A large study conducted over 24 years found that the more time a man spent walking every week, and the more vigorously he walked, the lower his risk for for hip fracture was as he aged. Walking at least four hours a week was associated with a 43 percent lower risk compared to walking just less than one hour every week. Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital followed nearly 36,000 men in the study.
The study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, also notes that it doesn’t take strenuous activity for people to see a benefit.
“Walking is a relatively safe and easy activity for hip fracture prevention,” the authors concluded.
Exercise is one way to help keep bones healthy, according to the National Institute on Aging. Other recommendations include:
- Weight bearing exercises: walking, jogging, playing tennis and dancing are types of weight-bearing exercise. Bones and muscles strengthen with exercise.
- Quit smoking. Smoking increases a person’s chance of breaking a bone.
- Limit alcohol intake. Too much alcohol can increase your risk of falling and breaking a bone.
- Make sure you’re getting enough Vitamin D to absorb calcium. Adults ages 51 to 70 need 600 IU daily. People older than 70 need 800 IU of vitamin D.
- Make sure you’re getting enough calcium. Women over 50 need 1,200 milligrams daily. Men who are 51 to 70 need 1,000 milligrams daily. After age 70, men should get 1,200 milligrams every day. Good sources of calcium include low-fat dairy products, salmon and some dark–green leafy vegetables.
Sources: American Journal of Public Health, National Institute on Aging
+ Read about the importance of quitting smoking before hip replacement surgery.
+ Learn about the direct anterior approach to hip replacement surgery at Virginia Orthopaedic & Spine Specialists. This innovative approach allows orthopaedic surgeons to remove the damaged hip joint by separating the muscles and ligaments instead of cutting through them.