Does Running Make You Taller?
Running is one of the best forms of exercise you can take, and has the potential to benefit your physical and mental health in multiple ways, not to mention your appearance.
Many people take up running as a means of slimming down and toning up, as the workout to your heart and muscles can burn a great many calories.
It is well known that running can help to take inches off your waist, but is it possible that it could add inches to your height at the same time? It may sound unbelievable, but scientific studies suggest that running may be able to make you taller.
So, let’s take a look at the facts - does running actually make you taller?
Increased Production of Growth Hormones
Studies have found that running stimulates and boosts production of the Growth Hormone in the human body, which is responsible for many essential functions.
Aside from playing a key role in cell and tissue growth and repair, the amount of this hormone your body produces directly relates to your height. Shorter people are usually found to produce less of the hormone, whilst taller people are found to produce more of it.
High-intensity exercise, such as running, can cause an upswing in the amount of Growth Hormone your body produces. Running also increases cardiovascular activity, which improves the circulation of the Growth Hormone throughout the body. Combined, these two factors can actually stimulate overall bodily growth, causing you to become taller.
Although this effect is very gradual, it can clearly be seen reflected in the above-average height of many marathon runners. With sustained training, this increase in the body's production of growth hormone means that running can make you taller over time.
Good posture is everything when you are running, and can work wonders for enhancing and optimizing your performance and fitness. But did you know that a proper running form also has the potential to add a few extra inches to your height?
Keeping your back straight, your head up, and your shoulders relaxed when running can not only improve your gait and efficiency but can also help to release tension in the body.
This tension can cause muscles in the back to become compressed, shortening the spine and, in some people, resulting in a hunched back, which can make you look shorter than you really are. This is especially true of people with desk jobs, who routinely spend their days bent forward over a computer, resulting in a curved back that persists even when standing.
Loosening up those muscles means the spine is able to stretch out, straighten, and elongate, allowing you to regain up to two inches of ‘hidden height.’
Micro-fractures and Repair
It may sound drastic, but creating micro-fractures (that is, tiny breaks in the bones of the legs) is also a way in which running makes you taller. These fractures are caused by putting excessive amounts of stress on the bones, such as by running faster or further than your body is used to.
The extra strain caused by activities such as sprinting can create micro-fractures in the shins and parts of the tibia, which the body then naturally repairs. This is part of the natural growth process and causes extra bone tissues to form in the gap created by the fracture.
This means that each time your body sustains and repairs a micro-fracture in the bones of your legs, you gain a tiny amount of height as the body adds more bone material to fill the gaps.
Micro-fractures may sound scary, but they are actually harmless; however, it is important that you take adequate rest after intense periods of exercise, and follow a healthy, balanced diet. This allows your body to heal quickly and, over time, can make you gradually taller.
Tips and Hints
If your goal is for running to make you taller, there are a few things you can do to expedite the process and encourage growth:
+ Eat a healthy, balanced diet
Making sure your body gets enough of the essential vitamins and minerals it requires is vital for healthy growth and repair. This allows your body to regenerate muscle cells and heal micro-fractures, both of which can contribute to making you taller.
Stretching before and after a workout can aid in the growth and repair of muscle tissues, as well as making the muscles more supple and flexible. This can reduce tension in the spine, encouraging it to relax and stretch out.
+ Push Yourself
Exercising intensely, either by sprinting or adding to the distance of your run, can help to create micro-fractures in the shins and tibia. The healing process of these fractures can incrementally add to your height over time.
+ Take Adequate Rest
In order for your body to quickly and efficiently repair itself, it is important that you take enough rest. Recognize when to take it easy, so your body becomes stronger and longer at the fastest possible rate without sustaining unnecessary injuries.
Conclusion - Does Running Make You Taller?
There is a wealth of scientific evidence to suggest that, over time, running on a regular basis can make you taller.
These results are gradual, and will not immediately add inches to your height after just a few workout sessions. However, sustained training can help to make you taller over time, as well as improving your overall fitness, muscle health and strength, cardiovascular function, metabolism, and mental wellbeing.
Regularly running allows you to make small improvements to your posture, straightening out your spine and regaining ‘hidden height’ that is lost when your back is curved or hunched.
It can stimulate and increase the production and circulation of the Human Growth Hormone, which aids in the growth and repair of cells and tissues, as well as helping you to grow taller.
Running can also enhance your vertical growth by creating and repairing micro-fractures in the bones of your legs, a natural process which causes excess bone tissues to form and gives a tiny boost to your height.
Whilst running may not instantly add inches to your height, the changes it causes in your body can gradually make you taller over time. This and the other multiple benefits of running can boost your fitness and confidence, for improved health and happiness in all aspects of your life.