Ever notice how grandma seems to shrink every time you see her? Well, the truth of it is that she actually might be shrinking. A combination of normal aging, disease and gravity all wear and tear away at the spine.
There are, however, ways to combat this natural shrinking. Learn why the spine shrinks, in addition to safe ways to elongate the spine.
Why Are You Shrinking?
Around the age of 40 people lose an average of four-tenths of their height. This phenomenon occurs every year, thus leaving you significantly shorter by the time you are an elderly adult.
You may not believe it, but height loss is a part of the normal aging process. Researchers have proven this fact, as well. However, sometimes, disease intensifies the process of height loss. Gravity also plays a major role in the body’s vertical alignment.
Age causes the disks in the vertebrae to dry out and become thin. The once gel-like disks weaken and cause the spine to become compressed. Once the spine is compressed, the body naturally appears to be smaller.
In addition, the condition of losing bone strength, referred to as osteoporosis, often contributes to the shortening of adults. Anyone with osteoporosis might suffer from small compression fractures along the spine, which also contributes to the shortening.
Fractures caused by osteoporosis can lead to a curving of the spine. You may find many aging adults with this curvature. An extremely pronounced curvature of the spine is referred to as hyperkyphosis. It is significant to note that hyperkyphosis does not need fractures along the spine to occur. It can also be a result of lost muscle or even the flattening of the feet over time.
Six Steps to Take to Look Taller
You cannot easily fix these natural, physical changes. However, there are a few other things that you can do to help aid in fighting these inevitable, physical changes.
Here are six steps to take to look taller.
1. Strengthen Your Core With A Kettle Bell
Strengthening your abdominal muscles will help to keep your spine from decompressing. A fantastic way to increase your core muscles, while also increasing the pelvic area, is kettle bell swings.
Kettle bells are those weights that have a curve on top for you to hold them easily. Grab a kettle bell of comfortable weight, preferably five or 10 to start out. Hold the weight with both hands in front of you, and then swing the weight from side to side.
Be carefully not to let your lower body move. Your feet and legs should remain in place regardless of your upper body swaying. Your hips, stomach, and shoulders should all stay aligned with one another as you move. This exercise will promote a stronger core and pelvic area.
Another kettle bell exercise is to hold the kettle bell in the same fashion between your legs. Now, swing the kettle bell away from your body, while keeping your feet and legs in place. Allow the kettle bell to come back towards you in a controlled fashion.
2. Thrust The Pelvis
The previous exercise incorporated the pelvis into the exercise as well. In order to isolate the pelvis and better work it out, perform pelvis thrusts. You can perform this exercise while on your hands and knees.
Keep your hands shoulder width apart, and keep your knees hip-length apart. Alternate positions by arching your back towards the ceiling while your tailbone moves towards the floor, and then work the opposite way.
In yoga, the name of this movement is the cat tilt or dog tilt.
3. Hang Out
If yoga is not your thing, even though you should adopt some of the movements, there are other exercises available to you and your spine as well.
Find a strong bar, such as a pull up bar, and allow your body to hang out. Grasp the bar firmly, but let your arms hang. Do not let your arms hang so much that your shoulder joints pop and hyperextend. Instead let your arms fall in a relaxed fashion.
Stay hanging like this for 20 to 30 seconds. You can repeat this exercise up to five times, and it will help elongate your spine.You should perform this exercise daily to see effective results.
4. Get Down With Janda
Vladimir Janda, M.D. created his own version of a sit up that can help your spine appear and feel elongated. Perform this sit up by pressing your heels backwards against a weight. This action will activate the hip-flexor muscles that cause the pelvis to tilt.
This will allow your lower back to curve and increase the strain while performing your crunch. The crunch is much harder than your average run-of-the-mill crunch. Start out with only two to three sets of five reps of this exercise, and work your way up to more gradually.
