Health Topics

Healthy Living

September 2011
Grow Taller
Dinaz Vervatwala
Exercises that help to grow tall while strengthening tha core...

Genetic factors apart, the physical growth of an individual is typically determined by the diet intake and adequate sleep. Adolescents and teenagers grow significantly taller if they stick to nutritional advice. However, less evidence has been substantiated by medical experts on ways for adults to grow taller. A very important factor to be considered here is – age. Once the growth plates fuse and close up, you cannot change or control anything. This is usually said to happen when one reaches the age of 24.
Younger children grow faster and taller when given a proper and nutritious diet coupled with good exercise and play regime. Heredity is an important factor in determining the height of an individual.

Strengthening the Core
A strong core not only helps in maintaining a good posture but also in toning the ab muscles, preventing injuries and reducing back pain. A good posture, in turn, contributes to the appearance of a taller figure.

The core muscles extend from the pelvic floor, through the ab muscles and up to the diaphragm. To strengthen and stabilize the core, one should chose exercises that work on the abs, lower back and buttocks.

Targeting only the ab muscles creates an imbalance of muscle strength. When choosing a core workout, one should include exercises that focus on the lower abs, middle abs, the obliques (muscles that run through the sides of the stomach) and the lower back in order to achieve maximum results.

Core exercises should form an integral part of one’s fitness routine.

Lower Ab Crunch
  • Lie down flat on your back. Tighten your buttocks. Bend your knees and place your arms flat and palms open on the ground. Raise your head and then your shoulders up.
  • Use the lower abs and bring your knees close to your chest slowly. Hold for a count of three. Then lower your legs slowly to touch the floor. Repeat 10 to 15 times.
Leg Raise
  • Lie down flat on your back with your hands on the sides.
  • Keep the lower back on the floor.
  • Extend your legs straight and raise them slowly together, making them perpendicular to the floor.
  • Lower your legs and repeat exercise 10 to 15 times.
Side Crunch
  • Lie down on one of your sides.
  • Place the arm of the side you are lying on, directly out, in front of you. This stabilizes the body when you are doing the side crunch.
  • While lying on your side, start bending your knees so that they are perpendicular to your hips.
  • Then place your other hand at the back of your head and try raising your shoulders to meet the knees that should also be raised simultaneously.
  • Try and get your elbow to touch the toes while ‘crunching’ the side abdominal muscles.
  • Repeat 10 to 15 times lying on each side.
Other activities that help in increasing one’s height by improving the posture include swimming, Pilates and Yoga.

The Superman
  • Lie face down on the floor, legs together and straight, arms straight and extended above your head. Keep your head/neck in a neutral position.
  • Keeping limbs straight (but not locked) and torso stationary, simultaneously lift your arms and legs up toward the ceiling to form a gentle curve with your body.
  • Hold for a slow 30 counts.Try to keep breathing steady and even.
  • Lower to the ground to complete one rep. Repeat 12 to 15 times.

Dinaz Vervatwala is the Founder and Managing Director of Dinaz's Fitness studio Pvt.Ltd.,Hyderabad.A certified sports and fitness trainer,she is a Guinness Record holder holder for the longest aerobic marathon in the world.

  • The information on this site does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to be a substitute for medical care provided by a physician.
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