Exercises for Seniors to Promote Hip Health

Hips are a common source of injury in adults and account for many senior disabilities. In fact, there were 332,000 total hip replacements done in the United States in 2010 and the majority of these surgeries are performed on senior patients.

It makes sense that as you age and your bone mass or joints begin to deteriorate (think osteoarthritis, which occurs in one in four Americans), the hips are affected.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to promote bone health, strength and longevity, leading to a lower chance of hip injury. Along with a healthy diet, 30 minutes of low-impact cardio and/or weight-training exercises per day can keep your bones, muscles and joints active and well-lubricated.

Cardio and Strength Exercises

Cardio exercises keep your heart rate up and can keep your mind active as well. Many people credit cardio exercise as the time they feel most relaxed and stress-free.

Think weight-bearing yet low impact when examining your cardio choices; swimming or water aerobics, riding a stationary bike, using a stair climber, yoga and walking are all choices that will keep you active without overworking your bones, muscles and joints.

Weight training is also recommended for keeping your muscles strong, but again, keep it low impact. Over-training muscles can be just as bad as staying sedentary. If you aren’t sure how much weight is safe for you to train with—as everyone is different—ask your doctor or a personal trainer.

It’s also a great idea to warm up for 10 minutes or so before you start any activity, as well as stretch afterward, to get your body used to the movement and keep you limber.

Aim to Avoid Hip Surgery

While hip replacement is common, it’s a good idea to avoid it if you can. Aside from the normal recovery period that comes with having any surgery, hip implants have been garnering a lot of negative press due to the fact that many are causing adverse serious complications in recipients.

For example, Zimmer’s Durom Cup can slip out of place, requiring revision surgery and causing a great deal of pain. While the product was briefly recalled, it was placed back on the market after Zimmer simply updated the product label and offered a surgical training program on its website.

Another company, Biomet, faces more than 300 federal lawsuits as of May 2013 stemming from complaints such as swelling, early device failure, fractures and severe pain. Another reported effect of Biomet’s M2a Magnum line of hips is metallosis, which occurs when the pieces of a metal-on-metal implant rub together, releasing metal debris into the body. This can cause complications such as tissue death, device loosening, fractures and extensive pain. Biomet’s devices have not been recalled.

Jen Juneau is a content writer for Drugwatch.com. She is dedicated to educating others on why it’s important to be aware of drugs and medical devices that could endanger their health. http://www.theseniorcareblog.com/post/exercises-seniors-promote-hip-health