As you may know, maintaining physical fitness is very important for astronauts. According to NASA, “Exercise is an important part of the daily routine of astronauts aboard the station…” (NASA Exercising in Space, updated 2021). This is mainly to prevent bone loss and maintain muscle mass while being in a zero-gravity environment.
Because physical fitness is so important for astronauts, I even have it listed as one of the key criteria on my mandala chart for becoming an astronaut. Maintaining my physical fitness is something I strive for on a daily basis. My workout routine incorporates many different styles of training; running, weight lifting, and TRX training are a few different types of exercises I incorporate. Here’s a quick video to demonstrate:
Benefits of Physical Fitness
While maintaining physical fitness is important for astronauts, it is also important for everyone. There are many benefits when you prioritize your physical fitness. Here are some reasons why…
Promotes Strong Muscles and Bones
Even though we are not in a zero-gravity environment, physical activity is still important to promote strong muscles and bones. Different exercises target different bones and muscles, which is why it is important to get a variety of training. Daily exercise can help prevent bone loss in the future.
Overall increase in well-being
A consistent routine of physical activity can help with an overall increase in well being. According to the CDC, physical activity can “reduce your health risk with Cardiovascular Disease, Type 2 Diabetes, and even some cancers” (CDC Physical Activity Basics, 2021). Physical activity helps improve the overall quality of your life.
Better moods and reduce of stress
Have you ever heard of endorphins? Endorphins are released through the hypothalamus and pituitary gland during physical activity (Health Harvard, 2021). An increase of endorphins causes a boost in mood and a decrease in stress. This means that physical activity can even improve the state of mental well-being.
Boost in Energy
Who doesn’t love feeling productive and full of energy? Physical activity can help! Other than the feeling of accomplishment that comes when finishing a workout, there is actually a scientific reason that backs this up: endorphins…again!
Some easy ways to Include Physical Fitness into Your Routine
Go for daily walks
Daily walks are great for a few reasons: walking allows you to be in nature and sunlight, it can increase your heart rate, and helps increase the amount of physical activity you do. This is a great way to get started on your physical fitness journey.
Stretch in the morning
Stretching is an easy way to release muscle stress and tension. It is one of my favorite ways to ease into the day.
Take hourly breaks to incorporate physical activity
If you study or work in an office, it can be tempting to sit for hours on end. However, I challenge you to take hourly breaks for physical activity. This could be doing 10 pushups, or going for a 5 minute walk, or doing 10 squats. Whatever activity you would enjoy most, do that during those quick breaks.
And remember, small steps make big impacts! Little changes everyday will help increase your overall physical activity. Just do whatever physical activity feels good to you and pick a routine you enjoy. Here’s a worksheet you can use to fill out your physical activities for the week. Enjoy, kosmic being!