This might seem like rather a strange question…
Often, we label these kinds of ideas as myths lacking in scientific evidence.
Sometimes it pays to look a little closer and see if there is at least a grain of truth to be found…
Does running make you taller or is it just an old wives’ tale?
Running is a high intensity and high impact way to train. You can certainly boost the efficiency of your heart and lungs by pounding the pavement. Runners enjoy increased bone density. Blood pressure can be normalized. Flexibility comes with running.
There are obviously a shower of benefits that accompany any form of intense cardio like running but can running make you taller?
We will first briefly examine 4 of the principal reasons forwarded when people suggest that running can encourage you to grow…
1. Running Improves Your Posture
In order to run properly, you need proper posture.
With your head up and back straight, shoulders thrown back, you will coax your body into better alignment.
Someone with poor posture can be riddled with tension. This can compress the muscles. Bad posture also causes the back to hunch properly.
With no curvature of the spine and the lean, chiseled look of a runner, it is certainly true that you can appear to the eye taller.
It’s understandable that people believe these factors add some inches to your height. Whether or not this is more than superficial remains to be proven.
2. Sprinting Can Fuel Your Growth Hormone
Any high intensity exercise can trigger growth hormones synthesizing.
Running is no different.
The Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism published a report throwing some scientific clout to this argument.
When the pituitary gland produces more human growth hormone (HGH), more fat is burned. Lean muscle mass is preserved. The growth hormone starts to scavenge fat searching for fuel.
The key here is the role of HGH…
In children, it helps all body tissues to develop and grow until maturity is reaches.
HGH in adults helps with muscle repair and subsequent growth. Fat is better mobilized and bone growth can be stimulated.
You need to make up your own mind as to whether HGH actually makes you taller as an adult when you have stopped growing upwards.
Read more about this subject here.
3. What Are Microfractures?
Anyone who runs long distances at high speeds will develop microfractures.
When the bones are stressed by exercise, they will develop tiny fractures. With adequate rest and recovery, these fractures will not just heal but grow stronger as well as longer.
Running and cycling are the two forms of exercise that inflict most microfractures.
If we think about height relative to bone length, microfractures could be said to increase your height if you do not overdo things and cause more harm than good.
4. The Link Between Running And Sleep
A balanced sleep pattern certainly plays an important role in the release of HGH.
Most people who exercise frequently tend to sleep better. If you push your body hard and live an active life, you’ll tend to drop off more quickly and to sleep for longer.
In this sense, running is beneficial if it helps you to sleep.
Again, what needs to be examined is whether HGH itself actually makes you taller once you have exited puberty and stopped growing.
What’s The Conclusion?
There are many different ways to analyze the theories about running making you taller.
It cannot easily be denied that running will lead you to carry yourself better. This improvement in posture could certainly appear to add inches to your height.
There is ongoing disagreement about microfractures and there is not much hard evidence to elevate this from a theory to scientific fact.
The role of sleep and diet in overall growth is tangential at best.
If you push yourself right to your limits and methodically burst-run over periods of time, perhaps you will notice a very slight difference in height but it would not be detectable to the eye.
For the average runner not taking things to extremes, there is very little chance that running will make you taller.
Focus on the vast array of positives that running brings with it and love yourself the way you are rather than striving to pack on a few inches. Be the best that you can be rather than trying to turn into something different!
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