We all want to be tall. Well, this is because being tall is often associated with strength and handsomeness. This is exactly why many of us always dream of becoming tall even if it means adding a few extra inches. Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths that surround the topic of how to become tall. Honestly speaking, most height-boosting methods are simply marketing ploys that are used by unscrupulous companies to take advantage of desperate individuals.
Scientifically speaking, swimming won’t increase your height permanently or make you taller. All swimming does is mitigate the force of gravity from affecting your spine. This then allows the spine to decompress, which makes the swimmer look taller. While there’s no scientific evidence to show that swimming can make you taller, it can temporarily elongate your body but cannot permanently increase your height.
Of course, many people want to be tall, they’re looking for various methods to help them become tall. One method that has been mentioned numerously is the use of swimming to increase height. Well, this comprehensive and insightful write-up looks at whether or not swimming can help you grow taller. At the end of it, you should be in a better position to make the right decision.
Why are Many People Interested in Being Tall?
You might be wondering; why are many people interested in being tall. Well, being tall is always associated with handsomeness. Tall people tend to receive lots of praise and success. This, however, doesn’t mean that short people cannot be successful or attractive. Instead, they tend to receive lots of ridicule and embarrassment from their particularly taller peers.
This is, without a doubt, one of the main reasons why individuals who aren’t blessed with impressive height tend to look for various ways to add just a few inches to their height. So if you are short but tired of being ridiculed for not being blessed in the height department, you can use various natural ways to increase your height.
One way that’s mentioned regularly is swimming. While some people believe that swimming can help you grow taller, others believe that it doesn’t increase your height permanently and may even stunt your growth.
Can Swimming Make You Taller?
People who believe that swimming can increase your height often have some pretty solid reasons. One of the main reasons that they often point to is that most swimming athletes are very tall. The common belief is that these swimmers are generally tall since they began swimming at a very early age.
Whatever the side of this divide you support, the truth is that swimming cannot make you taller. Instead, it can only make you appear taller temporarily. The only problem is that most of us confuse this with growth. The point is, swimming can only elongate your height temporarily, especially during stretching but the change isn’t permanent.
This is because swimming is a low-impact sport that engages the entire body. So when you swim, you’re stretching your muscles while resisting the force of the water. This then removes the gravity force on your spine, which then decompresses your spine thus giving you the appearance of being taller.
As you can see, swimming can elongate your body but there’s no scientific evidence that swimming regularly can make you taller.
How Can Swimming Help Make You Taller?
Swimming is, without a doubt, great for stretching. It’s of great importance in helping stretch not just your spine but also your entire body. One of the best swimming techniques to help you stretch your body and spine is breaststroke. This is because your legs extend out behind the body while the arms extend in front. As such, your body is being pulled in two different directions.
This, in turn, stretches both your spine and body to give you an elongated posture. In addition to breaststroke, other swimming techniques that can help in elongating your body include butterfly, backstroke, crawl, and dog paddle.
It’s also important to note that growth hormones are vital in making you taller. These growth hormones are sometimes increased through exercise. As such, swimming regularly can help in releasing these growth hormones, which can then help in making you taller. You’ll, of course, have to combine swimming with a well-balanced nutritious diet. You have to keep in mind that it may be impossible for you to grow taller if you do not combine exercises such as swimming and healthy eating.
And even if swimming were to help you grow taller, you should be realistic enough and acknowledge that it’s not an overnight thing. Needless to say, swimming requires a good amount of time and effort if you are to reap its benefits. And even if you swim regularly, you should remember that it won’t help you grow taller if you have reached your maximum height.
Why Do Many People Believe that Swimming Can Make them Taller?
There’s a widespread that swimming can help you grow taller but this isn’t the case. So where does this belief come from? Well, one of the possible explanations for this belief is that some of the most successful and accomplished swimmers in the world are very tall. Some of the few names include Michael Phelps, Matt Grevers, Tom Jager, Nathan Adrian, Ryan Lochte, and many more.
These are swimming champions who are blessed with incredible height and it’s one of the main reasons why many people believe that swimming can make you taller. The idea behind this belief is that they spend a lot of time in the pool, thus their prominent height.
We have to reiterate that this is just a belief, which isn’t true. Although most of these swimmers have amazing heights, swimming isn’t directly associated with their heights. Instead, most swimmers are chosen based on their heights as this gives them an advantage during competitions. The most important thing to note is that swimmers start swimming at a relatively young age during their growth spurt. As much as they experience substantial growth, this is an entirely natural process caused by hormones and has nothing to do with swimming.
