Saturday, December 15, 2012

How to Grow Taller: 9 steps



Your height is determined by both your genetics as well as environmental effects. Although several factors that determine your height are out of your control, there are a few things you can do to grow to your full potential. Once your growth plates have closed, your height stays the same; before that window has closed, however, you can try these exercises to grow taller.
Steps

1Understand that most of your height will be determined by genetics. Height is a polygeneic trait, meaning that it's influenced by several different genes. Having two short parents doesn't necessarily mean you'll be short, just as two tall parents won't make you a towering giant. However, if most of the people on both sides of your family are short, odds are that you'll be short, too. Don't be discouraged, though - the truth is that you can't know how tall you'll be until you reach full physical adulthood in your mid-20s.


Calculate your projected height. Working in inches or centimeters, you can try to predict your height based on the height of your parents.
Add up your mom and dad's heights (in inches or cm).
Add 5 inches (13 cm) if you're a boy; subtract 5 inches (13 cm) if you're a girl.
Divide by 2.
The answer is your predicted height, give or take 4 inches. Note that this isn't an absolute calculation, but it should be pretty close.[1]
2Avoid growth-stunting factors. There might not be a lot you can do to increase your height, but you can take several steps to make sure your natural height isn't shortened by environmental influences. Drugs and alcohol are both thought to contribute to stunted growth if they're ingested while you're young, and malnutrition can keep you from reaching your full height, as well.

Does caffeine really stunt your growth? Scientific study shows that, no, caffeine does not stunt growth.[2] Caffeine does, however, have a higher chance of keeping you from sleeping soundly and regularly. Kids and adolescents needs about 9-10 hours of sleep, and caffeine may hurt your ability to get that much sleep.
Does smoking really stunt your growth? The effects of smoking and second-hand smoke on body mass index (BMI) are inconclusive. According to Columbia University's Internet Health Resource, "Although the studies that have been done are largely inconclusive, the available research suggests that children who smoke or who are exposed to second-hand smoke are shorter than those who do not smoke or are children of non-smokers."[3]

Do steroids really stunt your growth? Absolutely. Anabolic steroids inhibit bone growth in young children and teens, along with lowering sperm count, decreasing breast size, elevating blood pressure and putting you at higher risk of heart attack.[4] Children and teens who suffer from asthma and use inhalers that dispense small doses of the steroid budesonide are, on average, half an inch shorter than those not treated with steroids.[5]
3Get plenty of sleep. Research suggests that growing teenagers and pre-teens need between 8.5 and 11 hours of sleep every night. This is because your body grows and regenerates tissue while you're at rest. Make your sleeping environment as calm as possible, and try to eliminate loud nosies and unnecessary light. If you have trouble falling asleep, try taking a warm bath or drinking a hot cup of chamomile tea before bed.
The human growth hormone (HGH) is produced naturally in our bodies, especially during deep or slow wave sleep.[6] Getting good, sound sleep will encourage the production of HGH, which is created in the pituitary gland.

As a hormone, HGH is sometimes injected into the bloodstream under supervision of a licensed doctor. HGH creams, powders, pills or non-prescription injections are medically suspect and have serious side effects.[7] Talk with your doctor before starting any course of HGH treatment.
4Eat right. Ensuring that you're getting all the vitamins and minerals your body requires will help you grow to your full height. Take a supplement targeted at your age group with breakfast each morning, and try to incorporate certain foods into your diet. Here are some specific suggestions:


Get plenty of calcium (found in dairy products and green vegetables). Calcium promotes bone growth, and can help prevent osteoporosis.
Get sufficient vitamin D (which can be obtained through eating fish, alfalfa, or mushrooms, or spending more time in the sun). Vitamin D promotes bone and muscle growth in children[8], and a deficiency has been shown to stunt growth and cause weight gain in teenage girls [9]. If you don't like fish, consider a fish liver oil supplement.

Take in lots of protein (from meat, eggs, tofu or legumes). Proteins provide the essential building blocks your body needs in order to grow. At least one (preferably two) of your meals each day should include a protein.
Up your zinc intake (oysters, chocolate, peanuts, eggs, peas, asparagus and supplements). A zinc deficiency can cause stunted growth in children [10]. The best way to make sure you meet your body's daily need is by taking a vitamin or supplement that includes zinc.

Eat on a regular schedule. You should be eating 3 meals a day, with small snacks between breakfast and lunch, and lunch and dinner. Try to schedule these events at roughly the same time each day.
5Keep your immune system strong. Some childhood illnesses can stunt your growth. Most of them can be avoided by the routine immunizations you may have had as a baby, but stay on the safe side by ingesting plenty of Vitamin C (found in citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruits and lemons) and getting plenty of rest as soon as you notice that you feel sick.
Keep your immune system strong by eating whole, fresh foods. Try to avoid processed foods, foods with empty calories or high levels of fat, and hydrogenated foods, such as margarine.

Eat a wide variety of healthy foods. Eating açaí or salmon for every meal, while certainly not a harmful habit, doesn't do all that much to keep your immune system at its strongest. Eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, proteins, and foods rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids for a healthier immune system.
6Exercise your body. Sadly, if your growth plates have closed, exercising will not affect your growth rate.[11] But if you enjoy swimming, biking, running, or yoga, among other sports, and you haven't stopped growing, exercise combined with the right diet and proper sleep should help you grow.

There are tons of "grow taller" exercises on the internet, which claim to help you grow. As mentioned above, after your growth plates have closed, you will not grow taller. Therefore, there's no scientific evidence to suggest you can grow taller through stretching. Stretching may improve your posture, which can exaggerate how tall you are — or unexaggerate how small you are — but it cannot add inches to your frame.

7Practice good posture. Rolling your shoulders or hunching over can actually affect the curvature of your growing spine (and not in a good way). Keep your shoulders back, chin high, and hips over your feet. Walk with purpose instead of slouching or slinking, and try to sit up straight when you're in chairs. Even if you're not actually getting taller, good posture will make you look taller.
Try the Alexander technique for better posture. Used by trained singers and actors, the Alexander technique improves posture by employing what the founder of the technique, F. Matthias Alexander, called "good use of the body." Classes teaching the technique are popular.

8Cultivate confidence. Being taller might be nice, but it can't make up for a general lack of confidence. Try to talk yourself into feeling comfortable in your own skin, and being generally happy with your looks no matter how tall you turn out to be. A positive attitude will more than make up for any lacking height.
9Visit a medical professional. If you're from a tall family and you're not growing by your mid-teens, or if your height hasn't changed much from before puberty to during puberty, then it's a good idea to see a doctor. Conditions that can stunt your growth (such as human growth hormone deficiency or autoimmune diseases) are fairly rare, but they do exist. If you're eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of rest but you're still not growing, then it's time to consult a doctor.


Consider seeing a doctor if you're a short adult. Though there are several childhood conditions (such as rickets) that can result in a short height as an adult, you should still ask a doctor about it. There may be ways to make sure that your bones and organs are healthy even though you didn't grow to full height.

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