Maintaining a healthy weight eases the pressure on your joints, including your hips. If you're overweight, even a modest weight loss can relieve the excess pressure and make your hips feel and move better. Discussing your current and optimal weight with your health care provider can help you reach and maintain a healthy weight. Your provider can also provide personalized recommendations for losing weight if you need to shed a few pounds.
Your diet impacts your overall health and can impact your bones and joints. Incorporating nutritious foods with health benefits into your diet can support your hip health. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids may help ease pain and inflammation, which could help your hips feel better. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables also packs your diet with antioxidants that support joint health. Plus, a healthier diet makes it easier to maintain a healthy weight.
Participating in regular exercise can benefit your hips and other joints as well as improving your overall health. When you stay physically active, you naturally strengthen the muscles around your hips for improved support, stability and movement. Stronger muscles, ligaments and tendons in the area eases the strain on your hips. Exercise can also support your bone density, which keeps your bones stronger and reduces your risk of a hip fracture.
Choose low-impact exercises to keep the movements gentle on your hips and other joints. This might include walks around Bethesda Gardens, swimming or yoga. Including a mix of cardio and strength-training exercises gives you a well-rounded routine that can benefit your whole body. Gentle stretching can help keep your hip muscles loose and flexible.
Strengthening and supporting your hips helps with mobility as you age, but another major concern for older adults is hip fractures from falls. Making changes to your home can reduce your fall risks, which can protect your hips. Make these improvements to minimize the risk of falls at home:
What you wear on your feet affects the joints throughout your legs and hips. Choose shoes that fit comfortably and provide adequate support for your arches, and make sure they're the correct width for your feet. A stable sole and plenty of traction are also important. You'll gain stability from the proper footwear, and it will also help you to keep your footing better, reducing the risk of hurting your hips from a fall.
If you don't want to wear shoes in your home, there are other options. Consider socks with a nonslip or grippy bottom to help you avoid slipping.
Good posture while you walk, stand and sit can help keep your spine and hips properly aligned. This reduces strain on the muscles in your hip area, which helps keep your hips stable. If you notice aching in your shoulders, back or hips, tune in to your posture. Your shoulders should sit slightly back instead of being hunched over toward the front. Align your ears with your shoulders to help keep your upper body in a good position.
Posture is also a concern when you sleep, especially if you're a side sleeper. Putting a pillow between your knees can help keep your hips in a good position while you sleep.
As you move throughout the day, pay attention to aches and pains, especially in your hips. Those signs can help you identify activities that irritate your joints or make them feel better. Listening to your body is especially important when you exercise. If you feel sharp pain or other concerning symptoms, it could be a sign of an injury or a hint that you should choose a different type of exercise. Always discuss these issues with your health care provider in case there's an underlying issue you need to address.
If you're concerned about your hip health or currently have chronic pain in your hips, talk to your health care provider for guidance. They can evaluate your current condition and risk factors to help create a plan to support your hips. Physical therapy might be an option to strengthen the hips and improve flexibility in that area.
Moving to Bethesda Gardens in Arlington can make life easier on your hips. You can enjoy a maintenance-free lifestyle in a community designed for older adults. The compassionate staff assists with personal care needs, which can reduce your risk of falling during routine activities. Plus, the on-site amenities include therapy services, rehabilitation and exercise programs, which can all help you improve or maintain your hip health.