What Does the Force of Gravity Have to Do with Your Height and Swimming?
When you’re out there swimming, the water plays a critical role in neutralizing the effects of the force of gravity on your spinal cord. Normally, the force of gravity makes your spinal cords move closer to each other, which then gives an impression that you’re short. But because the water neutralizes the effects of gravity on your spinal cord, it will offer an impression that you’re taller.
You’ve perhaps come across an individual who appears taller from the waist down but his/her torso appears shorter. Although this appearance can be caused by certain factors, you can rectify this issue through regular swimming. This is because regular swimming can help you in decompressing your spine thereby increasing the fluid capacity in your disks.
This fluid is essential in strengthening and thickening the cartilages in the spine to make them longer and stronger. Given that the spine is now stronger and longer, it can help in resisting the force of gravity thus giving you an elongated appearance. This is why individuals who swim regularly have longer trunks than their counterparts who aren’t regular swimmers.
Another reason is that swimming can help in reducing backbone deformations. If you have a bad posture that is a result of backbone deformation, swimming can be of great help not just in giving you the right posture but also in making you appear taller.
Why are Most Swimmers Tall?
You’ve probably noticed that most professional swimmers are staggeringly tall. This is one of the main reasons why most people tend to associate swimming with height. The truth is, most professional swimmers aren’t tall just because they swim a lot. But as far as professional swimming is concerned, professional swimmers are generally tall, which is advantageous in the sport.
This doesn’t mean that you won’t come across short swimmers but being tall is advantageous just like it is to professional basketballers. The idea here is that an individual who’s lean and tall has the physicality to go through the water pretty quickly. This is because they have large hands and long arms that not only serve as oars but also enable them to push plenty of water away as they push their bodies forward.
Why are Tall People Good at Swimming?
You may have perhaps noticed that your taller friend is a good swimmer than you. Well, this may not be the case but tall people are generally good at swimming. The thing is, a person who is tall and lean is physically designed to go through the water quickly. This is coupled with the fact that they have long legs and arms that help them in pushing plenty of water aside and propel their bodies forward.
Their long legs and huge feet play a critical role by acting as fins that allow them not just to swim faster but also use minimal energy as they won’t be kicking a lot.
What Body Combination is Perfect for Swimmers?
Professional swimmers, just like anybody else, have varying body types. But at the elite level, you’ll find that most swimmers are tall and lean. They’re also muscular, have long arms, long legs, and long torsos. As such, the best features for a swimmer include:
Height is a great factor that gives an advantage in the water. This is why you find that most professional swimmers are tall.
Center of Mass
Commonly known as the center of mass, this is the balancing point of the water and every good swimmer must have it. It’s a lot easier for your body to float with no effort if your center of mass is closer to the center of floatation. This explains why pro swimmers have long torsos that appear to be V-shaped.
This refers to the various physical variations that are available in the human body. For example, most professional swimmers have long wingspans that give them an advantage in the pool. They also have large lungs, arms, and feet. The large hands act as oars, the huge feet act as fins, while the large lungs are perfect for natural buoyancy.
A swimmer should also be flexible enough to easily maneuver through the water. S/he should have flexible shoulders and ankles to give him more advantage. For example, flexible ankles help in increasing the feet’ surface area essential in making the foot perform like a flipper. It also offers a more powerful kick. This is of great importance in pushing huge amounts of water backward, thereby enhancing the much-needed propulsion.
So Can Short People Become Good Swimmers?
Short people can, of course, become good swimmers. Take the example of Janet Beth Evans, who at 5’5″, was one of the best swimmers of her generation. The American swimmer won a total of four golds during the 1988 and 1992 Olympics. In essence, being a good swimmer doesn’t entirely depend on your height or being tall.
It’s also important to note that some swimming competitions don’t require you to be tall. For instance, most mid-distance swimming competitions don’t require you to be tall. Of course, sprinting swimming competitions require tall athletes but it isn’t strange if you come across a short swimmer.
While short people are often discouraged when it comes to pursuing a career as a professional swimmer, we must admit that it takes more than just height to become a good swimmer. As much as being tall gives you an added advantage, you’ll need other factors including leading a healthy lifestyle, constant practice, determination, and resilience to stand a chance of becoming a good swimmer or making it as a professional swimmer.
It’s also vital to emphasize that being shorter shouldn’t discourage you from pursuing the amazing sport of swimming. We’ve highlighted the story of Janet Evans who was short in stature but remains one of the most successful swimmers of all time.
