What You Need to Know on How to Grow Taller with Exercise
There are several benefits that are associated with exercise. But growing taller, especially as an adult, is one people talk about less often.
Most, if not all doctors will have you understand that genetics is what determines your height. Exercise won’t make you grow taller, according to them. Yet, you may come across people claiming to grow taller by doing certain exercises.
What’s the truth in all of this? Is there any reason to believe that exercise may add to your height? If there is, what types of exercises could be beneficial? This article provides comprehensive information on this topic. So, read on!
How Growth Occurs
Let’s talk a bit about how people grow before progressing further to see whether exercise can make you taller.
When it comes to growth, the role of human growth hormone (HGH or GH) can never be over-emphasized. This substance, which is also known as somatotropin, has a crucial role when it comes to someone’s height.
The second substance that also plays a role in how tall you can be is the insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). Growth hormone stimulates its secretion by the liver.
These two substances are vital for your epiphyseal or growth plates. They promote the elongation and ossification of the bones, which is how people get to grow taller.
When the plates close (something that happens around the end of puberty), it is thought impossible for an individual’s height to increase any further.
Puberty and growth typically end around the age of 16-19. But in some cases, the growth plates do remain open till as late as 24-27. Lower height is often the result when puberty ends earlier.
This has a connection to genetics. It is why you may have heard that your genes determine up to 80 percent how tall you can be.
Genetic defects can cause some children to have low levels of growth hormone, thus keeping them from reaching their maximum height potential.
Is it Really Possible to Grow Taller by Exercising?
Majority of people in the medical community think that growth is impossible in adults due to the fusing of growth plates. This reality renders exercise useless for increasing height, they argue.
But it is now clear that it is possible for people to still experience growth spurts in adulthood. This can happen when growth plates remain open.
In such cases, exercise can help you grow taller. It increases the growth hormone levels.
It is also known that not all bones in the human spinal column fuse. Some remain open and movable. This raises hope of a possible increase in height.
Stretching exercises are most commonly recommended for persons who want to grow tall. They don’t really make your bones grow longer. Rather, they help you express your maximum height.
These exercises assist in dealing with the effect of gravity on the spine. They can be useful for decompressing intervertebral discs, which are filled with gel-like substance and cushion bones in the spine.
The decompression that results from doing exercise can add a little to your overall height.
Some Exercises for Growing Taller
There are many types of exercises you can do to try to increase your height. And they basically entail stretching your body in one way or another. We discuss a few of them below.
The aim of this exercise is to stretch the upper part of your body – your spine basically. Cobra pose enhances your back’s flexibility.
- You start the exercise by lying face down on the floor, with your hands kept on either side of your body
- Pushing down on your hands, lift your upper body and tilt your head back a little, stretching your body as much as possible.
- Hold the pose for about 15 seconds before returning to your starting position.
This is one of the more popular and straight-forward means of stretching your spine. You simply need to find a high, horizontal bar and hang from it without your feet touching the ground.
Hanging exercise can not only decompress your spinal discs but also improve your posture. You may find it useful for dealing with stiffness in your back.
Also known as side bends, this exercise will probably appeal more especially to women. This is because it is quite easy to do. It strengthens abdominal muscles and improves the flexibility of obliques.
Side stretch is a simple routine.
- Stand straight with your feet well-planted on the floor.
- You may raise your hands, joining the palms together.
- Next, bend your body to one side, stretching as much as possible, and hold the position for 15 seconds.
- Repeat with the other side of your body.
These fast-paced exercises offer a good means of building strength and improving flexibility. They help you make the most of your stretching by making your abdominal muscles stronger, thereby lowering the negative effects of gravity on your spine. Pilates make your posture better.
There are many forms of Pilates, including those you do lying down or standing. The bridge is an example of the exercises you do lying on your back.
- To do the bridge, you lie on your back and raise your knees, with your feet flat on the floor.
- Grab your ankles with your hands or just keep your arms on the floor by your sides.
- Lift your hips gently until your body makes a straight line from your knees to your shoulder.
- Hold the position for 5 seconds and then repeat about five times.
This is another of yoga exercises that are thought capable of making you grow taller. And this is because of how it can improve your posture and reduce weight on your spine. Mountain pose, also known as Tadasana, makes your back more flexible.
- You begin it by standing straight with your neck, waist, and legs aligned.
- Keep your arms by your sides, palms facing your thighs, and both feet together.
- Raise your arms toward the ceiling (straight) and inhale as you slowly stretch your body upward from the waist as far as you can.
Forward spine stretch
Here’s a routine you may find a bit difficult. But it is a great way of stretching your spine and possibly increasing your height.
- Start by sitting on the floor.
- Keep your feet in front with your legs apart by shoulder width.
- Flex your feet, inhale, bend forward and try to touch your toe tips.
Chances are this is a favorite pastime of yours. Many of us enjoy it. You may actually get help with growing a little taller by doing it.
Swimming reduces the pressure on your spine. It stretches ligament, tendons, and joints in your legs, arms, and back.
Is Any Increase in Height Permanent?
You may be wondering if there is some sort of “set and forget” to growing taller through exercise. Will the increase in height be permanent?
The improvement in height you get from doing stretching exercises is not permanent. Perhaps, the only exception would be if an individual’s growth plates are still open.
The human spine is almost all the time a subject to gravity. It gets compressed whenever you are in a vertical position.
You can only come close to retaining any gain in height by constantly doing things that decompress your spine. This means you need to keep doing stretching exercises.
What Other Steps Can You Take to Grow Taller?
Now, exercise is just a part of the remaining 20% of height determinants, and unlike genetics, you can do something about it. We briefly address some of the other factors that require attention.
Many people are not able to express their full height as a result of bad posture. This can put unnecessary weight on your spine to make you appear shorter.
Always endeavor to properly align your back. Don’t slouch. Stand straight at all times. Try to carry yourself in a confident manner.
Bad posture can lead to back pain and is actually one of the problems that exercises seek to address.
Nutrition is a key determinant of an individual’s height. This is why a well-nourished child has a better chance of reaching his or her maximum height potential than a malnourished one.
You should pay due attention to the foods you eat. Combine your height exercises with a diet rich in protein, calcium, and vitamin D.
Beneficial foods include beans, nuts, fish, dairy products, fruits, and green vegetables. These offer amino acids and other useful nutrients for growth.
Avoid sugars and foods that contain artificial sweeteners as much as possible. Among other possible issues, they can affect growth hormone levels negatively. This is especially so when you consume them before exercising or close to bedtime.
Good quality sleep is a potent medicine people can get free but often go without. One of the ways that sleep is beneficial has to do with height.
Your body produces the most growth hormone when you sleep, soundly. It is important to ensure your sleep isn’t interrupted to enjoy this benefit. You need between six and nine hours of quality sleep every night, depending on your age.
Being overweight or obese can make you shorter. Excess body fat puts extra weight on your spine, compressing it.
Another problem is that extra body fat can inhibit the production of growth hormone. So, you could be missing out on something important for height, especially if your growth plates are still open.
Do everything within your power to maintain a healthy weight. The benefits of doing so go beyond growing taller. A balanced diet, regular exercise, and good sleep can help with that.
Avoid growth-stunting substances such as steroids and alcohol. You may also want to consider raising your HGH levels using natural HGH supplements.
It is not totally impossible to grow taller with exercise, as some medical experts would argue. What you just need to know is that it doesn’t really promote new growth. You merely get help in reversing the effect of gravity on your height.
You should also remember that exercises for height are not everything. There are some other factors that also come into play, including posture, nutrition, and sleep.