METRO — Surgery is not an inevitable side effect of aging. In fact, men and women over 50 can employ various preventive techniques to strengthen their bones and joints in the hopes of avoiding the surgical wing of their local hospitals.
According to AARP, more than 370,000 men and women undergo hip replacement surgeries in the United States each year. Some may think such surgeries are a final solution to their hip pain, but that might not be the case, as AARP notes than one in 10 hip replacement recipients will need a second procedure for any number of reasons, including infection or mechanical failure.
A proactive approach that focuses on strengthening and protecting the hips can help aging men and women reduce their risk of one day needing hip replacement surgery. The following are a handful of exercises, courtesy of the AARP, that can help men and women strengthen their hips.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and keep your hands at your sides. With your knees slightly bent and your back naturally arched, bend at your hips as if youÕre bowing out of respect as far as you can go, or until your torso is almost parallel to the floor. Return to the starting position. During the exercise, keep your core braced and donÕt bow your back.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Loop a resistance band around both ankles, and then raise your right leg out to the side as far as you can. Hold in this position for a moment before slowly returning to the starting position. Switch legs and then repeat the exercise on the other side.
Loop one end of a resistance band low around a solid object, then stand to the left of that object before looping the other end of the band around your right ankle. Place your legs shoulder-width apart, and then pull in your right leg until your ankles touch. Repeat with your left leg, this time moving to the right side of the object.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Raise your hips to form a straight line from your shoulders to your knees, using some type of support if you need to. Clench your butt at the top of the movement, pause, and lower yourself back down.
Men and women unaccustomed to exercise should consult their physicians before performing any of these exercises. In addition, if necessary, perform the exercises under the supervision of a personal trainer who can advise you on proper form and help you reduce your risk of injury.