A Few Tips to Become a Good Swimmer Despite Being Short
To this point, we’d like to think that you’ve now grasped the truth that swimming won’t make you grow taller. So if you’re shorter, here are a few tips that can make you become a good swimmer despite not having a height advantage.
Be Flexible and Eat Nutritiously – As we mentioned previously, flexibility is of great importance in enhancing your movement in the pool. It will be easier for you to swim perfectly if you’re more flexible. As far as eating nutritiously is concerned, minding what you eat and consuming healthy diets will ensure that you become physically fit, and of course, a top swimmer.
Perfect Your Craft – You may not be blessed in the height department but you can become a good swimmer and among the best if you master your craft through regular training. All you have to do is train hard and master your swimming technique.
Enhance Your Mental Strength – Although height is an added plus, we believe that your mental strength is even more important. You cannot become a top swimmer if you do not have the mental strength to swim without doubting your abilities.
Practice Regularly – Make sure that you practice regularly and you stand a chance of nailing the details, becoming a good swimmer, and bettering yourself.
Can Swimming Make You Stronger?
As we’ve mentioned severally in this article, swimming may not be able to make you taller. However, it can make you stronger. Swimming can make you stronger in the sense that you’re using every muscle group in your body. It also doubles up as a low-impact sport that involves the use of both your upper and lower body parts without putting any extra pressure or stress on your bones.
As such, you’ll develop a variety of muscles if you regularly spend long hours swimming. You’ll not only become stronger thanks to the muscles developing but your body will also become lean. This is why you find that most swimmers have tight muscles and are lean besides being tall.
What is the Determinant Factor on How Tall You’ll Grow?
Now that we’ve seen that swimming won’t make you grow taller, it’s essential to highlight some of the things that will make you grow taller. Apart from the genetic makeup that comes from your parents or family, how tall you grow will be influenced by factors such as nutrition, activity levels, hormones, and certain medical conditions.
It’s also important to note that you may not growl taller after your 18th birthday. The idea is that a majority of growth takes place between the age of one and two but will stay almost the same until your 1oth birthday. You’ll then experience a spurt of growth after the age of 10 during puberty as you enter adulthood. This growth will then stop completely at the age of 18. However, in rare cases, you may experience an increase in height until the age of 22 but this won’t be that significant.
How to Grow Taller if Swimming isn’t Working
Like many of us, you’ve probably indulged in the sport of swimming to add an inch or two to your height and you’ve probably realized that it isn’t working. But because you’ve not lost hope, you’re perhaps looking for a few ways to increase your height.
While your height has everything to do with genetics, leading a healthy lifestyle can help you attain a few inches more. Let’s briefly look at a few ways to maximize your height potential.
Getting Adequate Sleep
Sleep is one of the main non-genetical factors that can help you grow. During sleep, your body releases hormones that are integral in promoting growth, especially in teens and children. These are the same hormones that will help in repairing the cells and tissues of your body while also boosting muscle mass. The widely accepted 8 hours of sleep should be enough although this may vary depending on age.
Perform Enough Exercise
This point may seem a bit insincere now that we’ve mentioned that swimming cannot help you grow taller. Well, the fact remains that swimming won’t help you grow taller, especially if you take into account how the mechanics of swimming as a sport affects your body. Even though swimming cannot directly make you grow taller, it can indirectly help you grow taller by releasing hormones that promote growth.
Again, indulging in swimming or any other form of exercise for that matter is of great importance in the sense that it promotes a healthy lifestyle that is essential in maximizing your growth potential. Exercise can also be vital if you suffer from stunted growth. This largely revolves around the neuroendocrine program, which helps in directing nutrient energy towards increasing your lean body mass and an increase in height.
In essence, exercise is a vital stimulus that’s required to trigger the secretion of growth hormones, as well as other anabolic hormones that can help in helping you grow taller. That being said, swimming cannot directly make you grow taller but can lead to a healthier lifestyle that can help you maximize your growth. In case you were losing hope on whether or not swimming can make you grow taller, you shouldn’t lose hope but make swimming part of your daily routine.
Implement a Healthy Nutrition Plan
There’s no doubt that proper nutrition is one of the most essential factors that can help you reach your growth potential. If you aren’t feeding your body with the right types of nutrients and enough energy, then it’s likely that you won’t grow properly let alone increase your height.
First, you need to consume enough healthy calories. You should also consume healthy nutrients such as vitamin C and D, which are critical in making you healthier and taller. This is why you should consume lots of fresh fruits and veggies to offer your body these nutrients and calcium. You shouldn’t forget to consume healthy protein. Well, proteins are essential in the healthy growth of bones, which will in turn make you taller and healthier.
