I’m a male who is 18 years old. My height is 5’6″ and I weigh 145 pounds. I play tennis and also lift weights 3 times a week. I would like to be at least 6 foot tall and would like to know if there is anything I can do to grow taller.
Since you’re 18 years old, you still have a few good years left to keep growing taller since you reach full physical adulthood in your mid-20s. Height is actually a polygeneic trait which means its influenced by many different genes and the height of both sides of your family have a direct influence on how tall you will be. Genes from mother’s side and your father’s side will dictate your full potential, so even if you have super tall parents, it doesn’t mean you will be super tall also. It goes way back to the genes from both sides, so if you have predominately short people in your family on both sides, then unfortunately you will most likely be short as well.
Since you have several years before you reach your full potential, there are a few things you can do to make sure you don’t stunt your growth. Drugs and alcohol are factors that can contribute to stunting growth and limiting your overall height potential. Nutrition is also very important so make sure you eat enough food with an adequate amount of vitamins and minerals, especially calcium which promotes bone growth and helps prevent osteoporosis. Protein is also crucial for providing your body with essential building blocks your body needs to grow. Along with protein, zinc is also very important to include in your diet since a deficiency in zinc can cause stunted growth in children. You can take zinc supplements if needed.
The amount of sleep you get every night is also very important for reaching your ultimate height potential. You need to allow your body to recover and grow each night and you also need to make sure your environment is optimal when going to sleep so you can get deep sleep without awaking during the night and being restless. Tips for getting a great night of sleep include lowering the temperature in your room since a cooler room allows for a better night of sleeping versus a warm room. Avoid having any sounds or music on while you are sleeping such as a TV or radio. Your goal should be to have complete silence with nothing to interfere with your senses during sleep (audible or visual). Along with a quiet room during sleep, you also need to try your best to have a super dark room as well. Many people call this “blacking out” a room and this is very important for optimizing your sleeping environment. So, pull the shades down, turn off all the lights, shut off the TV and try to attain a completely dark room for a great night of sleep.
Make sure to always practice good posture since you can’t reach your ultimate height if you are hunched over. You would be amazed if you realize how many people do not stand upright and fully erect. Try to avoid any hunching of your shoulders or head while standing, sitting and walking. Keep your shoulders back, with your head held high and avoid slouching. If you tend to have bad posture, you are literally sacrificing several inches every day by not standing tall and sitting correctly. Good posture is the key, especially as you get older so practice good technique now for a lifetime of proper posture.