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Does Exercise Stunt your Growth?

A commonly asked question that people have when they see an image like the one on the right here (a boy who clearly does weightlifting) is how does this effect his physical growth?

Does exercising stunt his growth?

This, as it turns out, is actually a myth. Exercising actually does the opposite. It actually INCREASES growth by triggering the brain to release Human Growth Hormone...

Children who exercise and eat healthy grow up to be "big and strong". Its an old concept similar to Popeye's "I'm strong to the finish because I eat my spinach!"

Exercising, any exercising, causes the brain to release more Human Growth Hormone (HGH), which in turns triggers the body to both regenerate existing tissue, but also triggers growth spurts in children, and in adults HGH works to hinder diseases like cancer and keeps the body feeling younger.

It is one of the reasons why people who exercise are typically taller and also appear younger than counterparts in their same age group. (I am frequently told I look to be approx. 25 years old and almost no one ever guesses I am 33. That is the result of exercise and healthy eating.)

For children who are growing regular exercise needs to be part of their regular routine. Lack of exercise and unhealthy eating will result in children growing up to be "short and stout". Exercise, vitamins, calcium and a balanced diet make a big difference in a growing body.

If children excel at a particular sport, for example competitive weightlifting, it isn't going to stunt their growth and will actually make them taller. Look at the weightlifters at the Olympics. A lot of them are hovering around 6 feet tall or over. That is the result of exercise and eating their proverbial spinach.

Now lets pretend you don't believe me or don't believe in the science behind HGH.

Go ahead and ask some pro-weightlifters when they started exercising and how tall they are. The majority of them will say they started weightlifting around 11 or 12 years old and say they are between 5'9" and 6'6" tall. No shortage of tall people amongst weightlifters.

But they will also stress the importance of proper diet. Nutrition and exercise go hand in hand when it comes to growing both taller and bigger physically.

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