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These Smart Tips Will Keep Your Hips Healthy

Stop for a second and think about your hips. Isn’t it a miracle how you’re put together with no bones but your spine gluing your top and bottom halves together?

These Smart Tips Will Keep Your Hips Healthy

This complex region of the body consists of an enormous number of muscles, ligaments, tendons and meridians. When something goes awry in your core, the agony radiates through the rest of your body. Fortunately, these smart tips will keep your hips healthy.  

1. Improve Your Shoes

Your hips keep you stable while your feet move you around. However, if your gait is ungainly due to worn or ill-fitting shoes, it can throw things out of whack further up the line. Letting your soles wear down to the nub increases stress and impact on your legs and joints due to the loss of shock absorption and cushioning. 

You owe it to yourself to get professionally fitted for the shoes you wear most frequently. If you dance or participate in other athletics that require bare feet or close to it, look for models with sufficient arch support to add stability and give your hard-working dogs a chance to rest. 

Those with bunions might feel comfier in wide-width shoes — don’t have an ego about it if you need them. For heaven’s sake, your feet aren’t fat. 

2. Get a Better Chair

Likewise, sitting for long hours in an unsupportive chair can do severe hip damage. When you spend too long in one position, adhesions start to form in your muscle and connective tissues — think of how meat starts to stick together in the freezer. 

While these are mostly harmless, they do impact mobility over time. Plus, occasionally, a nerve fiber will get trapped and suffer repeated friction rubs, causing you significant pain. 

The best solution is to invest in a chair that lets your feet rest comfortably on the floor without putting undue pressure on your backs and knees. It should offer additional lumbar support and be wide enough to allow you to shift position as frequently as necessary for comfort. 

3. Keep Hydrated

You hear the advice all the time, but guess what? Staying hydrated is beneficial for your hip health, too. 

Your body needs sufficient hydration to carry oxygen-rich blood to the region. Without adequate water, it’s challenging to produce synovial fluid, which is the “oil” that keeps your joints moving smoothly. 

4. Avoid Inflammatory Foods

Inflammation lurks behind every painful condition known to humankind. The heat and redness may be part of your body’s natural defense system, but they cause you sometimes excruciating pain. If you think of your body like a giant chemistry set, you soon realize that everything you put into it — especially food — affects the balance.

Try sticking to tenets of the anti-inflammatory diet by eliminating or reducing the following problematic foods from your meal plan:

  • Processed foods: These products typically contain excess sugar and salt, both of which increase inflammation.
  • Gluten: While this wheat protein is harmless to some, it spurs severe allergies in others. Even if you don’t have celiac disease, a mild intolerance can produce gastrointestinal symptoms and mood changes. 
  • Nightshade foods: Foods in the nightshade family, such as tomatoes, eggplants, peppers and potatoes, seem to trigger flares in some with inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. 

Additionally, you might want to reduce meat consumption. One 2019 review of 40 studies found lower levels of inflammatory markers in those who followed a vegetarian diet. 

5. Eat Plenty of Fruits and Vegetables

What should you eat? Think of your plate as a clock and fill at least half of it at each meal with nutritious fruits and vegetables. 

These foods are low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals. They also contain phytonutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin, which benefit human health in various ways. 

6. Learn About Heat and Cold Therapy 

You probably see ice packs and heating pads in the first aid section of your local grocer’s, but which do you use when your hips ache? In general, use ice for acute injuries and heat for chronic pain and muscle soreness. 

Therefore, if you take a softball to the hip during your weekend tourney, you should ice that puppy. However, hip injuries resulting from repetitive strain respond best to heat. You can sit on a heating pad or place a hot water bottle in your lap. 

7. Perform Mobility Exercises

How much focus do you pay to your mobility? If you don’t regularly hit the gym, please include some of these gentle movements in your daily routine. 

Hip rotations are an ideal way to lubricate this intricate joint. All you need to do is stand and move your hips in a hula-hoop type motion. Of course, you could also swing by your local dollar store and pick up the real deal — make 2021 the year you wiggle your way to healthier hips and a leaner waistline. 

8. Stretch Often

Finally, few things are better for your hips than regular stretching. Please note that you don’t have to be a yogi or even get into every position to be effective. 

All you need are 12 to 15 minutes daily to preserve your mobility. Try moves such as supine pigeon and bound-angle pose to open up this joint. 

Use These Smart Tips to Keep Your Hips Healthy

The eight tips above will keep your hips healthier. Protecting your core will preserve your mobility and range of motion as you go through life. 

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