5. It’s All About The Posture
Think about the physics. If your body is naturally losing space in the disks in the spine, then you can make up for the space lost by stretching out the spine. Proper posture helps create the allusion of longer bones. While it is not possible to lengthen your bones, at least in a safe way, you can create the illusion of longer bones.
Posture not only helps you appear taller, but it also promotes proper health. The straighter you keep your back; the less likely you are to have back issues, such as curvature of the spine. It is rather cyclical, but at least you can reverse or prevent the effects of aging by practicing better posture.
To practice better posture, position your pelvis so that it is neutral to the rest of your body. Make sure that your pelvis does not tip forward or backward. Most people tend to tilt the pelvis forward, and this is a direct result of weak abdominal muscles.
Squeeze and stretch your abdominal muscles and you will immediately feel yourself lengthen. Now, do your best to walk like this, but don’t let your abs slouch again.
Slouching is when the stomach pushes back and the shoulders come forward. Correct this posture by remembering to keep your shoulders back. To feel what this sensation should feel like; grab a long cylindrical object, like a broom or walking stick.
Place the stick on the small of your back, and place your arms so that the stick is still against your lower back, but your elbows are holding it there. Do you feel how this automatically forces your shoulders back? This is what your shoulders should feel like all of the time.
Some exercises, such as yoga, will help you find a better, healthier posture.
6. Become A Yogi
You might assume that yoga is just not your thing. However, if you are looking to better your lifestyle and improve your spine length, then you should surely consider yoga.
The art and practice of yoga works to strengthen the abdominal muscles while also relaxing and improving other muscles that support the spine.
Many different yoga postures will help you find a better posture to implement throughout the day. Not to mention, yoga has many other wonderful benefits, such as lowering blood pressure, improving metabolism, and building muscle.
For example, the cobra position works to effectively help the torso. Start out by lying flat on your stomach on a hard yet forgiving surface. Press your hands, hips, and legs against the floor. Do your best to raise only your torso.
Tilt at your pelvis and let your back slowly arch. Do not force yourself into the position. Instead, allow yourself to slowly move into it, and remember to breathe. At first, you will find this exercise difficult. However, as your muscles strengthen, you will find yourself holding the position longer and in better posture.
Embrace A Healthy Lifestyle
If your body is not healthy, then it is quite possible that this is affecting your posture or overall well-being. The previously mentioned exercises and tips may not help at all if you are not living a healthy lifestyle. Proper diet, exercise, and supplementation are all necessary to achieving a healthier, taller lifestyle.
Here are the three general tips to live a taller, healthier life.
For some reason or another, you might feel much more comfortable taking a daily vitamin than a legitimate supplement of sorts. While it is true that calcium and vitamin D do help you feel healthier and taller, there are also other supplements available to you, as well.
Reputable websites such as www.GenF20.com aim to educate their visitors about the benefits and safe uses for HGH supplementation. Your body can feel more youthful with the help of human growth hormone releasers.
Do note the dangerous side effects of injecting HGH directly into the muscle. HGH releasers are much safer and effective alternatives to growth hormone injections.
Be sure to speak with your doctor before beginning any new treatment. Incorporate your doctor’s consultation into your wellness plan. Ultimately, your doctor knows your body best and can prescribe the proper supplementation for you to look and feel your best.
Exercising of any shape or form can help improve your posture, which will in turn help make you appear taller. Performing strengthening exercises, such as squats or deadlifts, requires perfect form. This can help you feel much more confident in your posture.
The cliché, “you are what you eat,” is absolutely true. If you want to feel stronger and taller, then you must ensure that you are consuming healthy fats, proteins and clean carbohydrates. You should not follow a fad diet that promotes low carb or low fat.
Your body needs healthy fats and carbohydrates to feel strong. Help your body feel this way by eating healthy fats, found in many different fish and oils, and whole grains.
It might seem like a trick, but your body can actually look and feel taller and healthier in no time. Just because your bones have stopped growing, it does not mean you cannot fight the appearance of your height. Follow these tips and enjoy the taller, healthier you today.
- Don’t Be Afraid Of Supplementation
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