Crew members of the International Space Station have been exercising more than 400km away from every human on earth since they took off. And as NASA astronaut Jessica Meir explained in a new video on twitter, out of space conditions mean members of the aircraft would lose bone density while their muscles would shrink if they didn’t get moving.
Things, however, operate a little different out of this world. Meir relies on three machines that are found in their new home.
Firstly, she uses an Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED), a “one-stop weightlifting machine.”
It looks like a regular hydraulic machine but instead of using weights and gravity for resistance, it uses a pair of vacuum tubes. Fortunately, you can do nearly any exercise on it – from squats to lifts to presses.
For cardio, instead of heading outside and smelling the fresh air, they use a treadmill-like instrument, named the T2 (Treadmill 2). While they run, they attach themselves with bungee cords and a harness to stop them from floating away in microgravity.
“It’s pretty fun to run on T2. You get a little extra spring in your step,” Meir adds.
Lastly, they also have the option of the closest thing they can use to a bike – the Cycle Ergometer with Vibration Isolation and Stabilisation (CEVIS).
Just like a bike, you can pedal away. But instead of a seat or handlebar, you use a pair of handholds to stay in position.
Meir’s peer Drew Morgan says it does a much better job of staying fit, “I get a much greater heart rate doing this than I do running on the treadmill.”
Next time you do a balcony workout or a backyard circuit, appreciate the view you have because others are far more crammed.