Every parent wants the best for their child. If your child is below the average height for their age and it is bothering them, you may wish there is something you could do. Fortunately, height is not entirely determined by genetics, it can also be affected by the environment. Other than a healthy diet and sufficient sleep, there are exercises that can be done to help your kids grow taller.
Stretching exercises are great for elongating the cartilage in the spine. When young children stretch for a few minutes every day, it can add a few extra inches to their height that otherwise would not have been there. These exercises also have the additional bonus of honing a strong and flexible body and cultivating a supple spine. Do these exercises with them to make it more fun!
- Downward Dog:
To do this stretch, bend forward to put both palms on the ground while your legs straight and your feet on the floor. Ensure that you keep your tailbone pointed towards the ceiling. Breathe in and out slowly and deeply for about 8 times while maintaining this position. If your hamstrings ache afterwards, it means you are doing it right.
- Hip Flexor Stretch:
Keeping your back straight, take a big lunge forward with one leg. Bend the knee that is in front of you and place both hands on that knee. Your other leg should have the knee, shin, and top of your foot touching the ground. Slowly push your hips forward until you feel a stretch in your upper and lower thigh. Hold the position while breathing in and out slowly for about 20 seconds. Repeat the stretch with your other leg.
Carrying heavy school bags and long hours sitting in the classroom leads to bad posture for many young children. These fun and easy exercises help to correct your child’s posture to lengthen their spine to its fullest potential.
- Standing Side Bend: Stand upright with your feet apart and your stomach sucked in. Raise your right arm above your head while sliding your left hand down your left leg as your body sideways towards your left. Repeat this exercise on your right side by raising your left arm and sliding your right hand down your right leg as you bend towards your right. Take slow and deep breaths as you do this and relax at the end of the stretch.
- Hummingbird: Stand upright with your stomach sucked in, your arms outstretched at your sides and your shoulders pulled together in your back. Make small backwards circles with your arms while slowly bending your waist from side to side.
For your child to increase their future height, they need to work on their neck as well as their spine. A long and strong neck can help to an extra inch of height while giving them a more graceful appearance. Below is a quick and easy exercise that your child can do every day.
- Neck Stretch: Perform this exercise while sitting in a chair with proper back support. Bend your chin to your chest and hold the position for 20 seconds. Repeat this five times. Afterwards, tilt your head back to look at the ceiling and hold the position for 20 seconds. Repeat this five times.
The force that gravity exerts on our spines compresses the discs, causing us to be shorter. It is the reason why astronauts come back taller after they have been in space. Vertical hanging can help to counteract this force by allowing the weight of our body to stretch the spine and decompress the vertebrae. Have your child perform this exercise three to four times a day by hanging vertically from a horizontal bar while keeping their body relaxed. The bar must be high enough for them to dangle above the ground without bending their elbows or knees. Over time, it can help to add an inch or two to their height.