Helping children grow, Better

Helping children grow, Better
Can regular exercise help your child grow taller in height?

Posted on - 28-02-2019

Childhood Growth is a very complex process that depends on many factors. There are many good habits and lifestyle practices that can help parents promote childhood growth. Exercise is one of them . It helps growth by a variety of means.

Exercise promotes bone health

Among other things like genetics, nutrition, and general health, bone health is very important for childhood growth. Bones are the framework of the body . It is the size of a child's bones that determines how tall and strong a child is going to be. 


The bones of a growing child are metabolically very active living structures. There are many physical and chemical processes happening in the bone all the time. Most of the processes are related to the balance between two types of active bone cells; 


1. Bone forming cells known as osteoblasts 

         These cells create new bone almost all the time


2. Bone dissolving cells known as osteoclasts

     These cells remove the old bone almost all the time


As a result, the child’s bones are constantly self-renewing themselves. If the activity of bone-forming cells is more then the bone-dissolving cells, then the body grows in size and the child becomes taller and stronger. An easy way to understand this is as follows;

    Think of the bone structure as a  bank account (bone bank account????????). As in a bank, multiple activities are happening all the time, similarly in the bone, some bone is constantly being "deposited' in the bone bank and some bone is constantly being 'withdrawn' all the time. If thetotal deposit is more than the withdrawal, the bank account has more money. So in the case of bone bank account, it means more bone mass!! A stronger and a longer bone!! 


       Scientific studies over the years have proved that if the mechanical load (pressure) on the growth plate of the growing bone increases,  it leads to increased activity of the bone forming cells and hence it promotes bone growth. Also such bones are stronger as compared to the bones on which the mechanical load is less. Routine physical exercise in children provides this much needed mechanical load to the bones.  Hence repeated activity in childhood lead to stronger healthier and longer bones. Although all exercises are beneficial to some extent, the best ones are those that put weight on the bones like running, brisk walking, jumping, skipping, swimming and games like soccer, badminton basketball and tennis. 


Exercise promotes Growth Hormone Secretion in Children


Exercise has also been shown to increase the levels of growth hormone in the body. This appears to be a response by nature to the different energy needs of the body during exercise and to repair the tissues after exercise. Some studies also point out to an increase in the active form of growth hormone during and after exercise.

     Growth hormone is the central hormone needed for children to grow. Hence the benefits of regular exercise on growth.


Exercise Improves Metabolism & Appetite 


Exercise and physical routine physical activity improve the body’s metabolism. Improve metabolism means that the routine chemical and physical processes happening inside the body happen with greater efficiency and better results. Exercise improves appetite and if given the right kind of food helps in healthy growth. Exercise improves insulin balance in the body so children who exercise regularly do not have as much craving for harmful high-carbohydrate foods as much as sedentary children have.


Exercise improves Quality of sleep



Exercise has also been shown to improve the quality of sleep. It has been shown in research that sleep quality impacts growth in children. that in turn contributes to the better growth and general health.

So we see here that among the many benefits of exercise, growth is an important one. Regular physical activity should be a part of the child's routine and the entire family should support the children in this regard. It is not necessary to go to a gym or participate in organized games or classes, what is necessary is that children should play as much as possible and wherever its possible and safe to play. Just avoid sitting for long periods and indulging in sedentary habits.