How many of us have this desire to be tall ? If we are of average or short height, at one point of time or the other, we really feel , “how nice it would have been if we were slightly taller”!!!
Height plays an important role in determining the overall look and personality of an individual. That does not mean that we are undermining the capabilities of a short height person, though short statured people do suffer from lack of confidence and also face difficulties in certain aspects of their lives due to their height. There is no doubt about the fact some of us are conscious about our short height. Usually, a short height child often becomes the victim of bullying by his or her friends and seniors, he or she might not get a chance to join the school basketball team, might also miss being nominated as the class monitor and so on. It so happens, that even a well-talented or a good looking person is likely to get ignored if he or she is below the normal height. We cannot deny the fact that tall people often steal the limelight in many occasions. There are certain professions like as modelling, acting, which demand that you are tall.
In this article, let us discuss about the factors which affect our height and how we can increase our height naturally.
Factors Affecting Height
Well, we all feel that to become tall is not in our hands. But this is partially true. There are many factors like as genetic and non-genetic factors, which play a major role in determining our height. There is also a hormone in our body by the name of Human Growth Hormone [HGH] which regulates our height. HGH is given out in our body by pituitary gland and is needed for the growth of long bones and cartilages.
The various genes present in the human body affect the height. If both the parents are short, we assume that their children will be short too. But this is not always true. Tall parents can have short children and vice versa. Actually, the height of all members in the family from both sides should be considered. If all of them are short, then it implies that next generations are likely to have short stature. Genetically they will be of short height and you cannot change the genetic factor.
Non Genetic Factors:
Several non-genetic factors also influence our height. Proper diet, nutrition, healthy lifestyle, proper sleep also play a major role in increasing our height in the growing stage. Being short can be associated with inadequate nutrition, lack of physical activity, incorrect posture, etc. Non-genetic factors can be controlled to a certain extent by following an overall healthy lifestyle from childhood.
Presenting below some non-genetic factors which may affect height:
• Smoking during pregnancy
• Ineffective Prenatal and Post natal care
• Ill health during childhood and adolescence
• Low birth weight
• Mental condition during childhood and adolescence
How to Increase Height Naturally?
The good news is that we can increase our height naturally. It is to be noted that about 20% or more of our body height depends upon external factors like our environment, activities and diet. If we follow certain basic rules in our daily lives, we can increase our height in a natural way.
Natural ways to increase height are mentioned below:
Studies have shown that when we take rest or sleep, our body grows and regenerates tissues. Proper sleep and rest are absolutely very necessary in a growing body. It is believed that Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is produced naturally during the time when we have a sound, deep and slow wave sleep. As a rule, growing children and teenagers must have at least 8 to 11 hours of proper sleep every night so that they can reach their maximum height. It is advisable that you should take a warm bath before going to bed so that you have a sound sleep.
Exercises for Increasing Your Height:
Another factor to increase height naturally is to be physically fit and active as a child. This can be attained by regular exercises and sports activities. When you are physically active, the body requires more healthy nutrients. Regular intake of nutrients boosts your nutrition and consequently, results in proper growth. Swimming, aerobics, football, basketball, tennis, cricket, or stretching exercises are a good way to keep our body growing and physically active. Active involvement of our muscles not only improves our growth prospects but also helps in detoxifying our body through sweating.
Some popular exercises to increase your height are as follows:
- Hanging on the rod : You spend the majority of your day in an upright, vertical position. One of the biggest hurdles in the path of growing tall is gravity, which compresses your spine, joints, squeezes the cartilage and makes you shorter. However, you can get rid of this obstacle through a simple hanging exercise, which has become a quite popular method to increase a person’s height by one to two inches. The reason being it lets the weight of your lower torso stretches your spine. Take a horizontal bar or rod and place it high enough so that you can hang on it by holding and let your body fully extend. If your body cannot fully extend, then you can bend your knees slightly until you hang freely. Try to hang for at least 20 seconds and repeat. You should also repeat this exercise a minimum of three times.
- Dry Land Swim: This exercise is popularly known as the Alternate Leg Kick and focuses on your lower back. Lay down flat on your stomach. Your body should be fully extended. Put your arms straight out in front of you. Your palms should face the floor. Raise your left arm higher than your right arm and lift your right leg off the ground as far as you can, with your other leg straight on the ground. Remain in that position for 4-5 seconds. Then raise your other arm and leg and repeat the process.
- Pelvic Shift : This is a common exercise and favorite among gym instructors. It is simple and you feel a whole lot of stretching up and down your spine and in your hips while doing this exercise. Lie on your back with your shoulders and arms placed firmly on the ground. Bend your knees and bring your feet as much as possible near to your buttock. Next, arch your back so that your pelvis thrusts upward. Remain in this position for about 20 seconds and then gradually increase it to 30 seconds.
