Mission X: how to stay fit and healthy in space with Luca Parmitano


Hello everyone! I’m ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano and I’m sending you this message straight from the International Space Station. We all need to do exercise and eat the right foods to stay fit, healthy, and strong, training like an astronaut is a great way to do this. When astronauts like me live and work in space we float and it’s very easy for us to move around the Space Station. On Earth your body is always working against gravity but in space we have much less gravity, so my muscles become weaker because I’m not using them as much. That means I need to exercise for two hours
every day just to stay fit. But exercising can be very different on Earth
than it is in space let’s have a look at how some of the exercises
that we will be doing for Mission X are different in space compared to Earth. The first exercise is called the Commander Crunch. Can you spot the difference? Commander Crunches are important for improving
strength in the abdominal muscles as well as your back muscles, which help to protect your spine. We can use the same machine on the ISS called ARED for doing many other exercises, including press-ups. How are press-ups different on Earth than in space? Repeating this exercise will improve your
upper body strength, especially in your arms, shoulders, and chest. You use these muscles together with your abdominals
and back for movements like swimming, throwing, for example, to play a game of catch with a ball. This game isn’t so easy for astronauts! Another exercise we like to do a lot on the
Space Station is cycling. Can you spot the difference between cycling
on Earth and in space? Cycling is a great way to improve your stamina, and keeps your heart and lungs healthy. It works muscles in your legs and back. Cycling is also a fast and eco-friendly way to travel, so cycling doesn’t just help to keep us healthy, it keeps planet Earth healthy as well! Let’s take a look at the final exercise, the Space Rock ’n’ Roll! How many differences can you see here? Well, that one obviously is our favourite exercise. Practicing somersaults helps to improve coordination,
flexibility, and balance. These skills are useful for many sports like
gymnastics and dancing. I enjoy dancing myself but it is challenging to dance in microgravity. There are many different exercises and sports you can do to improve your fitness and have fun just like us astronauts. Some activities are more difficult to do on
the ISS… but sometimes we try to do them anyway! I hope you will all join me to train like
an astronaut. Remember: keep fit, eat healthy, and go Mission X!

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