– Stand with your feet parallel, or sideways, to the stairs. The right side of your body should be closest to the stairs.

– Using your stomach muscles, bend your knees and hips slightly.

– Step the right foot onto the first step, followed by the left.

– Continue this stepping motion until you’ve reached the top of the stairs.

– Always lead with the high foot. Don’t let your feet cross while climbing up the stairs.

– Walk back down the stairs and repeat the sequence with the left leg leading.

– Alternatively, you can stay on one step going up with the right leg and then down to the starting position.

Good balance is a must for any stair activity. Before starting any type of stair exercise, make sure you are steady on your feet. If you cannot stand on one leg for 45 seconds without holding onto something, you may not be able to safely perform some of these exercises. If you aren’t sure if you should give them a try, ask your health care provider if stair exercises are safe for you.

And, last, put your phone down. Scrolling through social media, or answering a text or call during a stair exercise, could lead to a dangerous misstep and fall. — Dr. Thomas Rizzo Jr., Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida

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