As people across countries are in quarantine to curb the spread of coronavirus, after a period of time, some of us need the motivation to keep going. To motivate those sitting at homes, astronauts at the International Space Station (ISS) are sharing their workout routine on social media platforms. Jessica Meir posted a video on her workout on Twitter. She shared images of her makeshift equipment that includes a vacuum system that looks like free-weights. There is also a treadmill mill bungee cords and a stationary bike without a seat or handlebars. Self-Isolation Exercise, Prison Workout & Online Workout Are Top Fitness Trends on Google Amid Coronavirus Outbreak.
Meir in the clip says, "Studies have shown that exercise is vital only to your physical health but also to your mental well-being. You may need to get a little bit creative to get that heart rate elevated while at home without heading to the gym, but we are confident you can come up with something." Kids Exercise at Home: Workouts That Will Keep Your Child Active Inside the House (Watch Videos)
Exercising in space is not like that on Earth, it has its own challenges.
The ISS has Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED), which, according to Meir, is the crew’s one-stop weight machine that uses two large vacuum tubes to generate the resistance. It uses a piston and flywheel system which can help one do free-weight exercises in normal gravity. Squats, deadlifts and calf raise can be done through it.
NASA Astronaut Jessica Meir Shares Workout Video From Space:
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
NASA explained in a statement, "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 spacewalks."
The crew also does cardiovascular exercises using a small treadmill or stationary bike, however, they are not like the ones used in gyms we see regularly. The spaceship also has a treadmill which is designed to allow astronauts to run without vibrating the equipment. It is equipped with a harness that is connected to bungee cords helping the runner in place while in the microgravity.
Meir added, "One of the interesting things we like to point to people on the ground that it is a bicycle, but we don’t’ have a seat and we don’t have handlebars." NASA astronaut Scott Kelly who has been on the ISS for almost a year shared his best advice for surviving isolation. Kelly spent a total of 520 days on the space station, with his longest mission lasting 340 days from March 27, 2015, to March 1, 2016.
He told the New York Times, ''I actually started to crave nature - the colour green, the smell of fresh dirt, and the feel of warm sun on my face. You don’t need to work out two and a half hours a day, as astronauts do, but getting moving once a day should be part of your quarantine schedule (just stay at least six feet away from others.)" He said that some astronauts listen to sounds of nature like that of birds or trees swaying in the wind to cope with loneliness.