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Norishige Kanai caused a stir of sort months ago when he announced to the world on social media a significant increase in his height after being to space. In his excitement, the Japanese astronaut claimed to have grown about three and a half inches taller.
While it was eventually found that the reported increase in height was exaggerated, nobody disputed that the spacefarer grew taller. It wasn’t the first time such improvement would be reported.
But it probably makes you wonder what could be responsible for astronauts becoming taller after visiting the space. We address that in this article while also providing tips on steps you can take to grow taller.
Why Does an Astronaut’s Height Increase after Visiting Space?
There are different factors that play a role in determine how tall you can possibly get. One of this is gravity. Practically everything on Earth is subject to its pull. The human spine also feels it.
Gravity causes compression of the spine and joints in that we spend most of our waking time in an upright position. It leads to contraction of muscle and squeezing of the cartilage. The result is one or two-inch reduction in height.
But, in zero-gravity environments such as space, it is not a case of “what goes up must come down.” There is almost total absence of this force that pulls objects back to the ground, which is why you will see astronauts float up there.
Since it is no longer subject to gravity, the human spine can relax and extend while in space. The vertebrae stretch to cause an increase in height.
It was announced a few years ago that NASA would begin to use an ultrasound technology to assess exactly what takes place in the spine of astronauts when in space. The hope was that this would make for more accurate imaging and assessment of the musculoskeletal system in space motion.
How Tall Can Astronauts Get?
It is appears that the improvement may be a function of how long each astronaut spend in space.
In the case of Kanai, it was later found that he grew by just about two centimeters – less than an inch – after spending three weeks in space.
NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, by contrast, experienced a two-inch increase in his height after spending almost a year at the International Space Station.
NASA scientists estimate that a person can grow up to 3 percent taller after spending time in space.
Astronauts that became taller after spending time in space don’t retain the gain permanently. The pull of Earth’s gravity later causes them to lose it and become shorter after returning.
Increasing Height with Exercises
Every one of us apparently cannot travel to space in order to grow taller. Besides, whatever gain you get that way won’t remain forever without ongoing interventions.
But an important thing you can deduce from astronauts’ experience is that steps directed at decompressing the spine may help you grow taller.
There are exercises that can help to achieve this goal. These are mostly stretching exercises that assist in reducing pressure on the spine and to lengthen it.
A popular one for fighting the effect of gravity on the spine is bar hanging. This simple exercise helps to stretch your entire body, including your spine, simply by hanging from a bar. Doing this 3-4 minutes per day – hanging for about 30 seconds each time – may be enough for stretching your body and increasing height.
A reversal of bar hanging that also helps to extend the spine is the inversion therapy or exercise. It aims to counter gravity by having you hang upside down.
Cobra stretch is another exercise that may be beneficial for increasing height by stretching the spine. This yoga routine could be useful for promoting the growth of cartilage between the vertebrae, thereby causing you to grow taller.
Among the other exercises for increasing height are:
- Pilates roll over
- Forward bend
- Cat stretch
- Forward spine stretch
Growing Taller with Supplements
It is not hard to find supplements that promote height on the market. These have different means of promoting height, but the most effective are those that increase growth hormone levels.
This substance, popularly known as HGH, promotes growth and development, including tissue and bone growth. It is thought that increasing its levels can help people, especially children, grow taller.
HGH injections offer a potent means of boosting levels, but they are expensive and prone to side effects.
Growth Factor Plus is one of the natural alternatives for improving HGH levels. This product contains amino acids and growth factors than enhance production and release of the hormone in the body. It is safer and cheaper, compared to injections.
While there are numerous HGH supplements out there, Growth Factor Plus is different. It is intended mainly for people looking to grow taller. The manufacturer says its ingredients increase cartilage discs between vertebrae, thus increasing the length of the spine.
Other Means for Increasing Height
Proper diet – According to health experts, malnutrition is a key reason why some people never reach their full growth potential. It means then that maintaining a diet that provides your body with all the right nutrients can promote increase in height, especially for children.
Weight loss – Excessive body fat has a way of making someone appear shorter. How often do you see overweight or obese individuals appear shorter, even when they may not really be? Too much body weight puts undue pressure on the spine, compressing it. So, consider shedding some if that is an issue for you.
Good posture – Some people appear shorter than they really are because of poor body posture. This can cause your spine to be in an irregular position. Proper carriage can help to lengthen your spine, which is a major determinant of how tall you appear.
You may also consider a limb-lengthening procedure, if you are willing to go to any length to increase your height.
Astronauts usually grow taller after spending some time in space due to little or no problem of gravity. This suggests that finding a way to reverse the effect of this pulling force on the spine may help to increase you height.
There are certain exercises you can engage in to reduce the effect of gravity on your spine. These can help to decompress and reduce pressure on it to make you appear slightly taller.
A good growth hormone supplement may be beneficial to you as well in promoting increase in height. Growth Factor Plus is one that is especially formulated for people desiring to become taller. You may want to check it out.
New Study Examines Why Astronauts Grow Taller in Space (https://www.space.com/19116-astronauts-taller-space-spines.html)
This is how much humans actually grow when they go to space | Popular Science (https://www.popsci.com/why-scott-kelly-grew-two-inches-during-his-year-in-space)