The Concrete Jungle is a scary place—iPod listeners bump into you on the subway, tourists come out of nowhere to form solid brick walls on the sidewalk in front of you, and you could literally get hit by a bus at any moment.

The solution? Improve your proprioception. You’ve probably never heard of it, but you need it. It’s the ability to sense the position, location, orientation and movement of the body and its parts. Put simply, it is the body’s process of maintaining balance and equilibrium. Once you master that, you can then go on to master your surroundings.

Noam Tamir, your certified virtual fitness coach and president of Flex4Fitness, shares 3 simple exercises to advance

your proprioception, lessening your chances of getting hit by a bus or a tourist:

1. Balancing on one foot

Shift your weight onto one leg. Stand on that foot and stretch the other leg out in front of you, a few inches off the floor.  Hold that one leg up for a ten count.  Slowly return your leg to the starting position.  Repeat with the other leg. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.

2. Side Leg Raise

Stand straight, directly behind table or chair, with your feet slightly apart.  Hold the table gently for balance if you need it.  Slowly lift one leg to the side, 6-12 inches off the ground.  Hold position and slowly lower your leg.  Your back and knees are straight throughout exercise.   Repeat all reps on the first leg before switching to the next. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.

3. Step Ups

Stand in front of an elevated surface about 15 inches high or lower (ie: bench, stairs, ottman).  Make sure you pick a comfortable height where you don’t compromise safety. Begin by lifting either leg and step-up as you were walking up stairs, followed by the other foot.  When coming down, the last leg to go up is the first leg to come down. Return to the starting position and then repeat.  Repeat all reps on the first leg before switching to the next.  Do 3 sets of 10 reps.

Image courtesy of Taji on Maui’s Blog

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