How Astronauts Exercise In Space


Running a marathon is tough. But what about
running one in space? But how hard can that be? Hello moon walkers, Lissette here for DNews.
Astronauts in space live in a whole different world. And one of the biggest differences,
besides probably the lack of oxygen, is the lack of gravity. Thanks to this we have some
pretty cool images of suspended water bubbles and astronauts walking on the ceilings of
space shuttles. But, the microgravity present in space also poses some challenges – namely,
the impact it has on an astronaut’s body. We don’t really notice, because we’ve
habituated, but on planet earth, our body is constantly working out. Gravity pulls us
down and our muscles and bones must resist that tension to keep us upright and moving
– sorta like mini workouts. But, in space, this tension virtually disappears. Which is
really bad, because muscles can atrophy and bones can lose density. Just like muscles,
bones are living tissues that need exercise to stay healthy. This is why on average NASA astronauts spend
2.5hrs per day working out in space. But it looks a bit different from what we see here
on earth. Pushups, jumping jacks, running, or anything really that doesn’t involve
equipment, just doesn’t work for them. They use special exercise machines. The three main
ones at the International Space Station are the Colbert, Cevis, and Ared. The Colbert,
named after this guy, is actually short for Combined Operational Load Bearing External
Resistance Treadmill. It is basically a treadmill but astronauts must be harnessed in place.
The Cevis or Cycle Ergometer with Vibration Isolations and Stabilization System is like
a bicycle, but because without gravity you can’t sit down, astronauts stand and strap
their feet to pedals. Lastly, the ARED or Advanced Resistive Exercise Device resembles
a weight training machine which can be used for things like deadlifts, calf raises and
squats through a piston-driven vacuum cylinder and flywheel system. All of these modifications are necessary because
objects lack any weight and regular lifting would be way too easy. So does this mean all
regular exercise is easier in space? Not, exactly. Zero gravity does mean that the lack
of resistance might make it easier for astronauts to lift things that would weigh hundreds of
pounds on earth. But here’s the thing. While in space your body fluids, sort of just float
all around your body. Without gravity there is nothing to pull blood down below the heart
to your legs and toes. The vast majority of blood just hangs out around the heart and
head. So astronauts have less plasma and red blood cells to carry oxygen to their muscles.
This is a problem for things like running or burpees because the lack of oxygen can
cause dizziness, and therefore impede performance. Still, despite the hours spent working out
everyday with specialized equipment, astronauts bodies take a toll. On average, NASA reports
that they suffer decreases of 11 to 17% of their muscular strength and about 10% of their
muscle endurance. Their bone density also tends to decrease about 2 to 7%. And according
to an International Space Station scientist, about 80% report feeling lightheaded shortly
after returning to earth. This is largely why scientists have multiple studies underway
to figure out how to improve exercise in space and diminish the negative health effects of spaceflight.

100 thoughts on “How Astronauts Exercise In Space

  1. The heart is pumping blood toward the head. But blood has pressure. Like any pump the heart is able to move liquid by creating pressure. Blood pressure within a closed vascular system should drive blood toward the arms and legs. If there is an oxygen shortage, the heart should beat faster due to parasympathetic feedback. Why would there be lower oxygen delivery to the lower extremities?

  2. So if humans were to ever evolve for space living, we'd have big heads and little bodies like the classic aliens drawn decades ago?

  3. Your videos are usually something that there is an easy answer to, and that a lot of people know about. Are you targeting your videos to Americans and stupid people?

  4. Sorry, but this is a terrible title for this video. Astronauts still feel the effects of gravity, they're just very minute effects because they're so far away from any reasonably massive objects.

  5. So it sounds like they still lose strength and endurance even though they work out, any idea what NASA is doing to reduce those percentages?

  6. I take issue with the "Can't sit down in space" bit. If you're clipped into the pedals you most certainly can, it just doesn't "take a load off" of your back …It's more accurate to say that sitting in 0 gravity is the same as standing. HOWEVER when cycling, your muscles will torque harder in different places depending if your are sitting or standing or somewhere between. It's common for a professional cyclist to sit on the seat, as their muscles tire they change position by "standing" and having their butt only and inch or two off the seat to utilize a slightly different part of the same muscle. Then they move to a higher stance, and then a higher stance yet, then back into the seat. Rinse repeat.

  7. Shout to dnews for keeping the globalist agenda alive and well. "News" more like propaganda news. Dnews stop this shit. One day the earth plain will be exposed for what it really is and all of this pro NASA GARBAGE will be evidence of your involvement on the great deception.

  8. Why don't they use more elastic resistance training in space? The equipment is light and small and could be used for even more exercises then they can do now.

  9. Two things: There isn't a lack of gravity on the ISS. They experience zero g, which just means they don't experience the weight because they are in free fall as they orbit the Earth. I also wish you guys had mentioned MED-2 (Miniature Exercise Device 2). More on MED-2: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/862.html

  10. apparently astronauts can get so used to low gravity that when they are back on earth they end up dropping things because they forget that it won't remain suspended in mid air 🙂

  11. This is just drivel that we are being force-fed daily basis its propaganda to keep us spinning on a globe.

  12. Lying to the public constantly year after year and receiving those huge grants of taxpayers money is a lot of exercise.

  13. Would I be the strongest human alive if I were to go into space and did an insane deadlift/squat or bench? I mean.. I technically did lift the however many plates it was..

  14. I exercise, rn, by heavy weight, low rep, compound exercises for weightlifting and HIIT on MWF and bicycling/elliptical/treadmill for cardio on TThS.

  15. if you can't think of a way to exercise without gravity. I'd say you're brain dead! sorry😅

  16. I'm a lazy ass, so when she started talking about muscular atrophy due to inactivity, I got up my chair and started moving all around as if I was in your typical fitness class xD

  17. Sorry but astronauts don't live in another world because their in space, you could've made a punn.

  18. this gave me a thought. if the weightlessness in space causes the blood to flow more or less close to the heart, do you think this could cause a diferent race? (homo spatium, Latin: space man) that would evolve to have 4 limbs more or less around it like a quadpus?

    i just took the biggest dab…

  19. awhhh fuck… magnets+ nonmagnetic metals, graphene. ceramics. stainless steel threaded suits and u got a fake gravity effect… how stupid are you nasa?

  20. Hopefully CMG suits become a thing soon, I wouldn't want to lose that much strength going into space.

  21. "lack of gravity" is complete rubbish, what do you think keeps them travelling round the Earth. They are in free fall so experience the sensation of 'zero gravity'

  22. What if we start some generations in space and see how our body keeps our blood down and not up all the time

  23. We NEED to figure out artificial gravity. I know we already know the principal how to create a force that feels like gravity, but we need master this technique and solve the last problems with it.

  24. Yep seen them use harness to "float" infront of a greenscreen or that chromakey background. I say it's fake.

  25. they need centrifugal room of some sort to simulate gravity…if they sleep, hang out or exercise in it when they are not working, they should remain healthly…

  26. SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSPace….. I really like the channel but can you guys PLEASE work out all that hissing "S" sound, it's enough to drive someone crazy

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