Being tall has always been preferred in our society. Tall people have more advantage in a wide variety of sports, look better in clothes and are considered attractive by many. Aside from that, and even without sensible reason, height is equated to power and success.
In fact, studies show that taller people find it easier to get a job, and get this, are paid more than the shorter joes! It’s no wonder why some people are willing to take extreme measures such as limb lengthening operation to increase their height.
At the same time, stretching exercise programmes claiming to help you grow by at least 2 inches are also slowly becoming popular. But before you jump into the bandwagon, take a step back to investigate and ask yourself: does stretching make you taller for real?
Let’s Talk About Your Spine
While there is no real hard evidence that you can still grow after puberty (around 11-14 for girls and 12-16 for boys), you can still ‘appear’ taller by stretching your spine. Your height slightly decreases through the day because of the compression of the fluid sacs in between your spinal discs.
Gravity, your head and shoulder weight, as well as any additional pressure on the backbone (yes, that includes doing overhead lifts) cause this natural compression. You can lose as much as one percent of your actual height.
Therefore, reversing the compression can make you seem ‘taller’ simply by regaining the height you lost. Regularly stretching your spine and maintaining a correct posture will help it regain its natural form before it was compressed.
It will also allow for more room to absorb nutrients making your vertebral disc thicker which then contributes to the length of your backbone.
Why Stretching Is Important
Increasing your height is not the sole nor the most important function of stretching. Everyone can benefit from the many good outcomes of stretching including better posture and fewer aches after working out. At the same time, it improves your mood and disposition.
When you stretch, your blood circulation improves a lot. The bursts of oxygen into your brain makes you think clearer and even uplifts your mood.
Let’s also not forget the age-old rule of doing ample stretching before doing any physical activities. Whether you are into sports or lifting weights, stretching greatly reduces the risks of injury.
How To Properly Stretch
While stretching can be a little uncomfortable, especially if you’re not doing it regularly, it should not be extremely painful. Start gently and take your time holding each stretching position to allow your muscles and joints to loosen up.
You can hold each pose starting from 20 to 60 seconds depending on how advanced you are.
Do not force yourself into uncomfortable and unnatural body positions. Consider doing yoga which greatly improves flexibility and balance. No time to go to the gym or join a class? Here’s a guide for total body stretching exercises that you can easily do at home.
How To Keep Your Regained Height
While there is definitely no magic to increase your height, you now know that stretching can make you taller by reducing spine compression to express your full height. This gain however is not permanent. But you can do the following to keep your backbone decompressed all the time:
- Stretch regularly – You are fighting gravity 24/7, so regular stretching is a must. Do stretching exercise for 2-3 times a week for sustained results.
- Improve your posture – Be mindful of your posture whether you are sitting or walking. If you’re stuck in office all the time, aim to make your office more ergonomic.
- Strengthen your core muscles – The ring of muscles that protect your midsection including your back plays an important role in supporting and keeping your spine in proper shape.
- Observe general health – A healthy body is able to optimize results from any workout, so stay active and feed your body right.
Being tall certainly has its advantages. Do not forget that height is a delicate mix of genetics and environment. While genes are something we can’t actively choose, we can improve the environment in which our body thrives – what we eat, the activities we do and so forth.
The human body is an amazing organism and understanding its capabilities and how it works is the first step in transforming it. In case of increasing your height, unless you are ready to drop a wad of cash and endure a long and painful surgical procedure, stretching could be your best best.
It can make you look taller, improve your general health and even make you feel sunnier. There’s really nothing to lose.