Addressing the restrictions many currently face as part of precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Tobias Weber , from the medical and technology projects team at ESA’s European Astronaut Center, suggests "a daily dose of jumping to the old school rope. "
His claim is supported by a recent study funded by the European Space Agency (ESA).
Jumps: the key
While the jump shows real promise, more research is needed to understand the optimal shape. But what it seems is that this easy and simple exercise could be applied at home, and it is very effective because, in fact, jumping can be key for astronauts to maintain form in situations of little space, such as future ones. missions to the Moon and Mars.
Traditional exercise programs combine aerobic exercise such as cycling and running with strength training, but our body would not know the difference: it only responds to mechanical and metabolic stress . According to Jonathan Scott , team leader for medical and technology projects at ESA’s European Astronaut Center:
The jump seems to provide the right level of stimulus for many different systems. If we narrow it down to what is essential for future missions, this exercise targets the areas required to stay physically healthy while addressing the challenges we face, such as lack of time, lack of space, and less access to equipment.
So this simple exercise can provide a fun but effective way to help keep our musculoskeletal and cardiopulmonary systems in shape, even when trapped in a very confined space for months. For its part, the team is supporting the development of equipment to jump into microgravity. For example, Danish Aerospace Company is developing a new multi-function exercise machine, called E4D . A flight model is expected to be ready for use during space flight missions in 2021.