Why do we ‘shrink’ as we age?

Have you noticed how your grandparents or parents tend to ‘shrink’ as they get older? Ever wonder why that happens?

Well, it is not an illusion; we do start to ‘shrink’ as we age. The question is “why?”

Firstly, gravity plays a role. Gravity actually compresses the spine when we stand, which accounts for some loss of height.

Another reason is disease, such as osteoporosis, plays a role as well. With osteoporosis, the bone breaks down but not enough new bone material is being made to replace the loss.

But the main reason is loss of bone density. The small, cushiony discs between our vertebrae can dry out and become thinner, which cause the vertebrae to compress, and you to ‘shrink’.

Unfortunately, there is no way to stop the process, but, luckily, there are ways to slow it down. People who exercise often have a stronger core, and a stronger core means better posture. With better posture you can better sustain your height. One great exercise for the spine is yoga. And, of course, don’t forget to get enough calcium and vitamin D in your diet!

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