Falls And The Elderly And Seniors

Stepping Exercises

When speaking of falls and the elderly, they occur in 35% to 45% of older adults over 65. Many of these falls are simply due to not lifting your feet high enough to clear items in your house or in the backyard.

Below I have made a great balance video that is fun and easy to do. All you need is some soft items to step over, comfortable loose fitting clothing,  and a pair of smooth bottom shoes to wear so you won’t catch your feet.

Read on then give it a try. To help you step better and lift your feet higher, I have made some challenging stepping videos for you to watch below. They will go a long way if you are concerned about falls and the elderly.

Does this sound familiar? You are in the backyard placing some of those lovely flowers you bought at the store around your patio .One by one they are transferred from the pot to the ground.

As you are getting up from planting, you are thinking about the next flower pot to work on and suddenly….. You guessed it. When you least expected it, there was that hose stretched out over the walkway. Down you go.


What can you do to reduce the risk of this happening again?  Well, first watch where you place the hose. After that, think about your ability to step over things.

Yes, believe it or not, we sometimes forget to lift our feet. Without exercise, our legs just keep getting heavier and heavier! When I think of falls and the elderly, I think how good it is to keep practicing.

Practice makes…

Remember, “practice makes….permanent!”Don’t practice sitting in a chair and reading the paper. You might get good at it. Good luck!

Try this exercise series first holding on to a stable family members hand. As your balance improves, switch to using a cane for stability. Then you can set up some chairs along the path to hold on to.

Only practice these exercises alone when you are sure you can do them safely. Falls and the elderly is a big deal. Call uncle Bob, he will help!

Caution: Stepping over objects is challenging! If you feel uncomfortable with these exercises you must have a family member help you.

Purpose of this exercise

These exercises will improve your ability to lift your feet in order to clear steps, toys and yes… hoses. You will strengthen your hip and leg muscles while improving your coordination.

Step 1

Begin with two or more soft objects on the floor. Space them out 12 to 16 inches apart.


Step 2

Lift your foot at least 6 inches and step over the objects. Pause between each object. Then try stepping over each object without stopping.


Exercise #2. Sidestepping

Step 1

Begin with two or more soft objects on the floor. Space them out 12 to 16 inches apart.Stand to one side of the objects.


Step 2

Begin by stepping forward, then to the side around the object. Facing in the same direction, step backward through the objects. Repeat this pattern to the last object.


Exercise #3. The figure eight 

Step 1

Begin with two objects three feet apart.


Step 2

Begin by walking around each object in a figure of eight pattern.Repeat pattern 10 times.


Exercise #4. The Figure eight in one direction

Step 1

Begin with two objects 3 feet apart.


Step 2

This time, keep facing the same direction as you perform the figure eight pattern.


Exercise #5. The side step over

Step 1

Begin with 2 objects on floor. Space them out 12 to 16 inches apart.


Step 2

Lift your foot at least 6 inches and side step over the objects.



Breathe normally, inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth.


Use a kitchen counter to hold on to if you don’t feel safe stepping over objects. When sidestepping , try not to cross your feet. This can lead to tripping. These exercises are easier with your shoes off in stocking feet.

Take it up a notch

Try lifting your chest and looking straight ahead when walking. Use tape on your floor to make a straight line to increase the difficulty. Place one pound weights on your ankles for a more challenging workout.

How to do Stepping Exercises

How to do Stepping Exercises

More Balance Exercises

1. Single limb stance

2. Eye tracking

3. Clock reach

4. Staggered stance

5. Single limb with arm

6. Balancing wand

7. Knee marching

8. Body circles

9. Heel to toe

10. Grapevine

11. Stepping

12. Dynamic walking

Resources Prevent Falls