Swimming is a recreational and competitive sport that involves using the body to move through the water. It takes place in pools or open water, like lakes or the sea.
The earliest evidence of recreational swimming has been found in Stone Age paintings around 10,000 years ago, and the earliest written references date back to 2,000 BC, including the Iliad, the Odyssey, Beowulf, the Bible, and the Quran, amongst many others.
The first indoor swimming pool, the St George’s Bath, opened to the public in 1828. During the 1830s, swimming became a competitive recreational activity in England, wherein the National Swimming Society was holding regular swimming competitions in artificial swimming pools built around London.
In the 19th century, competitive swimming became popular. The goal of high-level competitive swimming was to break personal or world records and beat competitors in any given event.
Swimming is a fun way to build endurance and strength, tone muscle, and acquire many other positive health benefits. It is an activity involving every muscle of the body and a great way to shed excess calories.
Swimming can also possibly make you taller by helping your stretch your muscles and decompress your spine, which then results in a bone increase. While this may be possible, does this apply to everyone? Let’s find out!
Can swimming make you taller?
Swimming is the best way to accelerate growth, along with adopting healthy eating habits, taking supplements, and engaging in other exercises, such as yoga. Swimming has been widely considered as one of the best exercises that helps increase one’s height. Not only does it help make you taller but it also serves as a full-body workout that affects every organ of the body.
Swimming is an exercise preferred by a majority of people to help them gain height because it helps increase energy levels, lengthen the spine, and promotes the broadening of your shoulders and chest. It also helps increase the human growth hormone in the body, which is essential for promoting one’s growth.
Here is how swimming can help make you taller:
- Start swimming at a much earlier age
To fully benefit from this exercise, you have to start at an earlier age because kids who develop the habit of swimming grow much taller than those who do not. However, anyone at any age can still benefit from this sport.
- It stretches your muscles
Swimming enhances growth promotion because it stretches the muscles throughout your body.
- It stimulates the release of the growth hormone
The release of the growth hormone by the pituitary glands promotes an increase in height. Swimming prompts the production of the lactate and nitric oxide present in the body, which stimulates the secretion of the growth hormone. Before you start swimming, you need to engage in a 10-minute intense stretching or warm-up exercise to further boost your chances of height growth.
- Healthy eating habits
To further increase your height, you should practice healthy eating habits, along with regular exercise. You need to give your body an adequate amount of nourishment before and after every swimming session to promote growth and help replenish energy loss.
- Swimming regularly
To reap the positive health benefits swimming provides, you need to swim regularly. Additionally, the longer you swim, the more height growth you can achieve since over time, swimming stretches your growth plates, which can add height to your vertical posture.
- Incorporate other exercises
To give you maximum growth in height, you need to incorporate other sports, such as yoga, cycling, and other exercises that help stretch your muscles and bones.
What swimming styles can help make you taller?
Freestyle and backstroke are the two swimming styles known to induce growth height. Both are great swimming styles that help you grow taller due to how you are required to stretch while practicing those. They focus on stretching the arms while also striking your legs. Both swimming styles are crucial in lengthening your spine, neck, and several other body parts, which enhances your flexibility and overall body growth and translates to more height.
Do you get taller after swimming?
While swimming, the force of gravity is removed from the spine, allowing it to decompress and make the swimmer appear taller. Swimming may temporarily elongate the body, but no evidence suggests that swimming can permanently increase your height.
Height variation throughout the day is completely normal, according to the Journal of Annals of Human Biology’s articles. Your height may differ by up to half an inch (1.5cm) depending on the time of day, which means that you may falsely believe that swimming helped increase your height depending on the time at which you have measured yourself.
As we may observe, well-known swimmers are usually very tall, hence why people believed that the sport can increase your height. However, these athletes are tall due to their genes and because they have been swimming for many years, sometimes even since their youngest age.
Can swimming make you taller after 18?
According to some scientists, the height difference is about 60 to 80% due to genetics and 20 to 40% due to environmental factors like nutrition and exercise. However, even with healthy eating habits and regular exercise, most people’s height does not increase past the age of 18 or 20.
Swimming cannot make you taller after 18 because the growth or epiphyseal plates, which are located near the end of your long bones, close around the age of 16 for women and between the age of 14 to 19 for men. Although some research claims that the height discs in your spine may continue to increase throughout early adulthood, the impact on your overall height is minimal.
Most people’s height will not increase past 18 to 20 due to the closure of the growth plates in the bones. However, the compression and decompression of the discs in your spine can lead to small changes in height throughout the day, which may increase or decrease it.
Swimming can help make you taller if you start at an early age, when your growth plates are still open and you are still at a stage of puberty, which usually occurs between the age of 8 and 13 for girls and 10 to 15 years for boys. Genes play a determining role in height growth, and healthy eating habits and regular exercise simply aid in increasing your height.
Anyone who starts swimming during their growth peak can grow during this period, which leads to the false belief that swimming is the reason for their growth while it was in fact a natural process triggered by their hormones.
Also, swimming cannot permanently increase adults’ height. It only allows you to decompress your spine, strengthen, and stretch your muscles and other bones, which results in good posture and makes you look much taller. If you are not swimming regularly and do not exercise nor stretch at all, your height may decrease as you age.
The height gained while swimming is temporary and will not permanently nor significantly increase your height. Again, although swimming can’t directly help increase your height, especially once your growth plates have closed and you stop growing around the age of 18, it can still contribute to a healthy lifestyle and may aid in ensuring that you reach your genetic growth potential.