You should also note that no amount of exercise or swimming for that matter will make you taller if you do not supply your body with the right nutrients. This is why you need to incorporate the right diet and nutrients into your swimming routine. This combination might be enough for optimal growth.
When Do We Generally Stop Growing Taller?
It’s essential to know when most of us stop growing taller as this will help you know whether or not swimming can be of any help in the height department. Generally, the rate at which each of us grows may vary given that boys and girls grow differently, especially in puberty.
On average, girls grow around one to two inches during puberty while boys grow at about three inches annually during puberty. This also explains why men are always taller than women. Again, it’s important to remember that the maximum height that one can attain during puberty will depend on various factors including genetics, nutrition, and activity levels.
That being said, the National Health Service stipulates that girls will stop growing taller at 15 while boys will stop growing taller at 16. It’s generally during this period of growth that the bones will increase in length thus making one taller. Once these bones are fully mature, they’ll stop growing and you won’t get any taller even if you swim for 15 hours a day.
So will Swimming Make You Taller if You’re Younger?
Now that we’re almost coming to a consensus that swimming won’t make you taller if you’ve attained your maximum height during puberty, you may be wondering if there are chances that swimming might help you add on a few inches if you’re younger.
Truth is, children and young adults, just like their adult counterparts, won’t add a few inches from swimming if the main purpose of swimming is growing taller. The idea here is that your growth is determined by other factors that aren’t under your control including genetics, hormones, and gender.
But even with that, there’s a belief that swimming, just like nutrition or various forms of exercise can help in enhancing your growth. So if you’re younger and your bones or growth plates aren’t fused yet or fully grown, swimming regularly can constantly stretch your body and this can make you grow a bit taller.
Benefits of Swimming to Young Ones
Even though swimming isn’t directly related to how your kid will grow, it has numerous benefits that can be of interest, especially to parents. Here are a few of them.
Swimming can Make Your Kid Smarter
As we’ve mentioned uncountable times in this article, swimming may not make you or your kid grow taller. However, it can make your kid smarter. This is because swimming is an engaging and complex whole-body coordinated exercise that’s controlled by the brain. This can in turn be integral in stimulating the growth and development of the cerebral cortex, which can then enhance your kid’s sensory integration ability, as well as boost his fast reaction speed, which is essential in quickly developing the kid’s intelligence.
Swimming Lowers the Risks of Injuries
Many physical sports such as football and rugby may expose your kid to lots of injuries but the same cannot be said of swimming. Given that swimming is a low-impact sport, it’s unlikely that your kid will be exposed to various forms of injuries. When your kid swims, the water massages his body, which makes him relaxed, more balanced, and coordinated.
Swimming is Essential to the Development of the Kid’s Lungs and Heart
When your kid swims, he’s not only exercising the entire body but he’s also expanding his chest, which is vital for the development of his heart and lungs. This then helps in the kid’s proper blood supply while his breathing and circulation of oxygen in the body also increase. In essence, this enhances the cardiovascular system, which is of great importance in reducing allergic cough and allergic rhinitis.
Swimming will Help Your Kid Become Stronger
As we mentioned earlier, swimming won’t make you grow taller but may make you a bit stronger. Some of the main benefits of swimming to your kid include improving digestion, making the kid sleep quickly, helping in the secretion of growth hormones, which are vital for making him stronger and physically developed. It also helps in the stimulation of gastrointestinal peristalsis, metabolism, cold tolerance, body temperature regulation, and physical fitness. It’s also an essential survival skill.
To this end, it’s vital to emphasize that swimming cannot help you grow taller. In other words, it’s not directly associated with your height or growth for that matter and no amount of swimming or exercise will make you grow taller. And even if swimming was to help you attain a few inches to your height, it won’t happen if you do not supply your body with the right nutrients. Other factors such as sleep also play a critical role in your growth as it helps the body in triggering growth hormones.
The truth is, there’s no scientific evidence that proves that swimming can make you grow taller. It’s only said that it can stretch your body, thereby making you appear taller. This is because water helps in reducing the effects of gravity on the spine, thereby giving you a taller outlook.
When it’s all said and done, there’s no doubt that it takes a lot of effort and sacrifice to grow taller. While the factors that affect your height are beyond your control and have to do with genetics, you cal also indulge in sports such as swimming as they’re critical in your overall well-being, which is also a critical part of perfect growth. Besides being patient and consistent at swimming, you should also lead a healthy lifestyle, consume proper nutrition, get enough sleep, and you may stand a chance of growing taller.