Want to prevent a fall on the ice? Walk like a penguin

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Ice and sleet Sunday night gave cars and sidewalks an icy coating. There were a lot of calls for slip and fall accidents on Monday morning. But there are some things you can do to keep yourself from falling the next time there’s ice in your path.

Cara Berg-Carramusa is a physical therapy professor at Youngstown State.

What she suggests may sound funny at first, but it could save your bottom from meeting the pavement.

“When you walk — YSU penguins, right? You’ve got to walk like a penguin, kind of waddle. Bigger base to support, toes out a little bit so you have a little more grounding.”

Paying attention isn’t just important when you’re driving — it’s important when you’re walking, too.

“Walking is automatic but if you are on your cell phone, and distracted and having a conversation, the incident of potentially falling is higher because you have a decreased attention to your environment,” Berg-Carramusa said.

You should also pay attention to what you’re carrying with you. A couple of careful trips are safer than one trip while carrying a large load.

Appropriate shoes or boots with rubber soles for added traction, along with using handrails and walkways that are already salted, are common sense tactics but exercise should also be added to your winter routine.

“Exercise is the best medicine — from the top of your head to the tips of your toes,” Berg-Carramusa said.

She said you can begin a simple exercise program at the Southern Park Mall in Boardman. On the last Thursday of every month, there is a Walk with a Doc program, where you can talk to a doctor, have basics like blood pressure measured and walk around to improve flexibility and agility.

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