| 03.17.2018

The slippery slope of winter – A guide to how to stay vertical during the treacherous, icy months of winter


Moscow”s winter-time weather is a mixed bag of snow, sleet, rain and slush. As the season progresses, the snow continuously melts and freezes over – turning walking paths, parking lots and the ground in general into dangerous, icy wonderland that can bring even the most balanced students to their knees. Many people hug the ground during the cold months, which is far from a pleasant experience. The effects of falling during this time can range from scary and unscathed to lying annihilated on the ground. However, not all hope should be lost. There are certain tricks that can help you stay vertical until the warm safety of spring arrives.

First, stay inside, and never go out. Of course, this doesn”t eliminate the possibility of falling, but nor does the probability increase from a normal day spent indoors. Honestly, outside is a dangerous place right now, and avoiding it is a legitimate way of dealing with problems.

Nicole Moeckli | Argonaut

Unfortunately this option is not one many people find feasible, as it relies on them not needing to leave their homes to get food, be social, go to school or work or fulfill other obligations. Furthermore, if you are one of the rare people with the ability to hibernate indoors all winter, you would be missing many of the seasonal perks by doing so. Life, it has been said, is not about waiting for the storm to pass; it is about learning how to dance in the rain, or, in this case, the snow.

There are a few tips that can make dancing or walking safer.

Remember to keep to a dry section of sidewalk and ensure there are no icy patches. This is applicable for walkers as well. Ice may not always be visible, but can be detected by placing your foot lightly on the ground prior to transferring your weight.

Even with this extra precaution, wear shoes with good soles. The more traction they have, the less likely you are to face plant. Sometimes this means foregoing fashionable footwear and instead choosing the less appealing, but much safer option.

Do balancing and strengthening exercises too. The better your balance is, the less likely you are to fall. The strengthening exercises maintain your muscle mass during the often less-active winter months, which also helps.

Nina Rydalch

Take small steps, or just push your feet across the ground when walking in snow. This reduces the risk of stepping incorrectly and gives you greater control over your movement.

Step down instead of forward. Pushing your foot forward may be a good idea in ice skating, but when trying to walk normally it is better to place it directly down.

Free hands from pockets. This may not be the warmest way of walking, but with free hands, it is easier to catch yourself if you do slip. Wearing good-quality gloves will make this more comfortable.

Dress warmly. Initially, this may seem unrelated to falling down. However, when cold, you are more likely to be focusing on becoming warm and not paying attention to where you are stepping. Hurrying too quickly to the next warm place may also present greater risks.

Carry a walking-stick or a cane. This may seem weird, and often is not necessary if other precautions are taken. However, in especially bad conditions, this extra balance could be needed.

With these methods, you will be better equipped to stay safe this winter, and be able to fully enjoy the winter season fall-free.

Nina Rydalch  can be reached at  arg-arts@uidaho.edu  or on Twitter @NinaRobin7

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