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Many people use unstable-surface tools (USTs), such as BOSU balls and wobble boards, to improve their balance, but there are equipment-free strategies as well.

“There’s an infinite number of exercises that can be done to improve balance without a single piece of equipment,” says Katy Moline, MS, ACSM-EP, who teaches balance classes to older adults.

Moline advises integrating balance training into your daily routine using no more than your own body.

For starters, anytime you have to stand — while, say, brushing your teeth, washing the dishes, waiting in a line, or working at a standing desk — switch up your stance. Stand on one leg or use a staggered stance with one foot slightly in front of the other. Take this to a tandem stance, where one foot is directly in front of the other, as if you were balancing on a tightrope. Progress by raising and lowering the heels or by closing one eye at a time.

Set your balance work in motion by mixing up how you walk. Take slow steps forward and backward, holding one leg up before each step (walking or jogging in reverse improves stability, balance, coordination, and cognitive function. For more, see “The Benefits of Backward Walking.” Move side to side while imagining that you’re stepping over a sleeping pet.

“It’s important to work on balance while standing still and while moving, as well as in different directions — forward and back, side to side — and tempos,” Moline says.

Senior national education manager at Life Time, Abrea Wooten, agrees. “We live in 360 degrees, and life comes at us from all angles and speeds.”

For more information about how to improve your balance, visit “How to Use Unstable-Surface Tools (USTs) for Balance Training,” from which this article was excerpted.

Sarah Tuff

Sarah Tuff Dunn is a Colorado-based outdoors, health, fitness, and nutrition writer.

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