3 Healthy Habits That May Hurt Your Hips
Here are ways to make sure your hips don't suffer while you're trying to follow a healthy lifestyle.
If you've resolved to be healthier this year, you may be focusing on improving lifestyle habits such as exercising regularly, eating healthier, getting more sleep, quitting smoking or reducing stress. And while each of these habits provides numerous health benefits, you may unknowingly be doing damage to your hips depending on what you're doing in your quest for better health.
Some habits we adhere to an effort to be healthier can lead to joint damage over time. Since these habits contribute to a healthier lifestyle, we don't typically think about the possibility that they can be damaging our joints. While we can't completely prevent long-term joint damage, here are 3 healthy habits you can tweak so they're kinder to your hips:
- Exercising regularly. By now we all know how important regular exercise is to our physical and mental health. And if you're exercising regularly, that's certainly a lifestyle habit you don't want to give up. But if you do the same type of activity day after day, it can lead to arthritis or overuse injuries. The best way to avoid this is to vary your workout routine. For example, if you like to run, do it only 2-3 days a week and then bike, swim or weight-train on other days.
- Reducing stress. Lowering the stressors in your life or finding healthy ways to deal with unavoidable stress is good for your heart, your mood and your general health. But if you turn to practices such as yoga to reduce stress, be careful not to overdo the stretching. Doing so can lead to strains, pain and injury. Instead, stretch at your own pace and stop when you begin to feel pain. Your hips will thank you.
- Getting more sleep. There is lots of research supporting the health benefits of getting adequate sleep. But if you're a side sleeper, you may be putting undo stress on your hip joint. To reduce pressure on your hips when you're snoozing, change sleep positions occasionally. If you're most comfortable on your side, place a pillow between your knees to keep knees parallel and take some of the pressure off your hips.
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Date Last Reviewed: January 7, 2019
Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor
Medical Review: Andrew Overman, DPT, MS, COMT, CSCS