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Your height is determined by your genetics and by environmental factors. You can calculate your approximate height by adding your mother and father’s height, then add 5 inches for males or subtract 5 inches for females and dividing the total by 2. This value is your height plus or minus 4 inches. Since you are unable to alter the genetic component in your height, you can adjust the environmental factors to reach your full height potential. Growth occurs from the time of birth to about 20 years of age. However, between ages 11-18, the rate of growth is accelerated. This is the time that you must optimize the growth. There are 10 steps that you can follow to achieve this:
The first component is sleep. The production of growth hormone is accelerated during deep sleep. It is recommended that you get between 9 to 11 hours of sleep every night.
The second factor is to stay active. Staying physically active such as swimming, biking, running, or yoga and other sports will assist the growth rate. Jumping, hanging upside down and stretching are also good exercises. Avoid exercise that weigh you down such as weight lifting.
For the third step, a well balanced diet is very important to for the body to obtain all the vitamins and minerals it needs to assist its growth. The body needs enough calories (energy) to grow, calcium for bone growth, Vitamin D for bones and muscles, and protein for the essential building block for growth. A lot of fruits and vegetables are always beneficial.
Sleep, exercise and diet are the basic factors that maintain a healthy body. However, there are other elements that can affect the growth rate. The fourth step is smoking. Smoking or second hand smoke can deprive the body of oxygen. There are studies that show children who smoke, or who are exposed to second-hand smoke are shorter than those who do not smoke or are children of non-smokers.
The fifth factor that influences growth is steroids. Anabolic steroids inhibit bone growth in young children and teens. Asthma inhalers or some pain killers contain steroids. Children and teens who suffer from asthmas and use inhalers are, on average, half an inch shorter than those not treated with steroids.
Avoiding sickness is the sixth element. When the body is sick, the energy is used to fight the infection instead of growth. When you feel a cold coming, ingest plenty of Vitamin C (found in citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruits and lemons), and get plenty of rest.
Caffeine is the seventh component that may affect your growth. Although studies have shown caffeine does not stunt growth, but it can keep you up at nights. Decrease sleep will decrease the production of growth hormone and thus will affect your growth.
The eighth element is taking niacin and zinc supplements. Taking 500 mg of niacin has shown to significantly increase growth hormone levels only when taken on an empty stomach. A zinc deficiency can cause stunted growth in children. The best way to make sure you meet your body’s daily need is by taking a vitamin or supplement that includes niacin and zinc.
The ninth component is to practice a good upright posture. If you stand or sit up straight, you will look taller. Having a slouch will increase the forward curvature of your back and will decrease your height.
The tenth and final factor for improving your height is to have your back check by a health professional. If you slouch, there are exercises and braces that can help. If you have scoliosis, the abnormal curvature in your spine can decrease your height by 1-3 inches. Special bracing, such as SpineCor, can help your scoliosis and prevent the condition from worsening. Regular visits to your Chiropractor can help your spine grow naturally.
If you follow these 10 steps, you can maximize or exceed your full height potential.