Many people are interested in how height works and if there’s a way to influence it. For some, it’s just a matter of curiosity, but for others, height, specifically their perceived lack of height, is a sore point in their lives. that they’d like to address.
This topic has created some buzz in both the scientific community and everyone else that wants to know whether there’s a chance to make themselves grow taller.
To spare you the suspense, the answer is yes, you can work to add height. If you want to understand the reasons behind this and learn a few tips on how to grow taller, just keep reading.
How Does Growth Work?
It’s well-known that linear growth goes through a “growth spurt” during during puberty. But how does this happen? Well, it’s your pituitary gland that plays a major role, since it releases growth hormones into your bloodstream.
Growth hormones reach most parts of your body and promote their growth until the epiphyses have fused it, after which growth stops.
The release of growth hormones occurs in pulses of every couple of hours. The mechanism of this release is controlled by the hypothalamus, which releases two additional hormones to this effect. The first is the growth hormone-releasing hormone, which prompts the pituitary gland to release growth hormones. The second is somatostatin, which inhibits this release.
Even though 60-80% of growth is determined by genetics, there are other factors to it. This is great news, as it means that there are still some things that you can do to grow taller even after your production of growth hormones had reached its peak.
Here are some tips that can help you debunk the popular myth that growth comes to a halt after puberty:
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Sleep is extremely important to our overall health, but you probably already know this. What you might not know, though, is that most of your growth happens during sleep, so sleep deprivation can have a negative effect on the release of growth hormones.
Try to get around 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night. This will help your body regenerate, which can promote the release of growth hormones. If you’re suffering from any sleep disorders, such as apnea, know that it can also negatively affect growth, so try to deal with it as soon as possible.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
This is another piece of advice that you’ve heard plenty, but there is good reason for this. The nutrients that our bodies absorb from food play a major role in the body’s processes, including growth.
Here’s a seemingly crazy fact: The Dutch became Europe’s tallest people during the period when the country experienced an explosive growth in wealth. You’re probably wondering how it’s possible to relate growth with money. Well, the answer is simple – healthy food. For the longest time it was the shortest nation in Europe until the Netherlands’ wealth per capita increased to the point that everyone could afford healthy food and reversed the course. Experts state that there’s a very strong link to making the Dutch Europe’s tallest people.
If you want to grow taller, eat foods that contain the following height-boosting vitamins and minerals:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin B1
If you do this, your body’s ability to replace lost cells will increase, and your growth hormones might come back in larger quantities.
Do Stretching Exercises
If you haven’t done this before, it’s a good idea to start. Even though it won’t do much in terms of helping your body produce more growth hormones, it can help your backbone to reach its full height potential.
When the supporting muscles develop properly, your backbone can lengthen and stretch. It won’t make you a giant, but you can certainly benefit from an extra inch or two.
The best exercises for this include swimming, crunches, pull-ups, back stretching, and hanging exercises. If you make them a part of your daily routine, there’s a high chance you’ll grow at least a little bit.
Maintaining good posture is very important. It might not make you taller, but it will prevent you from suppressing your height. When you slouch, you put a lot of pressure on your spinal cord. Not only does this make you appear shorter, but it can actually stop you from growing and physically make you shorter.
To prevent this, make sure to keep the right posture as much as you can. Keep your head level, push your chest out a bit, and slightly flex your abs to provide support for your back.
Smoking has a myriad of negative effects on our body, including the higher risk of lung cancer, heart attack, respiratory illnesses and stroke. It has also been proven to limit growth.
If you refrain from smoking, not only might you end up growing taller, but you can also protect your body from a variety of health conditions that can make your height the least of your concerns.
While you can do things to help you grow (eat well, sleep well) and you can do things to make use of the height you have (stretch, exercise, don’t slouch), growth is still largely influenced by genetics. That means, you can make a few important differences, but you won’t likely change your height very dramatically.
What’s important here is to be realistic with your goals. Still, avoiding a way of harming growth may be your best bet, so the most you will be able to do is to avoid problems that will hurt you, while adding height might be negligible.
This might not sound like much, but it’ s better than nothing. Even if you don’t get the results you expect, all of the above advice can increase the quality of your life, as well as your confidence. Then, there’s the adage of recognizing what you can change and what you can’t and having the wisdom to know the difference. You can make small, meaningful changes here, but eventually you will have to accept your height and live with it.