Stretching has long been touted as a way to increase flexibility and improve athletic performance. But does it really work? Is it safe? And is it even worth it?
Stretching is often recommended before exercise or sports activities. Some athletes believe that stretching helps them get into their optimal position during a competition. Others claim that stretching makes them look better in photos.
While some studies suggest that stretching can improve range of motion, reduce muscle soreness, and prevent injury, other research suggests that stretching may not be effective at improving flexibility.
In addition, stretching may cause pain and discomfort.
Does Stretching Actually Make You Taller?
Stretching can’t make you any shorter, but it can make you look taller.
From a purely scientific standpoint, stretching doesn’t actually lengthen muscle tissue; rather, it stretches the connective tissues that hold those muscles together.
So, while stretching does give your muscles a break, it won’t actually make you taller.
However, there is some evidence that suggests that stretching can help improve posture and improve overall health.
In fact, research conducted by the American Council on Exercise found that people who took up yoga regularly had less back pain, better posture, and better balance than those who didn’t practice yoga.
But what about stretching as a way to increase your height? While stretching can’t make you longer, it can certainly make you appear taller.
This is because when you slouch, you aren’t standing with your straightest posture. When you stand straight, however, you’re allowing your spine to be at its healthiest.
In addition, standing up straight helps keep your spine healthy and strong, which can lead to greater longevity.
So, next time you feel like you could use a little extra length, try a few stretches. You might just find yourself looking taller.
Why Is Stretching Important?
Stretching is one of the most basic forms of exercise, and it’s something we don’t think about often enough. After all, it’s easy to do, and it doesn’t require much equipment.
However, there are some benefits that come along with stretching that make it worth doing regularly.
According to the California Department of Health, stretching is good because it helps prevent injuries, reduces soreness, improves flexibility, and increases muscle strength.
By performing stretches on a daily basis, you’re able to reduce the likelihood of injury while improving your performance during athletic endeavors.
For Most, Height Won’t Increase After Age 18
If you’re like most people, you probably don’t want to grow taller. But what if you could? Researchers looked at data from over 2 million individuals born in Denmark between 1960 and 1990.
They found that even though the average person gains about 5 centimeters (2 inches) during adolescence, the majority of people stop growing around the age of 18.
For those who do continue to grow, the rate decreases dramatically starting at age 16.
The researchers estimate that a typical adult male will gain 4 cm (1.6 inches) and a female 3 cm (1.2 inches). However, the researchers say that “the actual amount of growth varies considerably among individuals.”
In fact, some men will reach adulthood without ever growing taller than 155 cm (5 feet 7 inches), while others will eventually surpass 190 cm (6 feet 2 inches).
So What Does Science Say Today?
The idea that we can increase our height by eating certain foods is nothing new. But while some people claim that a diet rich in protein and carbohydrates can make you taller, others believe that a healthy lifestyle is key to achieving optimal heights.
Specifically, that 60 percent to 100 percent of our height is genetically determined, and that the remaining 0 percent to 40 percent is due to environmental factors such as nutrition.
Therefore, to increase a child’s growth before puberty ends, we’re advised to give him/her the healthiest, most nutritious range of food.
While doctors can assess X-rays to determine whether growth plates are closing and the window of growth opportunities is shutting, there’s absolutely no safe way to physically alter those plates to continue growing perpetually.
In fact, because these plates represent the final areas of bone development, they’re very vulnerable to injury, so any sort of physical manipulation could cause serious damage.
If increasing your height is important to your self-image, the half-inch that you can recover through a strenuous stretching routine might help to push you over the top.
What Can You Do About Your Height?
Height is something we take for granted. But it’s actually quite difficult to change. There are many ways to increase height, including medical treatment and surgical intervention.
However, there are several less invasive options that you might consider, like wearing high heels or inserting insoles into your shoes.
While it might seem impossible to grow taller, there are actually ways to make sure that you’re happy with your size.
In 2017, researchers found that women who accepted their body type had better self-esteem than those who didn’t. They also reported feeling less depressed about their bodies.
This study focused on women, but men aren’t immune to negative thoughts about themselves either.
Of course, there are plenty of reasons why someone might want to grow taller. Maybe you’ve always wanted to be tall, or maybe you just don’t fit into certain clothes because of your height.
Whatever the reason, it’s important to remember that how you view yourself doesn’t necessarily reflect reality. Instead, you need to focus on what makes you unique — and that includes your height.
There are lots of things that influence our height, from genetics to the environment. While some people have more control over their height than others, there are definitely things we can do to improve our chances of being tall.
The best thing is to start thinking positively about yourself and your height now. If you think about all the great things that come along with being tall, you’ll find that you won’t even notice your height anymore.