As parents, we all want our children to grow stronger and taller. While height may be linked with genetics, it is not the major growth factor. A proper diet and some simple exercise in the early ages can gain a few more inches.
According to doctors and studies, a baby’s growth slows after 1 year. Once the child is an adolescent, growth spurts occurs between the ages of 8-16. This is the ideal time to introduce exercises to your kids. Exercises elongate and strengthen the bones. In young children, the bands of cartilage stretch allowing the bones of legs and arms to grow. After around the age of 16, these cartilages fuse together and the bones can’t grow any longer. Thus, the growth spurt stops after kids reach puberty.
Therefore it is very important to start exercise early and promote your child’s height. Although children are naturally energetic, it is imperative to nurture the energy and guide it in specific directions in matters of growing taller.
Mentioned below are few exercises and yogas that can benefit your children to gain that extra height.
Stretching is the simplest exercise that should be taught at an early age. Being one of the most effective ways to promote growth, it should be encouraged regularly among children. The simplest stretching exercise is the wall stretch. The child should be standing with his/her back against the wall. The hands then should be raised in the air and stretched as high as possible. The toes should be stretched as well while stretching the hands. Ensure that this is done at least 10 times.
Another simple stretching exercise involves sitting down on the floor and spreading the legs wide. The child should bend forward at the waist and stretch to touch the right toe. Keep repeating it 2-3 times for maximum benefit. After this is done, go back to the original sitting position and stretch forwards towards the left toe. Toe touching exercises increases spinal flexibility and improves posture. Stretch improves blood circulation in the body, increases metabolism and relaxes the bone and joints thereby triggering growth hormones, making the optimum body for growing taller.
Hanging is yet another simple exercise that can be taught at a fairly young age. Young children have a tendency to play outside, reaching and jumping for taller things. Installing hanging bars at home can help in the growth of the child. Hanging bars help in straightening spine and elongating the vertebra. Pull-ups and chin-ups are two simple exercises that should be encouraged daily. Ideally, the child should be freely hanging above the ground. However, some parents might be concerned about the safety of hanging from too higher places. In such cases, the child should be taught to bend their knees while hanging. Pulling themselves up for a few minutes daily is a good exercise to follow. If it is not possible to install a hanging bar at home, take your child to the nearest playground at a regular basis.
Rope skipping is one of the basic exercises for promoting height growth. Skipping is fairly easy and relatively safer. Skipping helps the growth plate in ankles, knees and backbone. The constant jumping motion stimulates the larger muscles, developing the overall body shape. Each time the child skips, the body undergoes stretching. Rope skipping should be done for a few minutes every day for better growth. Apart from being a healthy exercise, skipping can also be played as a game as a means to motivate children to perform. If skipping is done before or after stretching, the effect is doubled.
Yoga is a great way to promote healthy growth of a child. Yoga asanas such as Surya Namaskar are ideal in helping kids grow tall. The pose allows the body to stretch completely, encouraging growth in height. It is important that the child does simple breathing exercises before beginning. Make the child lie down on the back, with hips lifted and legs stretched backwards. Make sure the back is absolutely straight. Maintain this position and continue deep breathing for as long as possible. Chakrasana is another great yoga exercise that will get your child to stretch his entire body. This involves lying flat on the back with legs apart. Get your child to bend his knees, touching his buttocks and bend his elbows so that his fingers touch his shoulders. The next step is to breathe in and push his body up to create a U, staying in this position for as long as he can. Release the position, breathing out and rest for a few seconds before repeating the pose.
Outdoor sports as exercises
The great outdoors is more than a place of escape for young kids. There’s no better exercise than running and playing around under the sunshine. Providing Vitamin D, sunlight helps bones grow and takes a part in the height growth of a child. Generally, total-body workouts that use the whole body are good for increasing height such as walling, jogging, rope-skipping, swimming, dancing, volleyball, basketball, soccer, baseball, skate, ballet and aerobics.
Sports like basketball, tennis and badminton are all great ways to promote growth hormones in the body and help your child grow taller. Basketball involves a lot of high jumping. As your child reaches high towards the basket; the back, legs, and arms get stretched. This helps the spine to elongate. If possible, this game should be played every day for at least forty five minutes to an hour. Basketball is a sport which children can enjoy playing with friends. Playing plenty of basketball during teenage years is best to achieve maximum growth height.
Swimming is another full body exercise that helps in muscular and height growth. As one takes strokes, the entire body is stretched. Breast-stroke is considered to be the best swimming exercise to increase height. Few studies show that kids who swim a lot during the teenage years are found to be taller than non swimmers. Swimming helps to stretch the muscles throughout the body which releases the growth hormone and increases height.
As with everything else in life, to gain results it is necessary to make a routine and follow it diligently for the best results. While less exercise will not show any results, exercising more than required could lead to severe side effects in the child. Always make sure to teach the child the movements carefully and repeatedly until they can do it naturally.
Follow the below mentioned three basic guidelines while exercising.
1. Exercise for 30 mins or more
The duration of exercise should be from 30 to 60 minutes depending on a child’s physical capacity. For instance, when the child starts to be out of breath, don’t stop him/her. It’s better when children keep doing until they cannot stand it any longer. Once they get over the hump, continuing to the end, it promotes growth hormone to be secreted better.
2. Repeat daily
It has less effect when a child plays soccer all day on weekends or swims 1-2 times a week or something else. They should do these exercises everyday for about 30-60 minutes, at least more than 3 times a week. This should ideally continue as long as possible with 6 months being the minim necessity.
3. Don’t exercise before sleeping
Light stretching or massage would be helpful for going to bed, but hard exercise makes the heart excited and makes the body get tired as well. Just remember that sleeping also plays an important role in growing taller as much as exercise. Therefore exercise before bedtime is absolutely not good.
While exercise can help in increasing height of a child, it can only be successful if it is complemented by a proper healthy diet. A balanced diet rich in amino acids will also promote better growth and development.