I will never forget Ron Caple who underwent a hip replacement about 15 years ago and is still skiing. I have wondered if he has a permanent parking place at Snowflake! I am a PT, so in brief, yes, you should be able to return to nearly any non-impact sport/activity as long as you aren't wanting to push end-range motion. At 49, your capsule should heal up well and you should end up with minimal restrictions, however, ensure to work with your surgeon as every hip replacement is different. Yes, do ensure to strengthen that hip as much as you can. Obviously, I recommend working with a therapist even if it is only for a few visits over a long period of time. Good luck!