DEAR DOCTOR K: I'm 70 and regularly do cardiovascular and weight-training exercises. Now my doctor wants me to add balance exercises to my routine. Why?
DEAR READER: You've asked a good question, and it has a simple answer: Poor balance can cause falls. Every year, one in three adults 65 or older falls at least once. Especially in older people, falls can be serious. More than 90 percent of hip fractures result from falls. Falls also often lead to fractures of the spine, forearm, leg, ankle, pelvis, upper arm and hand. These injuries can undermine your independence. Hip fractures, in particular, also can increase the risk for early death.