How Do Astronauts Exercise in Space?

How Do Astronauts Exercise in Space?

Astronauts exercise in space using a space treadmill, stationary bike and equipment that simulates weightlifting designed by NASA for the International Space Station, reports PCMag. Typically, astronauts in space exercise for around 2 hours each day.

NASA designed special fitness equipment for the ISS to reduce the physiological effects of microgravity on astronauts, explains PCMag. Astronauts are able to take in-flight muscle measurements on their own using advanced ultrasound and panoramic imaging technologies. NASA personnel on Earth track the astronauts' fitness progress and provide them with personalized workout plans. Loss of bone, muscle and cardiovascular function is significantly minimized through alternating high intensity, low-volume workouts and continuous aerobic exercises.

The ARED (Advanced Resistive Exercise Device) was sent to the ISS via Space Shuttle mission STS-126 in 2008, states PCMag. It consists of two evacuated, pistol-driven canisters with a flywheel mechanism and allows astronauts to perform weightlifting exercises, such as dead lifts, squats and biceps curls, states PCMag.

Named after comedian Stephen Colbert, the COLBERT (Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill) enables astronauts to run while harnessed in place, reports PCMag.

The CEVIS (Cycle Ergometer with Vibration Isolations and Stabilization System) lets astronauts cycle upright and change workload and speed to achieve their target heart rates. Astronauts usually take weeks before getting accustomed to cycling in a microgravity environment, according to PCMag.