SCIENCE

FYI, NASA's Space Gyms Are The Weirdest Thing Ever

There's no slacking off on 2016 resolutions in space.

For astronauts in space, exercise is not a choice. In order to prevent the loss of muscle mass and bone density due to a lack of gravity, working out is a necessity. NASA even mandates that astronauts aboard the International Space Station exercise two hours per day.

But how exactly do astronauts work up a sweat in microgravity? For starters, the equipment they use barely resembles what you'll find at the neighborhood gym.

Below, take a look at five bizarre contraptions that help keep astronauts in tip-top shape. Your treadmill has never looked so mundane. 

  • Cycle Ergometer with Vibration Isolation System (CEVIS)
    CEVIS is very similar to a mechanical bicycle. It’s bolted to the floor, and astronauts snap their shoes on to the pedals. A seat belt can be used to hold them in position, and they can change the resistance for varying levels of difficulty.
  • Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill (COLBERT)
    NASA/Tumblr
    COLBERT is the second-generation U.S. treadmill on the space station. It features data collection devices that allow scientists and doctors to evaluate how effective the exercise is in reducing the amount of bone and muscle density loss due to microgravity exposure. It allows crew members to walk and run up to 12.4 miles per hour. Fun fact: The treadmill is named after comedian Stephen Colbert.
  • Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED)
    NASA/Tumblr
    The ARED uses adjustable resistance piston-driven vacuum cylinders, along with a flywheel system, to simulate free-weight exercises in normal gravity. Its primary goal is to maintain muscle strength and bone mass in astronauts during long periods in space.
  • Russian Treadmill (BD-2)
    <a href="http://www.nasa.gov/centers/johnson/pdf/505722main_Perspective_Means_In_Russian_System_Of_Countermeasure.pdf" target
    NASA/Tumbler
    BD-2 is the treadmill found in the Russian segment of the space station. It allows crew members to walk and run with a speed from 1.5 to 12.4 miles per hour.
  • VELO Ergomoeter Bike (VB-3)
    <a href="http://www.nasa.gov/centers/johnson/pdf/505722main_Perspective_Means_In_Russian_System_Of_Countermeasure.pdf" target
    NASA/Tumbler
    VB-3 is used for aerobic training, medical tests and pedaling regimes. It is located in the Russian segment of the space station. 

 

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