Exercise and Growth

Patient

Q: Im 15 and im 5'6. i always did exercise and thats why i think im so short. Does exercise slow down growth?..like push ups pull ups, sit ups ect..? will it slow it down?

Doctor

A:    There is no documented evidence in the medical literature that support a negative interaction between exercise and growth, on the contrary, certain sports that require a lot of stretching  as Basketball, Swimming might facilitate the growing process in children. There are, in fact, diverse research studies that give evidence that exercise can facilitate statural growth and is a necessary stimulus for reparative growth through its stimulatory effects on secretion of growth hormone (GH) and other anabolic hormones. Exercise provides mechanical and metabolic stimuli that are necessary for hypertrophy of the musculoskeletal system and increased GH secretion for reparative growth. Exercise is also a growth hormone releaser because every time you exercise, blood levels of growth hormone rise. Human growth hormone (hGH) is secreted in a pulsatile fashion, generally following a circadian rhythm. A number of physiological stimuli can initiate hGH secretion, the most powerful, non-pharmacological of which are sleep and exercise.

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