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Astronauts may need more intense workouts to maintain muscle fitness in space
Date:4/2/2009

loss," Trappe said. "This approaches what we see in aging populations in comparisons of a 20-year-old versus an 80-year-old. This poses risks to the crewmembers and could have a dramatic impact on locomotion and overall health, which would impact a variety of crewmembers' activities including future goals of planetary exploration."

Trappe and the HPL team have been conducting NASA-funded, ground-based bed rest studies of long duration between 60 and 90 days parallel to their ISS research.

Trappe said, "From our bed rest studies, we found that when high-intensity resistance and aerobic exercise are balanced correctly, this is an effective prescription that is quite therapeutic in protecting skeletal muscles in a simulated microgravity environment. The next step is to apply what we have learned from the ISS experience and implement the next generation of exercise prescription programs into the space environment. Intensity wins, hands down."

In November 2008, NASA delivered an Advanced Resistance Exercise Device (ARED) to ISS that now offers astronauts greater capability to exercise at higher workloads and intensity. In addition to new equipment, the astronaut trainers have provided new exercise prescriptions customized for each crewmember during ARED use. Studies are underway at NASA to further develop and validate resistance exercise prescriptions designed to improve astronaut performance and health, as well as mitigate risk, according to Judith Hayes, NASA deputy chief, human adaptation and countermeasures division based at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.


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Contact: Scott Trappe
strappe@bsu.edu
765-285-1145
American Physiological Society
Source:Eurekalert

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