Not everyone who trips or loses their balance ends up actually falling. Sometimes you are able to quickly put your foot in the right place to stop your downward momentum and prevent the fall.

Your ability to do this really comes down to two things:

Coordination – the ability of your brain to make your foot go exactly where it thinks it should go to stop your fall.

Quickness – the ability of your brain to activate the muscles fast enough to move that foot to the right place before it’s too late.

Coordination and quickness are both skills. Just like any other skill (balance, playing the piano, typing), they get better when you practice them. Naturally, if you don’t practice them, they get worse.

After the age of 60, most people don’t do many activities that involve coordination or quickness. Then, when they trip or lose their balance, and they need those skills, the brain doesn’t remember how to do them.


The Quicktaps drill helps you work on quickness and coordination in a safe and controlled setting. You’re simply going to tap your foot on and off of a book as quickly as possible. Watch the video below:

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Use an old book that is about 1-2 inches thick. Place it on the floor up against a wall. Ideally you would do this somewhere where you would have something to hold on to, like at the kitchen sink.

Stand so your feet are several inches away from the book and facing towards it. Now move one foot over the book and tap the cover with your toes. Then move it back to where you started. Repeat 5-10 times as fast as possible. Then do the other leg.

After you’ve done both legs, turn and do the same thing sideways.

The reason I’m only having you do 5-10 in a row is because after that you start to slow down, and we don’t want that.

After you’ve gone through once, you’ll have a feel for your tempo. Try the sequence a second time and see if you can force your brain to move your legs any faster.

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