How to keep your hips healthy

Hip pain might be a common problem past 60 – especially among women – but it’s far from inevitable. Even if it’s something you do experience, chances are there are very effective ways to prevent and work around it without keeping you from the things you love.

Here are some of the best lifestyle choices that could reduce your risk of long-term hip issues.

Already experiencing pain? See a doctor immediately.
If you’re feeling discomfort, even something minor, your body is telling you a vital message: “something isn’t right”.

Hip pain can have any number of causes: from unseen fractures to inflammation; from long-term medical conditions to minor, treatable inconveniences. The cause might not be obvious – even foot or gynaecological issues can be to blame. Don’t wait for the discomfort to pass; the sooner you can identify what’s wrong, the more confidently and effectively you’ll be able to fight it.

Try some basic hip exercises.
These can be performed easily and in a few spare minutes at home. About Health suggests the following as an ideal starting point. Note that if you have existing hip paints, it’s ultimately best to see a physiotherapist; they’ll be able to cater your exercises to your exact needs.

Ad. Article continues below.
  • Straight leg raises: lie on your back, keeping one leg straight and the other with a bent knee. Lift the straight leg about 30 centimetres off the ground, keeping it as straight as you can, and hold for 2 seconds, then slowly lower it back down. Repeat 10 times.
  • Side leg raises: Lie down on one side, bending your leg closest to the floor. Slowly raise your top leg, keeping it straight. Hold for two seconds. Repeat 10 times.
  • Hip squeezes: Lie on your back with both knees bent. Place a small ball or pillow in between your knees and squeeze. Hold for 5 seconds, then relax. Repeat 10 times.

Eat oily fish more regularly.
Inflammation is a common cause of hip pain. Omega-3 acids are particularly important in helping prevent this. Not only do they help lubricate the hip joints; they also support the muscles, which in turn takes pressure away from the joints themselves.

Very few of us actually get enough of this ingredient. Simply eat oily fish a little more regularly (without overdoing it) to address this imbalance.

Pay more frequent visits to your swimming pool.
Whether you prefer swimming or aqua aerobics, water is one of the best places you can get your workout. It will efficiently build up your most important muscles while giving your joints a well-deserved rest from stress and pressure.

Exercise smarter, not harder.
Don’t overdo it. Warm up your body before every exercise; stretch thoroughly afterwards and take the time you need to cool down. Look after your body in the process with proper clothing and shoes. Properly-fitting sports shoes can make a world of difference, as can avoiding running on hard surfaces if possible.

Ad. Article continues below.

Maintain a healthy weight.
If only it were as easy to do in reality as it is to say here. Unfortunately, like it or not, weight can play a major role in healthy hips. The greater the weight, the bigger the strain.

Look after your bone health.
Another very common cause of hip pain among women is arthritis – particularly through osteoporosis. This condition – the weakening of bone strength over time – is startlingly common condition among Australians over 60. If left unchecked, it can massively increase the likelihood of unexpected fractures to the hips.

Thankfully, there are many relatively easy ways to keep your bones strong: a healthy amount of sun exposure, a small amount of simple-to-maintain exercises, and four servings of dairy food per day. For more information, please see Starts at 60’s guide on how to keep your bones healthy.

Have you had to deal with hip pain? What have you done to work around it?