Yoga for Increasing Your Height:
Research studies have also shown that yoga and proper breathing techniques can play a fantastic role in increasing your height naturally. It is said that when we inhale deeply during yoga exercises, we release the stress that causes tension in your back muscles, which in turn removes the obstacle to enhance growth of the body. There are also a number of yoga postures which are particularly helpful in increasing your height. These yoga poses for keeping your body upright and increasing height are as follows:
- Surya Namaskar : This is an age-old yoga exercise with 12 different postures and performed in a chronological manner.
- Trikonasana : Trikonasana helps in improving your balance. This yoga exercise gives you a good posture. Also known as triangle pose.
- Talasana : Talasna strengthens your arms, legs and spines. Keeps your body smooth. Helpful height gain.
- Sukhasana : This is supposed to be the central position from which the other yoga postures started. You control your breathing and tone your lower back and hips by doing this asana.
- Adhomukha Savasana : Also known as the downward facing dog. This asana increases the blood flow to your face and neck.
Super Foods & Balanced Diet for Increasing Height
You can try all kinds of exercises and yoga but nothing is possible unless you take a complete balanced diet which gives you the essential nutrients required by the body for proper growth. Some essential nutrients good for the physical development of your body are as follows:
- Vitamin D and proteins: Boost growth hormones and assist in proper growth of teeth and bones. Consume more lean meat, cheese, legumes, tofu, egg white.
- Zinc: Zinc consumption is good for children as it prevents their stunted growth. Foods rich in zinc are chocolate, eggs, oysters, asparagus, peanuts etc.
- Calcium: Consume more of dairy products and green vegetables. This helps in the development of bones.
- Minerals, carbohydrates and vitamins: For a balanced diet, don’t forget to include milk, eggs, soybean, oatmeal, fruits and vegetables in your diet.
Ashwagandha or Indian Ginseng to Increase Height
Ashwaganha (Withania somnifera) is a medicinal herb commonly used in traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicines. This herb is powerful in enhancing the vitality, energy and strength of the body. It strengthens the tissues, muscles and bones and reduces the feeling of tiredness. As this herb increases the muscle and bone growth, it helps you to have a good physique.
- Mix equal parts of Ashwagandha powder and sugar.
- Take two tablespoons of this mixture and mix it with one glass of warm milk and consume it every night before you go to sleep.
- Continue this remedy continuously for about 45 days to see the best result in grow height.
- It is better to use cow’s milk to mix the powder.
- Do not use this home remedy during pregnancy
- For better and faster effect, avoid taking fast foods
Milk and Dairy Products
Drinking milk in the growing years can help improving the height. Milk contains the essential mineral calcium, which is necessary to improve bone health. Milk as well as dairy products are found to be effective in increasing the bone minerals and bone mass. In pubertal children, drinking cow milk provides the various nutrients for growth and for achieving the good amount of bone mass which will prevent the chances of osteoporosis in later life. The protein present in milk and milk products improves the overall health of the person.
- Consume 2-3 glasses of milk daily
- Include more dairy products in foods such as cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese in your diet
- This remedy is more effective in pubertal children
Drink Lot of Water
To have a healthy body, one needs to drink plenty of fresh water throughout the day. Drinking water will prevent the formation of toxic substances in the body which may affect the body metabolism. Drinking water will help to improve digestion and cleanse the body. When the body is free of toxins the metabolism will increase and this will help in proper growth of bones.
- Take 2 glasses of water on empty stomach in the morning to cleanse the digestive system
- Drink at least eight glasses of water to get best results
Apart from drinking water, you should avoid taking caffeinated drinks and alcohol if you are trying to increase the height. Avoiding carbonated drinks and fast food items also help in faster growth of bones. It is also better to eat water based vegetables and fruits like cucumber and watermelon along with drinking 8 glasses of water every day.
Avoid Growth Stunting Factors
It is extremely dangerous to take drugs and alcohol at a young age. Consuming these products can lead to stunted growth and malnutrition. Also reduce the intake of caffeine. Avoid taking steroids. They obstruct bone growth in young children, thereby affecting their height.
Strong Immune System
Certain childhood diseases can lead to stunted growth. These can be prevented by immunization at regular intervals and taking plenty of vitamin C. Consume citrus fruits like orange, grapefruit and lemon. You can keep your immune system strong by eating whole and fresh foods, legumes, whole grains, foods rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. Also avoid consuming processed and hydrogenated foods. This will help you to maintain a healthy immune system.