One of the number one complaints of exercising adults – especially runners – in today’s world is a complaint of hip pain. Statistics show that over 175,000 hip replacements are performed annually each year. Here are eleven ways you can strengthen your hips and work to prevent hip failure as you age.
Regular stretching of the entire body will help improve muscle and joint flexibility and performance. Keep hips nimble and strong by performing daily stretching activities. A mere 10 minutes a day of stretching will do wonders for joint and muscle flexibility and function.
Do Side Leg Raises
Lie on your side on an exercise mat with your legs on top of one another. Lift your top leg up slightly, to a max of 45 degrees, lower it back down and repeat 20 times. Switch sides and do the other leg.
Extra body weight causes the hips, knees and spine to weaken under the constant extra pressure. Losing weight will make hip-related exercises more effective and reduce daily strain on the hips.
We all know that smoking leads to brittle bones and calcium loss in the bones. Give up smoking and start taking a good calcium magnesium supplement to replace bone loss from smoking.
Practice Good Posture
So many jobs these days require endless hours of sitting at a desk, and the constant sitting and subsequent bad posture is contributing to hip damage. Practicing good posture will help ensure your weight is distributed properly on your hips, even if you have to sit all day.
Learn Proper Running Techniques
Many running injuries occur because hips, knees and ankles aren’t situated properly during a run. Consult a running expert and learn how to properly align your hips when you run, thereby avoiding hip injuries and keeping your hips strong.
Eat Calcium Rich Foods
Even if you can’t or don’t eat dairy, many vegetables such as broccoli, collard greens, kale, fresh garlic, sun-dried tomatoes and spinach contain high amounts of calcium. Be sure you’re getting a natural, adequate amount of calcium rich foods in order to strengthen hips and other bones. If you take a calcium supplement, be sure it’s a high quality supplement containing magnesium as well. Adequate magnesium levels help ensure the body better absorbs calcium.
Sitting all day long weakens the hip muscles. If you have a desk job, or if you simply sit a lot, incorporate regular, short walks into your daily routine. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, or simply walk to a water fountain or around the office in order to strengthen your hips.
Get Regular Exercise
What type of exercise doesn’t matter so much as getting off the couch and moving does. Swimming, walking, biking, hiking and yoga are all great exercises for strengthening the hips. Getting exercise at least three times a week will help get and keep your hips in shape.
Do Hip-Targeted Exercises
Consult a trainer, your physician or the Internet for hip-targeted exercise that focus on making your hips stronger. The more you build the muscles around your hips, the stronger your hips will be.
Drink Enough Water
Proper water intake helps keep bones and muscles strong and limber. Drink half your body weight in ounces of fresh, pure water daily in order to keep hips strong and healthy.
Using the above suggestions for improving hip strength will help keep your hips strong and healthy for years to come.
This Site Was Inspired By An Interest in Protecting the Environment:
We had the privilege and joy of learning from Dr. Charlie Stine who instilled a love for the natural world through incredible field trips with the Johns Hopkins Odyssey Certificate program in Environmental Studies. At the time, the program was endorsed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Sadly, after Dr. Stine retired, the program was phased out. We hope that we honor his legacy by shining a bright light on environmental issues and sharing good news about the success of various conservation programs when possible.
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