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Why Do You Shrink?

By Sara Butler

You may have noticed that as you get older, your height seems to dwindle a bit. Or maybe you've noticed other people in your life who simply don't seem as tall as they once did. Is it your imagination? No! It is true that as you age, you do tend to shrink a little. Why is that? The chiropractors at The Joint Chiropractic are here to tell you why!

Reasons You Shrink

So, why do people tend to shrink as they get older? Well, the body ages, and in that process, these things can happen that reduce overall height:

  • Muscle mass is lost - Muscles help to support your spine and help you stand tall. As they lose mass, posture tends to get poorer and you appear a little shorter because of it. That's a good reason to make sure you're always incorporating some type of strength training into your workout routine no matter your age and pay attention to your posture.
  • Fallen arches - The arches in the feet tend to flatten out as you get older, too. This can cause you to become shorter as well.
  • Compression of spinal discs - The discs that sit in between the bones of your spine work very hard to support the space they occupy. They are plumped up by fluid but as you get older, they tend to become harder and the fluid has a more difficult time plumping them up. This can result in the loss of length in the spine, which also makes you a bit shorter.

It's important to understand that while you may lose a little height, this isn't something that is dramatic. You should only lose about a quarter of an inch every 10 years or so after you turn 40.

Preventing Shrinkage

There are things you can do to fight back against Father Time and prevent shrinkage. You should:

  • Exercise regularly - Weight-bearing exercises can help keep your hips and legs strong, which can then help to increase your muscle and bone mass to keep shrinkage at bay.
  • Eat right - Vitamins such as Vitamin D are essential to strong bones, so make sure you're getting enough of it in your diet. Foods such as almonds, kale, and broccoli are full of this vitamin, but you can also get it in foods that have been fortified, such as milk.
  • Posture perfect - OK, so your posture doesn't have to be perfect all the time, but it will help if you're aware of your posture and make changes to ensure it's where it needs to be.

Don't shrink away from getting older. Instead, take steps to stay healthy and mobile no matter what age you are with the help of the chiropractors at The Joint.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Chandler, Ariz.

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