Height is an essential factor which determines the overall personality of an individual. Though being short does not in any way undermine an individual’s capabilities, it’s a fact that tall people often become the centre of attention. Short statured people not only suffer from a lack of confidence, but also face certain difficulties in some aspects of their lives.
Various professions (such as modelling, acting etc) demand that you have good height. Typically, a child who is short, often becomes the victim of bullying at his/her school, loses a place in the basketball team or even misses being nominated as the monitor of the class. It is rather unfortunate that even a fairly good looking or talented individual is likely to get ignored if he or she does not possess the normal height.
What can we do to get better and ahead if height isn’t in our favour? Let’s check out the factors affecting height first and then look at the tips to increase the height naturally.
Factors Affecting Height:
Being tall isn’t in our control, is it? Only partly true!
Genetic and non-genetic factors have a major role in determining our height. Our body height is regulated by the hormone called “Human Growth Hormone [HGH)”. HGH is secreted in our body by the pituitary gland and is required for the growth of long bones and cartilages.
a. Genetic Factors:
Height is influenced by various genes in our body. Our height is determined by several genes, it is polygenic. If both our parents are short, it does not mean we won’t be tall. However, if most of the members in our family from both sides are of short stature, then the next generations are most likely to have short height. Genetic factors are entirely beyond our control.
To calculate your projected height, follow these steps:
- First add both your parents’ heights together, either counting in inches or centimetres
- If you are a male, add 5 inches, that is, 13 cm to this. However, if you are a female, deduct 5 inches from the total of your parents’ height
- Now divide this number by 2
- What you get is your estimated height. This can be plus or minus 4 inches. This is an approximate way to predict what your height will be.
b. Non Genetic Factors:
There are several non-genetic factors that influence our height to an extent. Being tall is associated with growth and therefore, short height can be attributed to inadequate nutrition, lack of physical activity, incorrect posture, etc.
Certain other non-genetic factors which may affect height include:
- Smoking during pregnancy
- Prenatal and Post natal care
- Ill health during childhood and adolescence
- Weight during birth
- Mental conditions during childhood and adolescence
- Non-genetic factors can be controlled to an extent by following a healthy lifestyle from childhood.
Tips to Increase Height Naturally
About 20% or more of our body height depends upon our environment, activities and diet. Thus, we can increase our height in a natural way by following certain basic rules in our daily lives.
1. Proper Sleep:
It’s a well-known fact that our body grows and regenerates tissues while we rest. Proper sleep and rest are absolutely essential for a growing body. It’s believed that the Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is produced naturally in our bodies during sound, deep and slow wave sleep. Growing children and teenagers should have at least 8 to 11 hours of proper sleep every night in order to reach their maximum height. It is extremely important to ensure that you have a proper sleeping environment. It should be serene, minus disturbing noises or strong lights. Here are some tips to ensure sound sleep:
- Taking a warm water bath before going to bed can greatly enhance the quality of sleep.
- You can drink one cup of chamomile tea before hitting the bed. This is really useful to induce sleep.
Proper sleeping habit is definitely the top answer when it comes to growing one’s height naturally.
2. Regular Exercise and Sports:
- One of the best tips to grow height naturally is by being physically fit and active as a child. Regular exercise and sports enhances one’s height. When you are physically active, your body demands more healthy nutrients and consequently, an increase in nutrient intake results in growth.
- Indulging in sports like swimming, aerobics, tennis, cricket, football, basketball or a number of stretching exercises are a good way to keep our body growing. Our muscles improve our growth prospects besides cleansing and detoxifying our body through sweating. Regular exercise or sports should definitely form a part of our daily activities.
- Swimming is one of the best ways to increase your height. If one starts this at an early age, surely his/her height will be adequate. 2 hours of daily swimming for 4-5 days a week can be highly effective in increasing your height. The breast stroke is specially recommended for those who wish to increase their height. Swimming is a full body, intense exercise which will help to lengthen your muscles and build muscle strength.
- Some of the stretches you can try out to begin with are the car stretch, super stretch, cobra stretch, the bridge, bow down, twists, the table and basic leg stretches. It is recommended to do simple stretching exercises on a regular basis, for a minimum of 15 minutes for these to be effective for you. Stretches serves a great warm up before a workout.
- Hanging exercises can be useful to grow one’s height through exercise. Though these may seem a bit tough to try out in the beginning, you will get the hang of them slowly. All you need is a bar for this. Hang from it with your arms and spine stretched for 10 seconds. Repeat 12 sets one after the other or continue to do this for 2 minutes every day.
