Running is probably the most common exercise to get a fit and healthy body. In fact, we have been running almost as soon as we start walking. It’s no surprise, however, because it has tons of benefit for getting into shape and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
However, there is a controversy that revolves around this fantastic activity: does running make you taller? Well, there are different approaches to answering that question. Read on to find out more as well as the other benefits running has to offer!
Does Running Make You Taller?
You might have heard this somewhere and are wondering if it is actually true. Well, some researches and scientific papers have claimed that dedicating yourself to a regular, proper running exercise can help you grow by as much as 3 inches.
Let us look at the different ways how this positive result comes about.
1. Elevated HGH Levels
A research published in the Journal of Metabolism and Endocrinology reported that running regularly and in intense bursts stimulate the pituitary gland to produce higher levels of the human growth hormone (HGH) which plays an important role and largely influences the growth process of the body.
This is also called Latissimus dorsi and is said to be the flat muscle that stretches from your back to the sides of your body. This is the muscle that is being worked out when you bring your body closer to your upper arms during a pull up.
The functions of HGH include increasing bone density for remodeling and growth as well as improving the thickness of cartilages and bones. It also enhances or speeds up growth, which means that the more HGH is released in the body, the taller you will grow.
The International Journal of Medical Research and Health Sciences also reported that high-intensity exercises like running could trigger the synthesis of growth hormones which when combined with the overall effect of the exercise becomes even more effective.
According to the study, this can be proven by the heights of marathon runners. It also said that the hormones released while running in bursts or with high speeds can have an effect on the body for more than 24 hours after the activity.
3. Bone Microfracture Repair
Long distance intense running can cause you to develop microfractures on the bones of the lower leg area such as the shins of your tibia or the lower ankles. These microfractures become stretched, causing gaps to form.
The body then repairs these microfractures by ossifying them or adding bone materials to fill in the gaps. This then brings about an increase in your height.
The healing process for these microfractures is much faster than the normal bone remodeling process which occurs only every three years or so. Therefore, microfracture repair due to sprinting is a quicker way to lengthen your bones and grow taller.
4. Improving Your Posture
Running also has several physiological effects on the body including an improvement in your posture which helps you gain height.
Running relieves stress from the muscles and relaxes your shoulders, forcing you to pull your chest back and your chin up. This results in a taller stance and a straighter body posture. If you have a hunched posture, this change brought about by running will be more significant and evident.
By maintaining the proper posture because of sprinting and running, the spine gets stretched and decompressed, allowing you to become up to two inches taller.
The proper posture and correct form with relaxed shoulders, straight back, and raised head when running also makes you look taller than your actual height.
5. A Leaner, More Streamlined Body Appearance
It is a well-known fact that running can help in weight loss and in shaping the whole body. It also assists in reducing or getting rid of the spinal curvature. Since leaner people tend to have a sleeker, straighter frame, this help gives you a taller appearance.
Other Amazing Benefits Of Running
Running as an everyday activity and exercise have tons of benefits. These include reduced risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, prevent various types of cancer, improved mental health, increase your flexibility, stabilize your blood pressure, a boost in energy levels, and weight loss among others.
Here are some other benefits running regularly can offer:
1. Improved Overall Health
Running periodically improves your overall health by boosting your immune system and reinforcing your body’s defenses against a lot of diseases. It also reduces the chances of you getting an early heart attack and suffering from diabetes by keeping your sugar levels in check.
By allowing the muscles to relax and get properly toned, running also helps prevent muscle fatigue and pains.
2. Fat And Weight Loss
Paired with a proper, balanced diet, running alone is a great way to develop a leaner body and musculature. Running helps you lose extra fat and excess weight, which in turn makes you look thinner. This thinner and slimmer appearance gives you a taller appearance which kind of indirectly increases your height.
3. Improved Mental Health
Running, like any other exercise or physical activity, also stimulates the brain’s production of feel-good hormones and chemicals which affect your mental condition.
These hormones help eliminate depression, relieve stress, and help lessen headaches and tension in the body. The secretion of some of these hormones can also improve your mood and stabilize it throughout the day.
4. Keep Your Blood Pressure Under Control
Running even half a mile per day has been found to help the body regulate and maintain healthy blood pressure. When you run or engage in similar activities, your heart works extra hard, and your arteries expand and contract that they usually do.
As you run, the arteries also become stretched, thus maintaining their elasticity. This, in turn, reduces your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
5. Increased Lung Capacity
When you are running, your lungs are also working extra hard to deliver more oxygen to your working muscles. The rate of inhalation and exhalation increases, as well as your lung capacity.
This reduces your chances of having bronchitis, asthma attacks, and difficulty in breathing.
6. Clear, Healthy Skin
Did you know that running regularly can also help give you clear skin? Yes, it helps stimulate blood circulation which improves the transport of essential nutrients throughout the body while increasing the efficiency of the removal of unwanted substances and flushing out of toxins. All of these help you achieve and maintain clear skin.
7. Increased Physical Strength
Just as using a machine regularly helps finetune its various parts, running can help improve the physical strength of your body by removing fatigue from joints, muscles, and tendons.
By working on these body parts, this activity also enhances your flexibility, reducing the likelihood of injuries in the future.
8. Better, More Restful Sleep
Running and physical exercise can help you overcome the symptoms of insomnia. When you run a lot, your body becomes tired and will require rest to recover. After running, your body is more likely to produce the necessary hormones to help you sleep and stay asleep so when you hit the hay; you are ready for some much needed, restful shut-eye.
The only way to enjoy all of these is first to enjoy running. If you suffer from foot conditions that can hinder you from pushing yourself towards your goals, it will help to buy the right running shoes for your needs, such as the best running shoes for people with metatarsalgia.
To achieve these benefits, you have to run the right way. To know how to do that, please watch this video:
Other Height-Gaining Factors Outside Of Running
Many different factors not directly related to running also influence height gain including the following:
1. Additional Exercises
Aside from running, other forms of exercise are known to help increase your height:
- Cobra stretches
- Bar hanging
- Dryland swimming
- Pelvic shift
- Hopping on one leg
- Pilates rollover
2. Your Diet
Like our parents used to say, what you eat is also crucial in making you taller. Running and any other physical activity should be combined with a proper, appropriate diet with the right mix of micronutrients and macronutrients.
To assist your body in producing height-building nutrients, consume a diet composed of:
- Green leafy vegetables
- Nuts like peanuts, cashew, walnut, almonds, and pecans
- Yellow vegetables
3. The Right Amount Of Rest And Sleep
Rest and sleep also play a significant role in increasing your height. This is because growth hormones are produced and released to the bloodstream by the pituitary gland as you sleep. This hormone is responsible for the lengthening and thickening of your bones which makes you taller.
More restful sleep equals better and more efficient pituitary function which in turn means releasing the optimum levels of growth hormones needed by the body. If you really want to get taller, make sure never to deprive yourself of a good night’s sleep.
4. Steering Clear Of Growth Repressors
While some food and drinks stimulate growth, other substances can harm your height gain. Some lifestyle practices and habits can also counteract the effect of growth hormones.
To maximize your growth, avoid:
- Sleep deprivation
- Alcohol intake
- Sedentary lifestyle
So, does running make you taller? The short answer is no, and it is not a surefire way to get taller. However, running does have benefits that can influence a height increase of a few inches.
While running is technically not the best way to be taller, it can provide amazing rewards especially when done regularly and in combination with other factors like a balanced diet, discipline, a healthy lifestyle, and proper rest. So, whether or not it does make you taller, there is really nothing to lose if you keep running anyway!