Fri, Jan 11, 2008
'First, Go Into Space... We Weigh NOTHING Up Here!'
For those who set fitness goals as part of their New Year's
resolutions, NASA astronauts who have lived aboard the
International Space Station have a few tips to face the challenge.
Astronauts on the station are required to work out as much as two
hours each day.
After a five-month stay on the station, astronaut Clay Anderson
(above) returned to Earth in November and is in the midst of a
strict exercise regimen to regain top physical shape. While the
propsect of working out in weightlessness may sound easy, Anderson
says it comes with unique challenges that can make it harder and
less appealing than exercising on Earth.
"You have to attack it incrementally," Anderson said. "You have
to stay with it. Every day you have to figure out a way to get
yourself to do it. You have to set a goal that motivates you,
whether it is new clothes, a class reunion this summer, losing 20
pounds -- or being in good shape when you land on Earth."
Astronauts often live and work aboard the station for six months
or more at a time. The daily workout is key to minimizing bone
density and muscle loss that can occur during long stays in
The exercise sessions can include workouts on a treadmill with
straps that pull down the astronauts to simulate gravity, a
stationary bicycle and an exercise device that uses tension to
imitate weightlifting in zero gravity.
We dunno. That still sounds better than daily aerobics and
NutriSystem... and we hear the food is tastier, too...
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