After a hip-replacement surgery, a regular exercise routine is a critical component of both recovery and longer-term health goals. Weight-loss exercises aid in the strengthening of the muscles necessary to support the new hip, and they limit the amount of excess weight that the new hip has to bear. Though some high-impact exercises, such as jogging and contact sports, are strictly prohibited, many other kinds of moderate-impact exercises are effective for weight loss and healing.
Dr. John. S. Rogerson, orthopedic surgeon, identifies walking as "by far the most important exercise you can do" after recovering from a hip replacement. Though walking will likely be included as part of a postsurgery recuperation plan, it is also one of the most effective exercises for weight loss with an artificial hip. Walking is a low-impact exercise that does not put unneccessary strain on or extend the hip, but still burns calories for weight loss. The average 155-pound adult burns just under 200 calories per hour during a leisurely walk. If you can increase your pace to 4 miles per hour, you will burn 363 calories, and if you can hike for an hour, you will burn 418 calories.
Once your surgical wounds heal, which usually takes about four weeks, swimming is an exercise well suited to both reconditioning the muscles that support your new hip and burning calories for weight loss. An hour of moderate-intensity swimming, including treading water, will burn about 428 calories in an average adult. A water aerobics class will burn 298 calories in an hour and will include specific exercises that target muscle strengthening as well.
Cycling, whether on a stationary or standard bicycle, is recommended by the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center as a part of routine exercise after a hip replacement once the recovery has been completed. Road biking should only be attempted if you feel comfortable, stable and balanced, as falls may reinjure your hip. Moderate-intensity cycling will burn 614 calories in an hour in the average adult. Stationary cycling is also well suited for weight loss; an hour of stationary cycling will burn an average of 493 calories.
If you are looking for a new hobby to pick up after your surgery to lose weight, try cross-country skiing. Though downhill skiing puts you at risk of reinjury and is not usually recommended for weight loss, cross-country skiing can be a particularly rigorous cardio activity that does not unnecessarily strain your hip muscles. An hour of cross-country skiing can burn as much as 800 calories, so pace yourself to avoid overexertion.
- Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center: Activities After Hip Replacement
- Orthoteam.com: Hip Education
- MetroHealth: Hip Replacement Surgery
- National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: Questions and Answers Abotu Hip Replacement
- Health Status: Calorie Burn Calculator
- Harvard Health Publications: Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights
Hannah Wahlig began writing and editing professionally in 2001. Her experience includes copy for newspapers, journals and magazines, as well as book editing. She is also a certified lactation counselor. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Mount Holyoke College, and Master's degrees in education and community psychology from the University of Massachusetts.