Were you among the kids encouraged by adults to play on monkey bars to grow taller?
Yep, it was a thing.
Maybe it still is.
So, let’s get to the bottom of it.
Do monkey bars really help you grow?
Many have said that monkey bars help you grow taller. There is actually some truth to that, although the answer is more nuanced. It’s not the monkey bars per se that help children grow taller but it’s the activity. Being active or doing regular exercise can HELP with physical growth. HELP is the operative word as it is not a guarantee. Height is 80% genetics.
Monkey Bars and Physical Growth – Is There a Link?
Is there some truth to people advocating for children to play on the monkey bars to grow taller?
Many believe that hanging on the monkey bars and swinging from one bar to another will help stretch the body, hence, making it longer.
The answer is nuanced.
While it is not inherently right, it is not wrong either.
There is no scientific evidence that playing on monkey bars has a direct relation to one’s physical growth.
However, staying active is one of the ways to naturally grow taller.
Monkey bars, after all, aid children in becoming more active.
Children climb, hang, and swing on monkey bars, sometimes playing a game of catch on the equipment.
The playground equipment also encourages stretching.
Stretching helps children develop posture, which will make them appear taller than they are.
So, you see, monkey bars can HELP children grow taller.
However, emphasis should be placed on HELP as there is no guarantee.
Playing on monkey bars, and staying active as a whole, must be complemented with other best lifestyle practices to ensure proper growth.
5 Natural Ways To Grow Taller
To be clear, your height is 80% genetics. You can get it from either of your parents or both. But a healthy lifestyle can also help with physical growth. The following are natural ways to get to your ideal height or more:
1. Stay Active
It’s not the monkey bars per se that encourage physical growth but the activity.
Staying active and exercising regularly can strengthen children’s bones and muscles.
They also promote human growth hormone (HGH) production.
“HGH, produced by the pituitary gland, spurs growth in children and adolescents. It also helps to regulate body composition, body fluids, muscle and bone growth, sugar and fat metabolism, and possibly heart function.”–Mary Ann Dunkin, WebMD
Experts believe school children should get at least one hour of exercise every day.
Monkey bars and the other equipment in the playground allow children to get that one hour of physical activity necessary to stay healthy and grow taller.
2. Eat a Balanced Diet
Early on we have been informed by teachers and parents about the importance of eating a balanced diet.
It keeps us healthy and it aids physical growth as well.
The following are just some of the types of food that help you grow taller:
- Almonds – rich in vitamin E, which is also known to help with physical growth as insufficiency of such vitamin could lead to stunted growth
- Beans and legumes – they are rich in nutrients, particularly protein
- Dairy – milk is rich in calcium, which is essential for growing bones, and stimulates the production of a hormone known as insulin-like growth factor
- Eggs – contain many nutrients that support growth and development
- Fish – salmon and tuna are rich in vitamin D and calcium, the former helps with the absorption of calcium, which is important in growth
- Fruits – there is no such thing as unhealthy fruits but for physical growth, add more of the following to your diet: cantaloupe, grapefruit, kiwi, orange, and strawberry
- Green vegetables – bok choi, broccoli, collard greens, and kale are rich in calcium
- Sweet potatoes – are rich in carotenoids, which convert into vitamin A, which in turn promotes healthy growth
3. Sleep Well
Growth hormone is released when the child is asleep, which is why it is vital they get the right amount of sleep.
According to the KidsHealth organization, the following are the recommended amount of sleep for children:
- 14-17 hours – infants 0-3 months
- 12-16 hours – infants 4 months to 1 year old
- 11-14 hours – toddlers 1 to 2 years old
- 10-13 hours – preschoolers 3 to 5 years old
- 9-12 hours – school-aged children 6 to 13 years old
- 8-10 hours – teens 14 to 17 years old
4. Stand and Sit Up Straight
Proper posture doesn’t necessarily help you grow taller but it can make you taller.
You will lose an inch or so in height when you slouch.
What’s worse, your bones may eventually accommodate the slump that you are used to adopting.
Always be mindful of your posture, whether you are sitting, standing, or walking.
It is also important when you sleep.
Talk to the doctor about the best sleeping position as well as posture techniques to keep you from slouching.
5. Some Supplements
Supplements must be taken with caution.
But some doctors recommend vitamin C to children to supplement their recommended daily intake of the nutrient.
Vitamin C is also essential in physical growth as it repairs tissues in the body.
Do not take supplements that promise physical growth.
Just take supplements for necessary vitamins that are also recommended by doctors.
There you have it!
Monkey bars don’t necessarily make children grow taller.
However, they can help with physical growth because they provide the necessary exercise that the body needs to grow taller.
But it is not a guarantee as height as 80% genetics.
That 20% can be supplied with regular exercise (on the monkey bars if children prefer), a balanced diet, adequate sleep, proper posture, and doctor-recommended nutritional supplements.