BALANCE STEPPING

Benefits

Strengthening the hip muscles and improving reaction time can help with falls. This exercise encourages high steps that require adjusting balance.

Safety

Know your abilities – don’t try to go too fast with this exercise. Only step as high as you need to clear the object with some effort.

Simple Equipment

Commercial hurdles can be purchased at many athletic stores or ordered online and can be adjusted between 6 and 11 inches high. (A hurdle height of 6 inches is a good place to start until you can do this exercise easily). A shoebox on its side can also work or you can try pretending to step over a row of cacti sideways. Watch the second foot because it will want to drag through the cacti not over it. Be deliberate and exaggerate the step.

Add Physical Challenge

Try not to shift your weight forward or to the side when stepping. Increasing your speed and hurdle step height can also increase the challenge. You can also line up hurdles or try carrying something in your hand.

Add Mental Challenge

Try stepping to the beat of music or singing.