I have a question for you.
Will doing morning jogging/running delay my growth in any way? I am a long-distance runner. I am 174 cm in height and I am very thin. This is because of my abs. I feel a bit worried that morning running will affect my ability to grow during puberty due to the cortisol hormone, but I am trying to ignore the thought.
Exercise keeps you healthy, which helps your growth, not hinder it. However, elite athletes have to be careful to maintain a healthy weight. In many sports, slimmer is better but if you don’t have enough calories to spare for growth, your growth will slow down so you can maintain your workload. However, the vast majority of athletes do not reach an intensity level that causes the body to decide to slow growth in order to maintain output in a sport.
“During childhood and adolescence, regular exercise is among the many environmental factors essential to achieve full potential for growth. Moderate physical stress from the muscle activities found in most sports is generally a positive force on bone growth. Yet it is doubtful whether training programs for young athletes have any growth-promoting effect on their height.” [“The Young Athlete’s Body: Physical Development“, Parent’s Complete Guide to Youth Sports, 1986].
Cortisol is a hormone that is released by your body to regulate the effects of stress. Your pituitary gland regulates the amount of cortisol in your body. Yes, cortisol goes up while you are working out, but it is a temporary rise and it quickly returns to normal when you are resting. These short spikes are considered healthy and normal. If they have an impact on your growth, it is a positive impact. Cortisol is only a problem if it stays high or stays low in a person’s body. This would only be a problem if you rarely rested or your pituitary gland wasn’t functioning correctly. [M. Mousikou, “Stress and Growth in Children and Adolescents,” Karger, 2021.]
How will I know that I have enough calories for growth? I eat a lot so I am sure that I have enough, but to be on the safe side I thought I would ask. I have been always thin since the infant stage.
Since you are growing, you should expect your weight to rise with your increased body size. If your weight is going down, then you are not getting enough nutrition. While you are naturally skinny, you should not be getting skinnier. Typical adolescent male athletes need 3,000 to 4,000 calories per day. Heavy training may require more. Of course, these should not be junk food calories.