Does swimming make you taller?

by   |   Feb 05, 2021

It is no secret that swimming is one of the most popular forms of exercise. It is also a sport dominated by some of the tallest athletes in the world. Swimming is renowned for its benefits in burning off a ton of calories as well as building up muscle tone and cardiovascular fitness. Many also believe in the correlation between swimming and height growth. But the real question is – Can swimming make you taller?

In this article, we will be investigating whether swimming can make you taller or not. After discussing some research on the topics of height growth and how swimming can benefit our body, we will take a look at different ways through which a person can reach their maximum potential height during their growing years.

Where does the belief that swimming can make you taller originate from?

A possible reason for this belief lies in the fact that most famous and accomplishing swimmers around the globe are incredibly tall. Just take a look at Michael Phelps for instance. As the most well-known swimmer in the world who won a total of 83 international medals, Michael Phelps comes in at a height of 6 feet and 3 inches (193 cm). Other world-renowned talented swimmers such as Matt Biondi, Tom Jager, Matt Grevers, and Nathan Adrian are even taller than Mr. Phelps with seriously prominent height. This leads to the common belief that swimmers are tall because they spend a lot of time swimming.

This statement is, however, not entirely true. In fact, it is their dominating height that gives these swimmers an advantage to reach an international level of competition and achieve profound success on the world stage. Although dedication and hard work apparently make huge contributions to their success in the pool, the role of physical advantage is not to be denied.

Another probable explanation for the belief that you can grow taller by swimming stems from the tall appearance of many age-group swimmers. Indeed, many age-group swimmers seem to shoot out above their peers. However, most of the young talents in the swimming pool who draw a lot of attention and are intensely covered by the media are on the taller side. This somehow encourages people to believe that their tall height can be attributed to swimming. Such an assumption is quite questionable in that age-group swimmers may begin swimming during their growth spurts and gain a lot of height. It means that the substantial growth after taking up swimming can be an entirely natural process caused by their hormones rather than swimming.

So, does swimming make you taller, even just a little?

Research has shown that swimming removes the force of gravity on your spine, thereby enabling the spine to decompress and making swimmers look taller. While swimming has the benefit of elongating the body, such an effect will not remain permanent without practice for a considerable amount of time. For this reason, if you want to experience any positive impact of swimming on your height growth, you will firstly need to start swimming at a much earlier age. Kids who develop the habit of swimming are found to become taller as adults compared with non-swimmers.

Swimming stretches the muscles within your body, increases energy level, and broadens the chest and shoulders. More importantly, it stimulates the pituitary gland to increase growth hormone production, which in turn boosts height growth for swimmers. The more time you spend swimming, the taller you can become. This is due to your body being stretched throughout the exercise. Moreover, swimming stretches your joints, limbs, and spine where your growth plates are active to increase your height. As a result, it is an excellent way to add a few extra inches to your height as well as help you stay healthy and active.

That being said, growing taller by swimming is not an overnight thing. Swimming requires tremendous time and effort, and to reap its benefits, you have to swim on a regular basis. It should be noted that swimming cannot increase your height once your growth plates have fused. It can only work its magic during your growing years. Besides, swimming alone cannot give you the best chance to reach your maximum height potential. You need to couple it with other stretching exercises such as cycling, hanging, yoga, and the like to maximize height growth.

What is more?

No amount of exercise or workout can maximize your growth potential if your body is not supplied with essential nutrients for height gain. In other words, you need to incorporate a proper diet into your swimming routine. Proper nutrition is fundamental to fueling your body with the right nutrients and enough energy for optimal growth. To begin with, you need to make sure you consume sufficient calories. Most people generally meet their daily calorie needs. Notwithstanding this, a majority of their diets are full of low-quality processed food. In addition, vitamins and minerals should always make a presence in your everyday meals, especially calcium and vitamin D as they are vital to bone growth and overall health. By eating enough vegetables and fresh fruits, you can rest assured about the adequate consumption of these nutrients. Dairy products are also a great source of calcium. Another essential component of bone growth and bone health is protein. At least 20 grams of protein is recommended each time you eat. You can find plenty of protein in lean meats, poultry, and eggs. You may try taking height growth supplements if you believe you are not obtaining these nutrients from your diet.

Sleep is another important factor to take into consideration if you want to grow taller fast, particularly during your growing years. When you are in deep sleep, your body is triggered to release the most growth hormone that is responsible for not only height growth but also muscle building and cell repairing. Usually, 8 hours of sleep is accepted as a good amount of sleep to get every night. Despite this, at certain ages, more sleep might be required.

At the end of the day, it takes a lot of investment to be put into your growing-taller journey if you want to reach your desired height. When engaging in swimming or any other sports to increase height, always remember to be patient and consistent. Besides, it is crucial to lead a healthy lifestyle with enough sleep and proper nutrition to foster optimal height development.

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