Health, Fitness and Injury Management


5 Hazards that Come with Autumn

Gorgeous autumn colours, keeping warm with a cozy sweater, drinking cups of tea while curled up with a book. Thanksgiving has come and gone, as has the pumpkin pie! This past weekend we have truly moved into autumn, here in Victoria. Temperatures are down around the 10's, warmer coats are coming out of closets, shorts are swapped for pants, and umbrellas are becoming de rigour. The slower pace of autumn can be welcome change from the busy-ness of summer. Even with the slower pace, there are a few hazards to consider in autumn.leaves on road

1. Slippery leaves

When it rains here, and despite what many believe, it does rain in Victoria, the multitudes of leaves and the rain combine to make an extraordinarily slippery walking and driving surface. People and cars can end up in accidents. Preventing falls or car accidents can be as easy as clearing walkways of leaves, and driving slower when you are driving on roads covered in leaves. TIP: Moving leaves before it rains is much easier than once they are wet!

2. Brilliant sunsets

Oh, those gorgeous colours. How can they be hazardous? When the sunset is a blinding light that hits your eyes, just below the level of the visor in your car! When this happens, drive slower than the speed limit so that everyone gets home in one piece. TIP: While summer may be over, remember to keep your sunglasses with you to help you see in the drive home from work, or late afternoon trips.

3. Losing motivation

Wetter weather makes all of us less likely to head outside to walk, run, hike, bike and pursue our fitness activities. Many of us lose that “moving feeling!” Losing motivation means you risk losing your fitness, and may experience greater joint and muscle pain through lack of movement. Think of your body like a car. It wouldn’t be good to park a car for 6 months until the weather gets better, would it? It’s not good to park your body until the weather gets warm again either.

TIP: Take advantage of any bright daylight hours whenever you can. If it is sunny, consider taking your worktime lunch break outside. Ten minutes of sunshine each day can dramatically help your mental health! Try to remember how good your body feels when you move it and exercise it consistently.

If you are looking for an indoor activity, consider joining one of Joan’s Pilates classes. There’s also a class open for drop-ins on Saturdays, if you want to test out Pilates and see if it is going to work for you!

If your joints start becoming uncomfortable, that’s a clear sign that you need to get moving again. Schedule a visit with Dr. Buna if you are experiencing pain, and he will help you to get back into your moving groove again.

4. Foggy roads

As temperatures cool, the fog in the morning and evenings can make for limited visibility. In my area, we have university students and staff, and school aged youth walking and riding their bikes along the streets to school. When it gets foggy, remember that these people are still out there on their way to school or to the university. Some will have lights and reflective gear and some will not. Driving slower in fog is always a good idea. Be extra cautious and look for people making their way on bicycle or foot to their destination. TIP: Use your low beam headlights as the light will point down towards the roadway, and will make it easier to see.

5. Deer, deer and more deer.

Could there be more deer in any other city in Canada? Possibly, but hard to believe right now. Did you know that the fall months are the most active time for deer? Drivers will need to be watchful for these animals crossing the roads at dawn and dusk. For tips on avoiding deer, click here.


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