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5 Lifestyle Habits That Support Healthy Hips as You Get Older

Hip fractures certainly take center stage when it comes to hip health as you get older — 300,000 people aged 65 and up are hospitalized with hip fractures each year in the United States. But these fractures are only part of the overall hip health picture as we age.

Here at Western Orthopaedics, our team takes hip health very seriously, which is why we have a dedicated hip specialist — Dr. Brian White.

In this month's blog post, we’re steering clear of hip fractures due to falling, which we discussed in a previous post. Instead, we discuss ways you can keep your hips healthy from a mobility standpoint..

1. Move as much as you can

Every joint in your body is designed for movement and, like a machine, you need to keep these parts moving to prevent them from seizing up. After knees, hips are next in line when it comes to degenerative conditions like osteoarthritis, so you want to do what you can to slow the breakdown.

What this means is moving your hips to keep resources flowing to the joint, including those that rebuild bone. What it doesn't mean is pounding your hips by maintaining an overly ambitious exercise regimen.

As you get older, it’s about striking a balance, so when it comes to your hips, taking a walk that includes hills might be better than going for a run.

2. Keep your hips limber

Along with moving, the next best thing you can do to maintain healthy hips is to keep them limber. Targeted hip exercises that stretch the connective tissues inside your joint will pay off in terms of maintaining flexible hips that don’t succumb to stiffness.

Yoga is a fantastic practice for maintaining flexible hips, but you can also isolate and target your hips alone with exercises like these.

3. Strengthen your hips

The trifecta of healthy joints is movement, flexibility, and strength. If you want your hips to function well, strengthen the muscles that support these joints to spread out the workload. So, get cracking on those quads, hamstrings, core muscles, and glutes through lunges or machine weights.

4. Lighten the load

Your hips, like your other joints, are only designed to carry a certain amount of weight. If you exceed that limit, you’re placing too much pressure on the joints, which can cause them to break down faster and earlier.

So, if you’re carrying extra pounds, losing the excess weight is a great way to preserve your hip joints.

5. Stop the excessive sitting

While it’s good to rest joints, too much sitting, especially if you’re slouching, can overburden your hips. If you need to sit a lot, please do your hips a favor and get up and stretch them and move a little, at least once an hour.

If you spend a little time encouraging healthy hips, you’ll be rewarded with joints that can carry you more happily into the future.

If you want more ideas about maintaining optimal hip health, please contact one of our offices in Arvada or Denver, Colorado, to schedule an appointment with Dr. White.

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