The truth is that tall people are considered more attractive than shorter people; they look better in clothes, and they are able to reach the top shelf at the supermarket. There are some factors that influence our height, so you may be able to change your height by doing specific things. Of course, it’s easier for a young person (8-14 years old) to increase his potential height while he’s still growing, but some of the following advice can be executed by an older person too.
#1: Check out the height of your mom and dad
As you probably expected, your genetics play the most decisive role in your growth. 90% of your total height is determined from the very first day of your life. So if your parents are pretty tall, then you have a good chance of being even taller than them. But if your parents are short, then your potential is limited. The third case scenario is having a tall dad and a short mom; in this case you just have to pray to take your dad’s genes!
#2: Avoid specific growth-stunting habits
There are some bad habits that may obstruct your growth such as smoking, drinking alcohol, drinking too much coffee and using drugs or anabolic steroids! Coffee doesn’t directly inhibit your growth, but too much caffeine may keep you up at night which is not the best case scenario if you’re trying to gain some height. Smoking, drinking and using drugs or steroids will directly get in the way of your growth. The reason has to do with chemical reactions in your body. All these bad habits decrease your growth hormone levels which may lead to decreased height.
#3: Eat right
This advice is valuable, especially if you’re at an earlier age because your nutrition can actually alter your potential height. Of course, the difference won’t be huge, but you can gain up to 2-3cm by eating right while you’re still young. The most important thing is to eat a big variety of food in order to get all those vitamins and minerals you need. Fresh fruit and vegetables should be a part of your nutrition and good sources of carbohydrates (pasta, rice and potatoes) are also necessary. Eating meat is very important as well because protein is responsible for the construction of muscle tissue, but it also takes part almost in every metabolic reaction in your body. Keep in mind that growth hormone is made out of 191 amino acids (amino acids=building blocks of protein). Calcium is also vital for your height because it’s responsible for your bone structure, so drink a couple of glasses of milk every day. Vitamin D seems (some studies suggest that) to help your bone health as well; you can get vitamin D from the sunlight, fatty fish (sardines, salmon and tuna), milk, egg yolks, beef and supplements.
#4: Strengthen your immune system
There are some diseases which can decrease your growth rate, so staying away from illnesses is important if you want to maximize your chance for a greater growth! The only way to be healthy is to have a strong immune system. You can give your immune system a good boost by eating the right foods. All you have to do is steer clear of processed or canned foods. Almost every food you buy in a container or a box has preservatives to keep it fresh for a long time. So what you should go for is fresh foods. Consuming fresh fruit, vegetables and meat is the best way to ensure that your body gets what it needs to fight off bacteria and viruses.
#5: Sleep well
Growth hormone hits the red line only during deep sleep which means that we literally grow bigger in our sleep. Anyone who’s less than 20 years old needs at least 8 hours of sleep every night. If you get less than 6 or 5 hours of sleep, then you just don’t let your growth hormone do its job. One piece of advice; don’t drink too much water 2 hours before you go to bed because this might mess up your sleep since you’ll get up in the middle of the night to “use the bathroom”!
Exercise is probably the most important growth factor right after genetics! You don’t have to lift heavy weights before the age of 16, but you can perform some body-weight exercises to stimulate your bones and muscles to grow bigger and stronger. Exercises such as push-ups, pull-ups, dips, plank, inverted rows, squats and lunges (with no resistance) are great for your body and there’s no risk of injury! Swimming is also a great sport to do if you want to minimize the pressure on your spine since your entire workout is performed in the water. Stretches are crucial as well and you should always perform some of them after a workout because they will decompress your spine and help you gain 1 or 2 cm.
#7: Stand up straight
I guess you have already heard that from your mom or your school teacher. Having a good posture will make you look taller even if you don’t actually gain height. Keep your hands out of your pockets and always walk with your chin and chest up. You will automatically gain 2-4 cm and you will also look more confident. Sometimes, it’s not about how tall you are; it’s about how tall you feel!
Having said all that, I believe that being tall is not in our own hands, but we can always do something to change our fate. Of course, you can’t go against your own genes, but at least you can try to maximize your potential growth by having an appropriate lifestyle!