Do Cardio Exercises Increase Height?

March 9, 2023 | By NuBest
Height is a crucial factor for many individuals as it impacts their appearance, self-confidence, and overall quality of life. There are many exercises and activities that people believe can help them grow taller, including cardio. So, do cardio exercises increase height?

Heigh-determining factors

Height growth is influenced by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. While genetics play a significant role in defining one's stature, environmental factors are no less important. It is crucial to remember that you can only grow taller as long as your epiphyseal plates remain open.

Here are some of the elements that influence height growth:


Height is largely determined by genetic factors. The height of an individual is typically determined by the genes they inherit from their parents. Research has shown that around 80% of height is determined by genetics. (1)

Many genes are involved in determining height, and the inheritance of these genes is complex. Some genes contribute to overall height, while others influence specific aspects of height, such as leg length or torso length.


Height is often associated with gender due to the biological differences between males and females. On average, males tend to be taller than females, although there is considerable individual variation within both sexes.

The reason for this height difference is largely due to genetics, with hormones playing a role as well. Testosterone, the male sex hormone, helps to promote the growth of bones and muscles during puberty, leading to a greater increase in height in males compared to females.


Age is also a crucial factor in determining height. Most people experience their fastest height growth during adolescence, and growth typically stops around the age of 18-20. However, some people may continue to grow into their mid-20s.


Proper nutrition is essential for optimal height growth. Nutrients, such as protein, vitamins, and minerals, play a crucial role in promoting bone growth and development. Malnutrition or a lack of essential nutrients can lead to stunted growth.

Diet can influence height, particularly during childhood and adolescence when height growth is most rapid. Adequate nutrition is essential for proper development, and a lack of certain nutrients can negatively impact height.

Protein is particularly important for height growth as it provides the building blocks for tissues such as muscle and bone. A diet that is deficient in protein can lead to stunted growth and a lower adult height.

Calcium and vitamin D are also important for bone growth. A diet that is deficient in these nutrients can lead to weaker bones and a lower adult height.

Other important nutrients for physical development include zinc, iron, and vitamin A. A diet that is deficient in these nutrients can also impact height.


Hormones play a key role in determining height, particularly during puberty when physical development is most rapid. Growth hormone, produced by the pituitary gland, stimulates the growth of bones and tissues throughout the body. Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), produced by the liver in response to growth hormone, also plays a key role in bone extension.

Testosterone helps to promote the growth of bones and muscles during puberty, leading to a greater increase in height in males compared to females. Estrogen, the female sex hormone, also plays a role in bone development, but to a lesser extent than testosterone.

Hypothyroidism, a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormones, can lead to stunted growth and a lower adult height.

Overall, hormones play a complex role in determining height, with multiple hormones interacting to influence growth.


Sleep is also important for growing taller, especially during childhood and adolescence when the body is growing and repairing tissues. During sleep, the body releases growth hormone, which is essential for proper bone growth.

Adequate sleep is essential for optimal height growth. A lack of sleep can negatively impact growth hormone levels and the immune system, which inhibits growth potential.


Regular exercise can help promote bone extension. Weight-bearing exercises, such as running, jumping, and weightlifting, can help strengthen bones and stimulate growth.

Defining cardio exercises

"Cardio" is short for "cardiovascular exercise," which refers to physical activities that increase your heart rate and breathing rate for an extended period, such as jogging, cycling, or swimming. These exercises help improve your cardiovascular health by strengthening your heart, lungs, and circulatory system. There is a limit to how much a person can increase their height through exercises or other means. However, there are still exercises that can help maintain good posture and promote healthy growth during the growing years.

Cardio exercises, such as running, swimming, cycling, and dancing, are known to have many health benefits, such as improving cardiovascular health, reducing stress levels, and aiding weight loss. However, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that cardio exercises can increase height. Becoming more slender may create the illusion of growing taller.

Furthermore, it is essential to understand that exercises that put stress on the spine, such as weightlifting and gymnastics, can potentially harm growth and development in young individuals. For example, lifting heavy weights can put excessive stress on the spine and cause damage to the growth plates, leading to stunted growth. 

Do cardio exercises increase height? The short answer is YES! Here are the explanations:

Why cardio exercises are beneficial during the growth period

Stimulates bone growth

Exercise, particularly weight-bearing exercises such as running and jumping, helps stimulate bone growth and development. Regular exercise during the growth period can help increase bone density and strength, leading to optimal bone health.

Improves posture

Proper posture is essential for growing taller. Exercise that focuses on core strength, can help improve posture, reducing the risk of musculoskeletal issues such as back pain.

Boosts growth hormone levels

Cardio has been shown to increase growth hormone levels, which plays a crucial role in regulating development rates. Growth hormone is primarily released during sleep, but exercise can also stimulate its secretion.

Reduces the risk of obesity

Regular exercise can help reduce the risk of obesity, which can negatively impact growth potential. Obesity has been linked to hormonal imbalances, which can affect growth hormone levels and lead to stunted growth.

Improves cardiovascular health

Exercise improves cardiovascular health, which is essential for physical development. A healthy cardiovascular system ensures that the body can efficiently transport oxygen and nutrients to the tissues, promoting better height.

Boosts confidence

Regular exercise can help boost confidence, which is essential for mental and physical health. A confident child is more likely to engage in healthy behaviors, such as proper nutrition and sleep, which are essential for optimal growth.


Height growth is a complex process that is influenced by a variety of factors. Among them, cardio exercises are beneficial for overall health and well-being by helping improve posture, and heart health and reducing stress levels while also stimulating bone expansion, boosting growth hormone levels, decreasing the risk of obesity, and boosting confidence.  It is crucial to maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle that includes a nutritious diet, regular exercise, and adequate sleep to promote optimal growth and development, leading to a healthier, more active life.

Doctor Taller

(*) All pictures shown are for illustration purpose only.
THE ABOVE INFORMATION IS FOR REFERENCE ONLY and shall not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or starting any medication or treatment without discussing it with a qualified health professional.
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