This exercise is a simple march in place — a simple exercise for most, but it can challenge balance as it prolongs our single leg stance since our foot is off the ground a little longer than normal. But for this task, our goal is to add a dual task to make it more of a cognitive challenge, and then at the highest level, we will add a cognitive distractor.

Base Exercise: Marching in Place

Dual-task exercise: Head turns 35-45 degrees side to side, ideally in sync with the marching

Cognitive distractor: Counting by 2’s up to 20

Regressions: Walking in place, marching in place without the headturns but just the counting drill. Even easier would be marching while seated if the balance challenge standing is too much.

Progressions: Marching while moving across the room with head turns, changing up the cognitive distractor to other items or lists, adding a start and stop component.

Marching or walking with head turns is a functional balance training exercise and can be done both stationary or moving across a room. The cognitive distractor adds another element to challenge our cognitive function while training our physical balance. This base of exercise can be adapted to the ability of your client.