Do We Get Shorter as We Grow Older?

Do we get shorter as we get older

A few weeks ago we discussed the hereditary nature of height. How traditionally the height of parents could be a decent indicator of the height a child may reach.

Our height is indicative of the size of our bones, and as a result, our skull for example undergoes minimal changes throughout our lives. On the other hand, our leg bones and to an even more evident extent, our spine, undergo shrinkage as we age.

However, this shrinkage can be greatly minimized by taking the proper precautions and care earlier in life.

How shrinkage occurs

The cartilage between your joints can wear out. This can lead to a decrease in overall height as your joints move closer together. It can also be the result of substituting your lean muscle mass for fat as you age brought on by a decrease in exercising.

Your spine is the portion of your body with the greatest variable for being able to shrink as you age. This is because the spine’s vertebrae flatten, moving closer together, and result in an overall shrinkage of your upper body’s height.

How to limit shrinkage

Maintaining an active lifestyle as you age can help keep your body strong and aid in warding off this shrinkage. Physical activity is one contributing aspect in maintaining strong bones.

Additionally, eating foods rich in calcium and vitamin D throughout your life can also help aid in promoting bone health. The recommended daily calcium intake is 1,200 milligrams.

Though your body may not have as much energy to move around as you get older, it is important to maintain the same intake of nutrients. A diet rich in calcium and vitamin D can go a long ways in safeguarding your body as you age.