Ever since I started running, I have heard from and spoke with fellow runners who are all curious about one common question; does running make you taller?
A lot of people believe that you cannot grow taller once you are over 22 years or so. Well that technically is true, however running can help.
Can Running Make You Taller?
There are two ways running can make you taller; running form and stretching. A good running form stretches your spine making it less compressed which can lead to an increase in height. The second way is stretching before running as this helps relieve compression in your spine.
So how is that possible?
How Can Running Increase your Height?
Running has always been my favorite workout routine. I love running because it has helped me obtain a fairly healthy lifestyle. Other than maintaining a lean body and boosting my health, running has also helped me add a few inches to my height.
Here is a look at some of the ways running can help increase your height. It might not increase too much of your height, but people will notice a change in your tallness.
1. It Stretches the Spine
According to Steady Health, this is the first way of how running contributes to your height. The spine is supposedly the most susceptible part of the body that relates to posture. An inactive lifestyle or other activities that lead to a poor posture can end up compressing the spinal vertebrae.
Unlike most other exercises, running will force you to get off your comfortable position and get moving. For that, your body is kept busy , which in turn maintains a proper posture.
When this happens, your spine is decompressed.
That is where tallness comes in because a compressed spine makes you look shorter.
When your spine is decompressed, and it is more upright, your posture will also be upright. As you might have noticed, many people try to straighten their back so as to look taller.
The good news is that running does this for you in a more natural manner.
2. Stimulating the Growth Hormone
Health therapists also state that running can contribute to the height increase by stimulating the growth hormone. When you run, the growth hormones (HG) are naturally produced. Nonetheless, this will only happen if you are running intensively. Also, a proper diet is needed for this to happen naturally.
The level of the HG will depend on the effectiveness of the exercise. This concept applies perfectly for longer distance runners. I have personally noticed that several of my experienced marathon running friends have increased their height after several months of training.
The good thing about the effect of intensive running is that the released hormones will be effective in the body for about 24 hours after the exercise.
So if you are a regular intensive runner, you can end up releasing a lot of the HGH that will contribute to natural body growth.
Don’t forget to incorporate your intensive exercise with a well-balanced diet. The Fit Indian recommends such foods as eggs, soybeans, dairy products, chicken, nuts and seeds, bananas, among others.
3. Repairing of Micro-fractures
As pointed out in Find Health Tips, running also contributes to a height increase by repairing the Micro-fractures in the body. When you run for short distances at top speeds, it will repair the micro-fractures around the ankle area or the lower shin.
Having a very inactive lifestyle of the body can also lead to ossified bones in the leg. Sprinting helps to fix the injured micro-fractures in the bones, which then increases the length of the bones. Longer bones lead to a taller body.
4. So Should you Start Running to Grow Taller?
Technically, running will not directly make you taller, but it will contribute to some factors that increase your height. If you want to run basically to simply get taller, you might be disappointed (sorry Skee Lo) You will end up adding only 3 inches or so to your normal height.
What running does is to reveal your hidden height by fixing your posture. You will have relaxed shoulders, a straight back, and your head will stay up. In other words, running helps to fix the curved posture that makes a person appear shorter.
Also, it helps to trigger the HG that lead to natural bodily growth. So if the growth hormones work at your height you will end up looking taller than before. Unfortunately, if you have a shortness gene, the growth hormone will only work to the maximum height that still looks short.
4. Sprinting or Long distance? What's the best way to Run to Increase your Height?
The Natural Height Growth points out that how you run will affect the growth hormone synthesis. Here are some of the strategies to apply when you want to add some inches to your height through running.
- Run Regularly - I advise people to run as regularly as possible if they want to achieve effective results. Other than helping you increase your height, regular running will adapt your body to the exercise. This makes it easy for you to run time and again.
- Sprinting at Top Speed - Another strategy that will help you achieve a taller posture is by sprinting at high speed in short distances. This way, you will trigger the growth hormone release, and give time for the body to regain the lost energy. It is also a strategy I used over the years to get rid of excessive fat and achieve a lean body.
- Incorporate Other Exercises - Even as you run, you should also incorporate other related exercises that will not only help to increase your height but also avoid injuries like calf tightness. The Fit Indian also points out the best workouts that can help you have a taller body.
So running can help you grow few inches taller, but should you rely on it solely for being tall?
The answer is no.
Personally, I never expected to grow taller when I started running. I only wanted to run to stay fit and healthy. For that, you should enjoy running because it feels good and it will keep you healthy.
Integrate your running exercise with a well-balanced diet, and ensure that you have enough sleep. This will help you regain your strength and allow your body to have optimum growth.