Does Swimming Make You Taller?

The relentless pursuit of greater stature has led individuals down unconventional pathways, and among these intriguing avenues, the world of swimming shines as a beacon of fascination. It is an arena where the belief that swimmers tend to be taller is exemplified by towering figures like the legendary Michael Phelps, who stands at an imposing 6 feet 4 inches. This captivating notion has ignited our collective curiosity and ignited speculation, giving rise to a profound inquiry: Can swimming genuinely contribute to an increase in height?

In this comprehensive odyssey, we embark on an illuminating journey to unearth the potential correlation between swimming and height augmentation. Our quest is to plunge into the depths of this enigmatic subject, meticulously dissecting scientific research and seeking the wisdom of experts. Our objective is to furnish you with a lucid and well-informed perspective on this intriguing matter.

If you harbor an eagerness to unearth the veracity behind the concept of swimming as a vehicle for height enhancement, and if you yearn for valuable insights into its potential advantages and considerations, then accompany us as we immerse ourselves in this captivating topic. Together, let us delve into the depths and ascertain whether swimming indeed holds the key to achieving greater stature.

Is Swimming Effective for Increasing Height?

The straightforward answer is no, but it’s important to delve deeper into the subject to understand why swimming might give the illusion of increased height, even though it doesn’t directly impact one’s actual height. It’s crucial to note that any apparent stretching or elongation experienced while swimming is temporary and not a permanent growth factor.

Swimming is a low-impact, full-body exercise that engages all major muscle groups simultaneously. As you move through the water, your muscles appear to “grow” or “lengthen” due to the resistance they encounter. Additionally, swimming minimizes the gravitational force acting on your spine, allowing it to decompress and creating the illusion of heightened stature.

While swimming can contribute to a more stretched appearance, there is no substantial scientific evidence to support the notion that regular swimming will make you permanently taller. It’s worth remembering that there is no established correlation between the heights of professional swimmers and the sport itself.

In summary, swimming can offer the impression of increased height due to its muscle-stretching effects and spinal decompression, but it does not actually cause you to grow taller in the long term. Height is primarily determined by genetics and factors related to bone growth, not by engaging in specific physical activities like swimming.

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When is the right time to start swimming?

If you have already reached your adult height, swimming will not increase your height. So, if you are younger and start swimming, does the same apply?

In fact, if children and young teens are swimming for the only purpose of growing taller, they will not benefit much from this activity. It is because growth is determined by different factors that we cannot control, mainly genetics, gender, and hormones.

However, there is a theory that if you are younger and your plates are not fused, swimming constantly will stretch your body out and make you taller in the long run.

So, the best age to learn to swim is between the ages of 1 and 4 [1]. But some learn-to-swims schools also offer lessons for kids as young as six months to help them get used to the water as well as create a bond between parents and children.

How to improve your height by swimming?

Although swimming does not directly make you grow taller, if you add a good and healthy lifestyle, this may ensure you can reach the growth potential.

How long should you swim a day?

First and foremost, you should pay attention to the frequency of swimming. Swimming for 30 minutes per day after 3 and 4 months, you will notice an increase in height. 

Which is the best stroke?

Since there are many strokes, you might be confused about which is the ideal one that supports height increase.

There are many suggestions, but most agree that breaststroke is the best. Swimming in this stroke allows the entire body to extend, and every muscle gets engaged in the movement.

Also, you can consider butterfly stroke or backstroke. When you swim in a butterfly stroke, your arms will get the most out of the workout, and your body will become flexible and extended to its maximum potential. The same occurs to the backstroke. Your arms and legs move while your head stays above water, leaving your body in a perfect posture.

What to wear?

There is no need for expensive gear. You should pick comfortable swimwear that is made of elastic materials to avoid shrinking when it gets wet. Swimming goggles and caps are also necessary when swimming.

What to eat before and after swimming?

Try not to eat too full before swimming. It is best to have a snack about 2 hours before swimming or drink a glass of water, milk, or juice about 30 minutes before starting. And after finishing, you should consume a balanced meal, especially protein-rich foods, and low-fat cheeses, to recover energy loss.

What other exercises to incorporate?

To get maximum growth in height, you should incorporate other sports, such as cycling, yoga, and any exercises that help extend muscles and bones.

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What are other benefits of swimming?

Not only does swimming work the whole body, from top to bottom, but it also offers many benefits for health and mental health.

Improve cardiovascular system

It is no surprise that swimming makes your lungs and heart strong. A study of kids with asthma found that swimming regularly helped increase their heart health and lung function [2]. Swimming is also good because it might lower the risk of death. As compared to inactive people, swimmers have about half the risk of death.

Control your breath better

How to breathe correctly when swimming?

Breathe out through your nose when your face is in the water and breathe in through your mouth when your face is out of the water. And by doing consistently, you can enhance your breath control, which can support your life outside the pool. For instance, understanding how to control your breath can help you perform other workouts as well as manage your mental health.

Reduce the risks of injuries

Some physical sports such as rugby or soccer might expose you to injuries, but the same cannot happen when swimming. Since it is a low-impact activity, it is unlikely that you might be exposed to different forms of injuries. When you swim, the water massages your body, making you feel relaxed, coordinated, and balanced.

Burn more calories

If calorie burn is your main goal, swimming is an ideal choice. But note that your weight plays a vital role in how much you burn [3]. For instance:

  • A 160-pound person burns about 432 calories per hour while swimming laps at a moderate or low pace. But you might burn up to 715 calories if swimming at a more intense pace.
  • A 200-pound might burn between 528 and 892 calories per hour.
  • A 240-pound might burn between 632 and 1,068.

Reduce stress

When you swim, your body naturally lowers stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline while enhancing feel-good endorphins at the same time. So, if you are stuck between a stressed place and work or school, try swimming.

Make you smarter

Swimming is a complex and engaging whole-body coordinated activity that is controlled by the brain. This might in turn be necessary for promoting the growth of the cerebral cortex, which can boost kids’ sensory integration ability and simultaneously speed up their fast reaction speed, thereby developing their intelligence.

To sum up

There is no scientific proof that proves swimming can make you taller. It is only said that it can extend your whole body and make you look taller. So, the best way is to combine swimming with a healthy lifestyle, get enough sleep, and consume good nutrition to not only support your height growth but also your overall health.

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