Exercise is important at all stages of life, but as you age, your body requires regular activity more and more. This is because as we age, our bones, muscles, joints and connective tissues weaken, so it’s crucial to build their strength.
This can be especially beneficial for the hips, which can create problems for seniors. More than 300,000 total hip replacement surgeries were performed in the United States in 2010, with the majority of patients being seniors. So it’s definitely important to keep joints healthy and strong.
Exercises to Try
Make sure you choose hip exercises that are fun for you and keep you motivated. Aim for 30 minutes of light activity a few times a week to start, and gradually work your way up to more frequent and moderate movement. Be sure to talk to your doctor before beginning any exercise program.
To strengthen your hips, think low impact and weight-bearing, like:
- Pool activities. Especially enjoyable during summer months, getting in the pool is low impact and can increase flexibility. Swim a few leisurely laps, or even take a water aerobics class.
- Yoga/Pilates. Both of these options incorporate stretching and breathing techniques. They are great not only for flexibility, but for relaxation as well. Be sure to work out at your own pace.
- Weight lifting. Lifting light weights gives you a bit of an edge over cardio in building muscle because it targets specific muscles groups and helps strengthen bones and joints. A trainer at the gym can suggest some weight-lifting options.
- Walking. Many people who aren’t used to regular activity start by walking. Depending on your level, you can customize your walk by switching up speeds, incline and duration. Make sure you own a quality walking shoe; many shoe retailers can help fit a pair to your gait.
- Dancing. Some people are hesitant to try this, but you don’t need to be! Put on your favorite album and shimmy around your living room, or if you’re feeling brave, take a class. You may just love it!
Down the road. if you do need a hip replacement, exercises will still be required to keep your new hip strong. Before surgery, ask your doctor and do some research about the type of implant you’re getting. Faulty implants, including some made by Biomet, can create more problems than benefits.
After surgery, your doctor will give you specific instructions for rehab and exercises. You will also work with a physical therapist to get your new hip in working order.
Ron’s Super Senior Hip Replacement Video series is also a great way to ensure a quick and easy recover after hip replacement surgery!Google+