Hip, Hip Hooray: A Guide To Healthy Hips

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Our hips take a lot of strain. As we get older, many of us start to have hip problems as a result of not looking after our joints and muscles. This can have a negative impact on our mobility. Here’s how you can keep your hips free of wear and tear.

Don’t be a couch potato

Not being active and sitting down all the time shortens the hip flexors. Being active can encourage these inner muscles to stay strong. You can overdo exercise and wear down the hips, but generally you can take precautions to prevent this (wearing running shoes whilst jogging for example can soften the impact on your joints). One of the best exercises for your hips is swimming as this puts no strain on your joints whilst helping to stretch the hip flexors and build muscles around the hips. Swimming is often recommended as a sport to people with existing hip problems as it can help those with bad hips to keep fit without causing any pain. 

Avoid wearing heels to often

Regularly wearing high heels has been found to cause a lot of damage to the joints. The hips in particular can suffer as they are pushed forward, putting more pressure on the joints. The hip flexors are also shortened whilst wearing heels due to this walking posture. Heels shouldn’t been worn every day to work and should be saved for special occasions. If wearing flats isn’t possible and heels are part of a dress code, you could consider opting for lower heels that put less strain on your joints. Generally speaking, no employer should force their staff to wear heels and you should speak to your employer about this if this is the case.

Try stretch exercises

Tight hip flexors can cause a lot of discomfort – many people experiencing back or hip pain will find that these muscles are the culprit behind the pain. There are many stretches to help fix tight hip flexors. These include lunges and leg curls. Sports such as Yoga and Tai Chi that revolve around stretches are great for keeping the hips the healthy by constantly keeping flexors supple.

Eat the right foods

The foods you eat can affect the health of your hips. By and large, many processed foods that contain unhealthy fats and refined carbs can cause weight gain on your hips. Any unhealthy weight gain is bad for these joints, as it can put pressure on them as you walk. This can then lead to osteoarthritis.

Foods that are good for the hips include fish and nuts. These are full of omega-3, which is vital for healthy joints. In fact, such foods are generally recommended to people with hip pain. You should also make sure that you’re getting a good amount of calcium in your diet. This nutrient is found in dairy products and fish and can increase bone strength, leading to less problems in your hip joints.

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