Does swimming increase height? Swimmers are widely recognized as some of the tallest athletes on the planet, and it’s no secret that swimming is one of the best forms of exercise. Swimming helps build cardiovascular strength and muscle mass and can burn many calories. But the question remains – does swimming increase height?
In today’s article, we will be looking at whether swimming can increase your height or not. We’re going to dive into some research related to the topic of growth, and we’re also going to look at a few ways to increase sure you reach your height during your growth spurt.
Does swimming increase height?
In short- no, swimming does not increase your height. When swimming, the force of gravity is removed from the spine, causing the spine to shorten, making the swimmer appear height.
So while swimming may lengthen the body temporarily, there is no evidence that swimming will increase height permanently.
As you can see, any height (if any) gained during swimming is temporary and will not increase a noticeable change in your height or appearance.
It is also important to note that height variation throughout the day is expected according to the journal of the annals of human biology and can vary by up to half an inch (1.5cm) depending on the time of day, meaning you may be mistaken.
That swimming helped increase your height, depending on the time of day you measured yourself.
That said, although swimming cannot increase your height (especially if your growth plates close and you generally stop growing at the age of 18), it can give you a healthy lifestyle to help ensure you reach your ideal height.
Ability to grow. We’ll discuss this in more detail in just a second so stick around.
Does swimming increase height? Know the truth
Many people believe that swimming helps to increase height as many of the famous swimmers in the world are tall.
Just take Michael Phelps as an example- coming in at 6 feet and 3 inches (193cm), Michael is probably the most famous swimmer in the world, having won 88 world medals, 28 of which are Olympic medals.
Here are some famous tall swimmers too;
- Matt grevers (6’9″)
- Matt biondI (6’7″)
- Nathan adrian (6’6″)
- Tom jager (6’4″)
- Sarah sjostrom (6’1″)
- Cate campbell (6’1″)
Many here believe that these swimmers are tall because they have been swimming for many years, many since they were young.
Everything about this statement, however, is entirely wrong. These swimmers are well known worldwide because their height allowed them to reach that level of competition.
Hard work and dedication also play a significant role, but their physical advantage also contributes to their success in the pool.
Another reason may be to believe that swimming can help you grow your height, which is the appearance that many swimmers of the same age seem to shoot above their peers, but that is not the case.
You see, young swimmers who show a lot of talent tend to be on the height side; these swimmers are more covered by the media, drawing attention to them and thus pretending that swimming is the reason for their height.
Some swimmers of the same age may also start swimming during their growth, meaning that they will gain more height during this period, leading to the false belief that swimming is the reason for this growth, but it is natural. Their hormones cause behaviour.
What determines how tall you will be?
So now that we’ve dispelled the myth that swimming can increase your height out of the way, you may be wondering- what exactly will determine how big I get?
Your genetic increase up is a significant factor that determines how tall you can grow.
If you come from a family with grandparents, uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces, and most importantly, your parents are tall, chances are very high that you will also be tall as it is in your nature.
On the other hand, if you come from a family where your family members tend to be short, chances are high that you will be on the short side.
However, it is essential to note that this may not always be the case and that there are exceptions where people from tall families end up being short while others from short families end up tall.
Scientists believe that genetic increase (DNA) is responsible for 80% of a person’s height. Another 20% can be determined by external factors that can affect your height, such as diet, hormones, activity levels, and other medical conditions.
Most people will not grow height after 18 years old
For most people, growth will stop entirely at 18, but in rare cases, some people may see an increase in height up to the age of 22, although this may not be much.
How does swimming increase height?
to increase your height – a healthy lifestyle is an answer.
Now that we know what causes height gain and at what ages you can expect this growth to occur, let’s look at a few ways to ensure you reach your genetic height.
As mentioned earlier in this article, scientists have determined that about 80% of height growth is genetic. So that leaves us with 20% fixed by external factors.
Below I have listed some of the critical external factors that can increase your height; let’s see how you can maximize these to ensure that you reach your birth height-
1. Get enough sleep.
Sleep is one of the most important things to increase height during growth. During deep sleep, the body begins to release hormones that promote overall growth in children and adolescents. These hormones also increase muscle mass and help repair cells and tissues in your body.
Generally, it is accepted that eight hours of sleep is the best amount of sleep to get throughout the night. And while this is generally true, more sleep may be needed at certain ages.
Here are the official recommendations:
- Newborns (0-3 months)- 14 to 17 hours sleep/day.
- Babies (4-11 months)- 12 to 15 hours of sleep/day.
- Young children (1-2 years)- 11 to 14 hours/day.
- Preschoolers (3-5 years)- 10 to 13 hours/day.
- School children (6-13 years)- 9 to 11 hours/day.
- Youth (14-17 years)- 8 to 10 hours/day.
- Adults (18+ years)- 7 to 9 hours/day.
2. Follow a healthy nutrition plan.
A healthy diet is one of the most important external factors in reaching your genetic height potential. If you’re not giving your body the proper nutrients and energy, it can’t grow properly- even if it wants to.
First, you want to ensure you’re eating enough (aka eating enough calories). Most people meet their daily calorie needs and are not in a calorie deficit. The problem, however, is that most people’s diets are filled with low-quality processed foods. I’m not saying you should eat chicken, rice, and broccoli at every meal but try to eat healthily.
Second, you want to ensure you do not lack any vitamins or minerals. These are essential substances consumed as inorganic ions by living organisms, such as ourselves.
Nutrients such as vitamin d and calcium are essential for bone growth and overall health, preventing your growth from slowing down.
Eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables is recommended to ensure you get the right amount of these nutrients. At the same time, calcium is usually found in dairy products such as milk.
Furthermore, protein is also an essential factor for bone health and growth. Try to consume at least 20 grams of protein every time you eat. Some good proteins include eggs, chicken, lean meat, and milk. While products made from plants such as soy and beans are also high in protein.
3. Train enough.
This last point may seem hypocritical when I said swimming could not increase your height. This fact remains valid for swimming and mainly all other sports and stretching activities; it does not mean indirectly increasing height.
When we talk about how swimming can increase height. We are talking about the sport itself and how its mechanics affect the body. Meaning that swimming cannot increase height, but indirectly exercise can help promote growth.
Exercising in itself is never a bad thing. And it leads to a healthy lifestyle that is necessary to increase your growth potential. Not to mention that vitamin d can also be obtained from the sun when you exercise outside.
Stagnant growth (a complex process determined by the interaction of genetics, nutrition, and socio-economic factors) “depends on the neuroendocrine system that directs the energy of food to increase in body weight.”
While swimming may not directly contribute to increasing your height. It can lead to a healthy lifestyle that can help you reach your genetic height. So if you are still preparing for it, I highly recommend making swimming a part of your exercise routine.
It’s important not to get discouraged by being short. But you have to accept that this is out of your control. And you have to focus on things you can control. Like, in the case of competitive swimming, improving your stroke style and working as hard as you can in training.