Having a good height is something everyone aspires for. But not many people are happy with their height. So can anything be done about it? Can you increase height even after 21? If you want to know the answer then keep reading the article.
Factors that determine your height
Before jumping into whether it’s possible to increase your height even after 21. Let’s first know which factors determine your height.
1) Genetic Factor
Height is hugely impacted by your genetic composition meaning how tall or short you turn out will be inherited from your parental side.
According to the studies, around 60-80% of height difference among individuals is due to genetics while 20-40% depends on environmental or physical factors such as nutrition.
2) Non-Genetics Factors
Non-Genetic factors are also responsible for your stunted height. These factors are:-
• Lack of physical activity
• Hormonal imbalance
Why does Height won’t Increase after 18?
Even after you follow a healthy diet, the height won’t increase for most people after 18 to 20. The reason why the height won’t increase is because of your growth plates.
The Growth plates or epiphyseal plates are areas of specialized cartilage near the end of your long bone.
Lengthening of the long bone results in increase height because the growth plates are still active or ‘open’. But near the end of puberty, due to the hormonal changes, the growth plates become hard or ‘close’, and therefore the lengthening of the long bone stops.
The growth plates usually close at the age of 16 in women and almost between the ages of 14-19 in men.
However, the compression and decompression of the discs in your spine lead to small changes in height throughout the day.
Medical conditions that may cause an adult’s height to increase after 20
Though the height for most people won’t increase after 18 to 20 there is however an exception to this theory.
First, the closure of the growth plates which are responsible for the increase in height may get delayed in some individuals which means if the growth plates remain “open” past age 18 to 20 then the height could continue to grow.
Second, some people suffer from the hormonal condition of gigantism which causes excessive growth of height due to too much growth hormone (GH) production.
Another medical condition is hemochromatosis. In this excessive iron content is absorbed in the intestine which may cause an increase in height.
These medical conditions only occur if the growth plates haven’t closed.
Myths about increasing height
1) No exercise or stretching techniques can make you taller
This is a common height myth that certain exercises or stretching techniques can make you grow taller.
Many people claim that activities such as hanging, climbing, running, and swimming can increase your height. However, there is no certain evidence of this.
It is true that your height varies throughout the day due to the compression and decompression of your disc will result in a minor increase in height which is temporary.
2) Exercise (Weight Lifting) won’t impair your height
Many people worry that exercise especially weight lifting is not favorable for the growth in height especially for children and adolescents whose growth plates have not been closed and therefore the cartilage of their growth plate is weaker than the mature bone that forms during adulthood and hence during weight lifting could be damaged more easily.
However, studies show that weight lifting is safe and beneficial to all ages of people only if it is appropriately supervised.
According to a survey of 500 sports medicine experts, 85% of the experts said it is not necessary to avoid weight lifting. And 10% thought it is best to avoid weight lifting.
With proper supervision and technique, weight lifting is safe for all. However, disc injuries due to weight lifting could possibly lead to small decreases in height.
A healthy lifestyle before 18 may help you reach your height potential
Eating a good diet is very necessary for your good growth. You should get plenty of important nutrients including calcium, Vitamin B12, and Vitamin D. Protein is a growth mineral needed to build the body.
2) Being Physically Active
During teenage, a child should also be physically active to ensure the proper growth of height. Participation in sports activity, yoga, and doing exercise promotes good height and serves additional health benefits too.
3) Get Adequate Sleep
Sleep is an important aspect and should not be taken lightly. According to the studies, when we sleep, many body functions including growth activity occur in our body. People with sleep apnea have stunted growth or other hormonal issues.
What can you do now?
From the above article, we now understood, that no amount of diet or exercise will make a real difference to your height after 18.
But there are however certain ways that can make you “appear taller”. A few of them are listed below:-
1) Practice Good Posture
If you spent your entire day sitting right in front of your desk, or just sitting the entire day, you are not doing great for your body.
A bad posture will make you look shorter than you really are. It also affects your natural curve and spinal health. But by a good posture, you can make you appear taller. By stretching, spinal exercises, you can elongate your spine and appear slightly taller.
2) Gain Muscle
Gain muscle, do weight training if you feel small in general, lifting weights can help you gain muscle which will make you muscular and confident.
Incorporate nutrient-rich foods and adopt the right workout regimes.
3) Try heels or inserts and make clothes look better on you
It may not be medically possible to increase your height but you can do certain tricks with your clothes and shoes to appear slightly taller.
Try to wear high-waisted pants, fitted tops, single-color clothes. You can also choose shoes with taller heels or can place inserts in your shoes to add up to a few inches of height. This will give an illusion of a taller look.
4) Accept yourself
If you wish to have a taller height, the best thing you can do is to accept your current height. Making a list of your best qualities, both physical and non-physical may help improve your outlook.
Can Supplements help?
In today’s world, there are a lot of supplements and natural concoctions on the market claiming to increase your height.
Supplements are helpful only to those who are suffering from hormonal dis functioning. For Example- lack of human growth hormone (HGH) production may compel some to take synthetic HGH if suggested by the doctor. Older adults may take supplements such as Vitamin D or Calcium to negate the risk of age-related height loss.
Height is largely determined by genetics. An increase in height after 18 is not necessary for everyone. However proper nutrition during childhood and adolescence can help you maximize your height.
But if you are unhappy with your height, you can follow the strategies that can make you appear taller, these include having a good posture, wearing shoe inserts or heels, or lifting weights to gain muscle.
But most important of all is to accept your current height and take care of your diet and be happy.