With Berkshire driveways, sidewalks, parking lots, and some local streets covered with ice one misstep and you could be looking at a bad fall that could lead to a sore butt, broken arm, or something far worse.

Often it is something we’re not really thinking about like walking that can lead to an injury if we are not aware of a potentially dangerous situation or just take the simple things like walking for granted.

This morning walking into work I almost went down after walking on a patch of ice in the parking lot.  If not for my ballet training as a 5-year-old I would have been headed straight down on frozen jiggered ice that definitely would have bruised more than just my ego.  I was able to regain my balance and remain upright saving myself from possible serious injury.

I’m sure I wasn’t the only person in Pittsfield that recently experience the rush of adrenaline caused by that uncontrollable sensation of possible doom.  One thing that I did have going for me if I wasn’t able to gain control was I didn’t have my hands in my pockets.

This is a tip I give to anyone and everyone that I walk alongside during the winter months.  Don’t walk with your hands in your pockets!  Having your hands free to break your fall is your last resort to preventing possible injury if you are headed for ground zero.  It comes naturally to me now, but it does take some reinforcement not to just slide your hands into your pockets for extra warmth and comfort.

Some other tips for walking on ice- and snow-covered surfaces is to take shorter steps.  I saw a guy last week in North Adams and he was walking like a penguin to avoid an ice patch when crossing the street.  It looked funny but I knew exactly why he was doing it.  He was shuffling not walking.  He also had his hands at the ready and not in his pockets just in case.  The more flat-footed you are the more your center of gravity will help you traverse the ice and snow.  Another great tip for walking in the winter is like driving, never text and walk.  Stay safe out there.

Goosebumps and other bodily reactions, explained

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