The bones of your spine are separated by pads called discs. As you age, these discs dry out and become smaller. However, regular exercise compresses and relaxes these discs as you move up and down. This helps to keep the discs from shrinking and maintains your height. Regular exercise also helps to strengthen bones and keep them from bending or being crushed. Women with osteoporosis may suffer compression fractures of vertebrae, which can cause sudden height loss.

One study from Israel showed that people who exercise regularly lose only half as much height as people who never exercise — just 2.6 centimeters compared with 5.5 centimeters. If you have not already started exercising to prevent heart attacks, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and loss of mental function, and just to keep you feeling good, you should exercise to help you stand taller as you age.

Checked 12/13/16