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Improving Posture and Height?

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    Improving Posture and Height?

    I'm on the shorter side (last time I measured myself I was around 5'6.75) and while I'm alright with this, I would honestly be lying if I said I wouldn't like to be taller lol. I know there's probably no way that I would be able to say, grow 6 inches or something hahaha, but I don't know, I've heard that apparently astronauts get a bit taller after coming back from outer space due to the way gravity impacts their spine or something, so the idea of maybe being able to grow another inch sounds like it might be possible, but I'm not exactly an expert on anything like this honestly.

    I actually measure myself every week because I heard that's a good way to make sure your spine is stable and that you're posture isn't getting screwed up by anything, kinda like how stepping on the scale every week is a good way to make sure you're maintaining a healthy weight. I've noticed quite a bit of variance here, with me once coming in as short as 5'6.25, yet also as tall as 5'7.25 or 5'7.5 (I can't quite remember the exact measurement) at different points. I think this shows that what we do affects our height, or I guess a better term would be posture.

    I was just wondering if there was anything I could do for this, like say, stretches or yoga I could perform on a regular basis that would maximize my height so I was closer to the higher end I mentioned rather than the lower one, maybe even increase it a bit. I'm not sure if the increase is possible, although I'm sure maximizing it probably is. Either way though, I'd like to know what you guys think here. Let me know if you have any suggestions

    #2
    The human body is not static, rather it is dynamic. You have probably heard that 36.8 degrees is the normal body temperature, but lost in that is that this is the average body temperature, and it is not necessarily normal. Instead a healthy person can be between 36.1 and 37.2, and this will change over time. As anyone who has been trying to lose weight will tell you, they will get frustrated after having been in a calorie deficit for two straight weeks with a decent amount of exercise and still gained weight. The same goes for height, as it can vary somewhat between different times of day and energy levels.

    As I know from your previous posts, you are fairly active and work on a wide range of activities. All exercise should be broken down with at worst 50-25-25 (though probably better 33-33-33) between strength, cardio and stretching. From what I can tell you are probably in there somewhere. That said that you are not going to really be able to affect your maximum overall height (let's say 171 cm for all the metric people out there) but you are going to be able to be closer to the top than the bottom of your range if you are balancing your exercise properly. That said, the body is still dynamic, there are going to be days when you do exactly everything right and measure less. If it is something that you like, keep doing it, but personally for me, I wouldn't put much value in it, just like I don't often weight myself. You should have a better understanding of what your body is doing by simply listening to it as opposed to worrying often arbitrary numbers.

    The only other thing I can suggest, is that you are doing everything right, because one way to seem bigger is to project yourself by having confidence, and a lot of confidence comes from mental health which in terms is tied to physical health. I wouldn't worry about height at all, you are after all not short, just on the low end of the average for men in North America. Even truly short people shouldn't worry about it, we are all dealing with what our own bodies can do, and should only worry about our own capabilities, not how they relate to others.

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      #3
      You might not be able to grow taller, but how you hold yourself affects the appearance of height. If you slump, either at the lower back or by rounding the shoulders, you'll of course look shorter. By ensuring you stand and walk with a long spine, and by being careful not to hunch, especially after doing a lot of desk-work, it is unlikely that you will look short. Remember to do the occasional (or regular!) posture exercise. You might consider seeing someone like a chiropractor to make sure your back is in good condition. I have problems with mine but after I've seen him, I feel (even if it's not true, but it might be) a bit taller because things are moving nicely again.

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        #4
        Our bodys generally stop growing by the age of 19. The femur can grow a bit till 24. It's downhill from there on.
        The reason for your different measurements and the astronauts growing are the intervertebral discs in your spine. They hold the spine together and act as shock absorbers. To do that, they have a gel-like center. That gets compressed throughout the day when sitting or standing up and relaxes and gets rehydrated while laying down when you sleep. As for the astronauts: No gravity -> no compression. Since those 23 discs make up for a quarter of the lenght of the spine, their state makes quite the difference. About 1-2 cm a day. If you add the compression in the arch of your foot (yes, that gives way too) you can 'shrink' up to 3 cm over the course of a day.
        That's all good and well, but now comes the downhill part. With the end of your growth around 20, those dampeners are no longer supplied by blood vessels. As we grow older, and keep in mind that up to 200 years ago the average lifespan was 35, by the age of 40 those gel-dampeners start to 'dry out' and become more brittle and shrink.

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