How do I improve my balance for hiking?
Balance, stability, proprioception.. all words to describe an integral skill needed for most physical activities, including hiking. Just like muscle strengthening, balance is something we need to work towards and maintain, it doesn’t always come naturally. With aging and through injury, balance can also be lost but fortunately we do have the ability to regain this.
A basic balance drill program may involve the following steps, to be performed in order and only once each step has been mastered for 60 seconds or more.
- Standing on one leg (alternate legs)
- Standing on both feet on a wobble disc / cushion
- Standing on one leg with eyes closed (alternate legs)
- Standing on one leg on a wobble disc / cushion (alternate legs)
- Standing on one leg on a wobble disc / cushion with eyes closed (alternate legs)
- Hopping on one foot back and firth between two points or in a star pattern (alternate legs)
- Sport specific drills may be prescribed if still needing to improve skills
*Always consider your safety when performing balance drills by standing alongside a bench or couch to grab if needed.
Balance drills are very important step towards improving your stability however other factors may also include your biomechanics and footwear.
Meet with a Stepping Out Podiatrist today to develop a plan on improving your balance!