of the seasons, we tend to notice a change in activities. Some of the most popular fall activities include yard work (raking and lawn maintenance), going apple picking, getting out for a hike, playing a game of football or putting a bit of mileage on those legs before taking the running inside. Fall is a beautiful time of the year, with the changing colours of the trees and foliage, it is the ideal time to spend outside. However, fall also brings on a change in temperature, sometimes creating unpredictable ground conditions. This blog is dedicated to those nature lovers who love to keep active in the crisp weather. One of the biggest points of consideration when the season has changed from summer to fall is the dew that begins to collect. Even though the sun shines bright, the ground below us is sometimes slippery. This inherently will increase the risk of falls. With falling, we tend to see a rise in low back strains, ankle sprains and wrist sprains/fractures.
Here are some helpful tips to get you through the autumn season without falling.
1. Raking/Yard Work lover
• Wearing good shoes with traction
• Maintain proper lifting and raking posture
2. Apple picking/Pumpkin picking
• Comfortable clothing that allows adequate hip movement
• Proper lifting mechanics and trying not to overreach
• Proper shoes! Mores specifically hiking boots or cross trainers with good ankle and arch support.
• Being aware of the trail ahead. Map your route and be aware of any obstacles that you may come across such as leaves, rocks, moss, and fallen branches
• Proper footwear for example runners or cleats.
• Pre-game stretching and warm up
• Proper running shoes designed for your needs specifically
• Adequate warm-up
• Plan the run – trails/sidewalks/street/running surface consideration
Something to practice in your regular routine to help prevent the risk of falling is integrating a variety of balance exercises in to your life. Start simple with standing on one leg. Progress to something more challenging, like closing your eyes while balancing on one leg. Once static balance is a breeze, start to add some dynamic stability such as balancing on one leg and reaching forward. You can progress this into reaching in different directions, working towards picking up objects from the floor, and keeping your eyes closed. Working on different surfaces like a couch cushion will add another dimension of difficulty. Lastly, consider integrating some form of regular stretches into your routine. This will help you limber up, keep your joints mobile and fluid and can potentially reduce the severity of an injury if you do fall.
Do you have a fear of falling? Are you unsure of how to add balance into your routine? Or are you looking for some guidance on which stretches may be right for you? Give us a call or leave us a comment below! At LIFT Physiotherapy, we offer more than just treatment for injuries. We work with individuals looking to improve their mobility, balance and strength. We also work on injury prevention. Don’t be reactive if you can be proactive!