Most of us achieve maximum height in the growing years. But, is it possible to increase your height in your adult years?
Questionably, can you grow taller after you turn 18? Can nutrition and workout play a role?
If you have wanted to know the answer to this, we explain to you the truth.
What determines your height?
Whether or not you could see your dreams of being taller turn into a reality, it’s important to understand the science of what determines how tall we really are.
Height, like many other physical aspects, is hugely impacted by our genetic composition. Meaning, how tall or short you turn out to be can be determined by either of your parents. Several studies have also showcased that people inherit height from their paternal side.
The reason why people stop growing taller after puberty is because of the growth plates. As you reach puberty, the “open” growth plates stop to lengthen or grow out, because of hormonal differences. Most women achieve their maximum height by the age of 16, while for men, height can fully develop between the ages of 14-18. Daily activities, such as loss of cartilage or spinal lengthening can also cause height fluctuations, even though minimal.
Apart from this, the rest of what determines your height and growth depends on external environmental factors. This includes the food you eat, your major diet and the physical activity you follow. This is also the prime reason why a lot of budding sportsmen, athletes have astonishing physical features and are well-built, in comparison to the average adult.
Therefore, a lot of people believe that certain foods and exercises may be able to make a difference, even if not majorly.
While there’s no scientific evidence to support the claim, a lot of researches, over the years have observed that nutritional differences and lifestyle upgradations have been able to make a difference to the average person’s height over a century.
We give you a low-down and highlight some of the changes you may make after puberty if you wish to have a taller height.
How to increase your height in your teen years
While there’s no magical remedy to increase your height after you have fully grown, there are corrective steps you can take in your teen years to maximise growth.
Eating a good diet is essential for good growth. Ensure that you get plenty of important nutrients like calcium, Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D through your diet. Protein is also another growth mineral needed during the budding years.
Through the prime years, teens should also focus on being physically active. Sports, workouts or simple aerobic activities, done 45 minutes a day will do you a lot of good, promote good height and serve additional health benefits too.
Sleep is also an important aspect to not take lightly. Researchers have shown that during sleep, we see a lot of functions impacting growth patterns take place. Ones with sleep apnea may have stunted growth or poor hormonal levels needed for right physical development.
A lot of studies have also found that maternal smoking during pregnancy can impact fetal growth, reduce bone mass density in the adolescent or teen years.
What can you do about your height after your teen years?
Again, it is important to remember that no amount of diet or exercise will make a REAL difference to your diet, or magically help you grow after adulthood.
Your height may undergo a slight bit of change during some days. Some daily activities can impact the fluid and cartilage levels, which may benefit your posture and increase your height slightly (say by half an inch). Differences can be there, and most certainly, it may not be a permanent solution.
However, there can be some workaround ways to ‘appear’ taller than you really are. We tell you about a few of them:
1. Take care of your posture
If you spend long hours sitting on your desk, or spend the majority of your time in a slouched, hunched position, you are not really doing yourself any favour.
A bad posture makes you look shorter than you really are, and most importantly, impacts your natural curve and spinal health. By improving your posture, doing stretching, spinal exercises, you can elongate your spine and appear slightly taller than you actually are.
2.Doing yoga may help
Yoga garners a lot of benefits for your mind and body. It may not make you taller, but regular practice can build muscular strength that supports a good posture. Breathing exercises also help in a similar way.
3. Focus on muscular growth
Building tough muscles is core to getting the height you want, in your growing years. During adulthood too, it’s important that you focus on gaining muscle mass and improve muscular agility, which helps you carry your body frame better. While we are at it, there is no single exercise form that can increase or decrease your height.
Focus on improving muscular stamina and stability by incorporating nutrient-rich foods and adopting the right workout regimes.
4. Make your clothes look better on you
It may not be medically or scientifically possible to alter your height, but you can use your clothes to do the trick for you.
From heels to shoe insoles, wearing high-waisted pants, fitted tops, or a single colour can make you look your fashionable best, and appear taller than your height. It can also give the illusion of longer legs and torso.
5. How to prevent loss of height
Again, while adults may not have remedial pills or solution to grow their height, the one thing they can do is to stop age-related loss of height.
Osteoporosis, spine compression and other factors can make you hunch and lose out inches. To combat this, try to maintain adequate nutrition, do proper weight-bearing moves, get all vitamins and minerals, avoid tobacco usage.
The bottom line
As mentioned above, adults cannot increase their height during adulthood. However, one can always try ways to look taller using some hacks. Preventive measures to stop loss of height may also be tried. The real difference can only depend on your genes, and the lifestyle you follow during your growing years.
Lastly, acceptance of your stature will take you to greater heights (pun intended). As long as you follow good lifestyle habits, you’ll remain as healthy as you should.