NASA Astronauts Living Inside Spaceships Share Their Workout Routine
Although we’ll be showing you how the astronauts on space missions stay fit, the objective of this article is not to get you ready for working out when you’re in a spaceship. The idea is to convince you that you don’t need to go to a gym to improve your health.
At the time of writing this article, most of the world is under quarantine amid concerns of COVID-19 novel coronavirus. Staying in isolation inside your homes should not be an excuse for skipping your workouts and turning into a couch potato.
Best Home Workout Equipment
Training Aboard the International Space Station (ISS)
If you thought astronauts on spaceships look at complex charts, stars or sleep all day, you’re in for a surprise. As one might expect, astronauts don’t train with a pair of dumbbells or barbells in space. Their equipment and workout routine is a little more complex.
The astronauts train with their makeshift equipment which includes a vacuum system that is similar to free-weights, a treadmill with bungee cords and a stationary bike without a seat or handlebars. Exercising in space poses unique challenges, but without exercise, astronauts can lose up to 15 percent of their muscle mass, some of it permanently.
As the current residents of @Space_Station, @AstroDrewMorgan and I thought we’d share some of our strategies for living happily in isolation. Tip #1: Exercise is vital not only for physical health, but also to your mental well-being. Here’s how we do it on @Space_Station . . . pic.twitter.com/Dzyh5WYBBj
— Jessica Meir (@Astro_Jessica) April 1, 2020
In the video above, you see NASA’s Jessica Meir using the Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (aRED) to perform squats, bench press, and front shoulder raises. Another astronaut, Andrew Morgan, is seen using the machine to do deadlifts and bent-over rows.
While aRED’s primary goal is to maintain muscle strength and mass, resistive exercise also helps astronauts increase endurance for physically demanding tasks such as space-walks, NASA explained in a statement.
The treadmill aboard the ISS is designed to allow astronauts to run without vibrating the equipment. It is also equipped with a harness that is connected to bungee cords. It keeps the runner in place while in the microgravity.
The ISS also has a bicycle but interestingly enough, it doesn’t have a seat or handle-bars. Due to the microgravity, the astronauts only need to strap themselves to the space station and hold onto the sidebars.
Coming Back to the Earth
Since most of us will never step foot on a spaceship, let’s talk about how you can take inspiration from the astronauts and stay fit inside your homes. The good news is that you don’t have to train for two and a half hours every day like most astronauts. Your workout routine can be much shorter.
In this article, we’ll give you three workouts that can be done no matter how hectic your work-from-home schedule is. These workouts will be 4, 7, and 10 minute HIIT (high-intensity interval training) sessions respectively. You won’t need any equipment for them.
What is HIIT
According to Wikipedia, HIIT is a form of interval training, a cardiovascular exercise strategy alternating short periods of intense anaerobic exercise with less-intense recovery periods, until too exhausted to continue.
HIIT is an anaerobic form of training where your body uses fat as fuel. Your HIIT workouts should be so intense that, in the middle of a session you should be able to say single words, but not complete whole sentences. If you’re able to strike a conversation during your workout routine, you need to bump up the intensity.
Workout #1 – 4 Minute Dash
No matter who you are, where you’re from or how busy you are, you can take out 4-minutes from your schedule to do this workout. In a study found, a group of men were asked to run on a treadmill at 90 percent of their maximal heart rate for four minutes, three times a week for 10 weeks.
The results showed that the group had improved their endurance, blood sugar control and blood pressure as much as a comparable group of men who did a series of all-out exercise lasting for 16 minutes.
Directions – Start by warming up briefly. You could run on a treadmill, use a stationary bike or do HIIT exercises like jumping jacks or burpees intensely for four minutes. Make sure you raise your heart rate to a pumping, air-gasping level for four minutes, three times a week.
Workout #2 – 7 Minute Workout
If you don’t like running or any such cardio training, this workout is the right fit for you. In this workout, you’ll only need a chair as you’ll use your bodyweight and a wall to combine the benefits of a long run and a weight room workout.
You’ll be doing a total of 12 exercises in these seven minutes. You have to perform each exercise in rapid succession, allowing 30 seconds for each. You’ll be resting for 10 seconds between exercises. These seven minutes will be the most brutal seven minutes of your day.
- Jumping jacks
- Wall sit
- Abdominal crunches
- Step-up onto a chair
- Triceps dip on a chair
- High knees, running in place
- Alternating lunges
- Push-ups with rotation
- Side plank, each side
Workout #3 – 10 Minute Typical HIIT
The third workout is the most orthodox form of HIIT. It can also be an effective way of shedding body fat. Although you’ll be training for 10 minutes, the total amount of ‘intense’ work will be limited to one minute.
overweight, sedentary volunteers completed this 10-minute workout three times a week — for a total of 30 minutes of exercise weekly. After six weeks, the volunteers had improved their endurance by 12 percent. Direction –
- Warm-up for 2 minutes.
- Pedal or run all-out for 20 seconds.
- Slow and easy for 2 minutes.
- Pedal or run all-out for 20 seconds.
- Pedal or run slow and easy for 2 minutes.
- All-out for 20 seconds.
- Cool down for 3 minutes.
Although none of these workouts require any kind of equipment, we would recommend that you invest in a treadmill, dumbbells and a few other gears as they can be incredibly efficient in keeping you active and in shape.
A treadmill is a great investment as it can be used after the pandemic is over. Looking at the treadmill in your garage or living room will make you want to use it. It is also safer than going out for a run and is a perfect fit for the HIIT workouts.
Although bodyweight exercises are great for staying in shape, you will need dumbbells if you want to tone your body or put on muscle mass. We’ve put together a list of the best fitness equipment for your home which can be found at the top of the article.