Yoga is a great and comparatively less strenuous way to increase your height naturally. Yoga brings about overall fitness which is useful to give a boost to your height. Certain yoga poses facilitate the release of growth-inducing hormones in the body. The stretching and balancing exercises involved in yoga strengthen the muscles and improve the posture of the body as well. Try yoga poses such as triangle pose (trikonasana), cobra pose (bhujangaasana), mountain pose (tadasana), pleasant pose (sukhasana), tree pose (Vriksasana). You can addSuryanamaskar to your fitness regime too.
4. Maintaining the Correct Posture:
Due attention should be given towards maintaining a correct posture from childhood. Simple things like sitting straight on a chair, keeping your shoulders straight, chin high, and hips over your feet while walking or standing can actually have favourable effects on your height. Do not slouch while walking.
A straight spine and a strong back are very vital in increasing your height. Align your neck and head without bending or slouching. Having a good pillow and a body-friendly mattress are equally important in keeping your spine comfortable.
It should be noted that your shoulders should not stoop while walking or standing. Hunching should be avoided by all means. A good posture makes you look tall, smart and confident.
5. Balanced Diet:
A balanced diet is absolutely essential to get proper nutrition. Stay away from junk food at any cost. Avoid saturated fats, carbonated drinks and excessive sugar-loaded foods as these can cause a negative impact on your height. It should be ensured that you get all the vitamins and minerals that your body needs, to grow to your full height.
- Vitamin D and proteins help in triggering the growth hormones, and are required for proper growth of teeth and bones. Hence, the foods which are rich in these nutrients such as cheese, legumes, tofu, lean meat, egg white should be included in your diet.
- Intake of zinc is also very important as its deficiency can lead to stunted growth in children. Foods such as asparagus, chocolate, eggs, oysters and peanuts are rich in zinc.
- Calcium found in dairy products and green vegetables is required for the growth and development of bones.
- Apart from this, other nutrients like minerals like magnesium and phosphorus, carbohydrates and vitamins should not be ignored as they also contribute towards proper growth of the body. The nutritional requirements can also be fulfilled by taking supplements in limited quantities.
- It is important to have good metabolism. Hence, you can have six balanced meals throughout the day. Smaller but well-spanned portions can be helpful to boost your metabolic rate. This will lead to lesser fat storage in your body, thus allowing you to grow taller.
6. Avoid Growth Stunting factors:
You can ensure that your height doesn’t get affected by external or internal factors. Hence, keep in mind a few things:
Taking drugs and alcohol at a young age can be extremely harmful. Consuming these can lead to stunted growth and malnutrition, thus preventing you from reaching your full height. The intake of caffeine should be restricted, particularly among children as it keeps you from sleeping soundly and regularly. As kids and adolescents require a good eight to eleven hours of sound sleep, caffeine can restrict that to a great extent, thus indirectly contributing to short stature.
Apart from this, steroids have also been found to inhibit bone growth in young children, adversely affecting their height. Research has shown that asthma-affected children and teenagers who use inhalers tend to grow up to about ½an inch shorter than others. This is because these inhalers dispense relatively small amounts of the steroid called budesonide.
7. Strong Immune System:
Certain childhood illnesses can also cause stunted growth. These can be avoided by regular immunization and taking plenty of Vitamin C which is found in citrus fruits like orange, grapefruit and lemon. The immune system can be kept strong by eating whole and fresh foods, and avoiding processed and hydrogenated foods such as the very popular margarine.
A healthy diet will lead to a healthy immune system. Incorporate lots of fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and foods rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids in your diet to maintain a healthy immune system.
8. Ask For Medical Aid:
If you have reached your mid-teens and hail from a family where all members are tall, but find that your height isn’t developing, it is judicious to visit a doctor. Certain medical conditions can be detected at an early stage. Hence, if you are doing everything all the above but still not growing, seek medical advice.
9. Build Your Confidence:
If a person is tall but lacks confidence, it’s of no use. Hence, it is very important to build confidence from childhood and cultivate it as you grow older. You can take part in school activities, join a club and spend time pursuing your interests and hobbies. All of these act towards boosting your mood and sense of well-being, thus affecting your confidence levels. If you have a positive mindset and are brimming with confidence, even a shorter stature won’t seem to be a hindrance for you. Hence, cultivate your confidence!
Don’t wait any longer; start right away to keep your body growing! Follow these tips to gain height naturally!
Leave a suggestion below if you have one to help me add a couple of inches more to my height!