The New York Times recently reported that regular exercise focused on balance, weight bearing, agility, and strength may help prevent falls leading to injury in older adults.

Finnish researchers conducted a two-year study of 409 women, 70 to 80, who were living at home. The women were assigned to one of four groups. One group took placebo Vitamin D; another took daily Vitamin D supplements but did not exercise. A third group took the placebo supplement but exercised; and a fourth group took Vitamin and exercised. The study can be found online at the JAMA Internal Medicine.

Researchers found that neither the vitamin supplements nor the exercise impacted the occurrence of falls but those who took Vitamin D without exercise were 16 percent less likely to get injured in a fall. The group that took the placebo plus exercise were 54% less likely to be injured and those who took the supplement and exercised were 62% less likely to be injured.

The researchers believe conditioning plus vitamin D may increase bone density.