Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Intense exercise during long space flights helps astronauts protect aerobic capacity

Date:
August 29, 2014
Source:
American Physiological Society (APS)
Summary:
Many astronauts experience a dip in aerobic capacity during long space flights, which can impair their ability to perform complex and demanding routine tasks. In a new article, NASA researchers find that regular, intense in-flight exercise helps preserve cardiovascular stamina.

Most people don't think much about their aerobic capacity while at work. But for astronauts carrying out missions on the International Space Station (ISS), maintaining their cardiovascular stamina during long space flights is part of the job. They must be prepared to perform physically demanding tasks or emergency maneuvers at any time during flights that can last between three and six months in a weightless environment.

Related Articles


In an effort to protect their aerobic capacity and prepare their bodies, astronauts routinely perform in-flight cardiovascular and strength exercises. But the effect of exercise on astronauts traveling to the ISS was not known because aerobic capacity (V̇O2peak) had only been studied in shorter trips, not during and after longer space flights.

To understand whether the routinely prescribed exercise was effectively maintaining V̇O2peak, researchers Alan D. Moore Jr., et al., with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Human Research Program followed 14 astronauts (nine men and five women) who traveled on space flights between 91 and 192 days. On average, the subjects exercised 30 minutes a day on five to six days each week at an average intensity of 73% of peak heart rate. The research team measured V̇O2peak at approximately nine months and three months before launch; on day 15 of the flight; every subsequent 30 flight days; and day one, 10 and 30 following re-entry to Earth.

The research team observed a ~17% overall reduction in V̇O2peak by flight day 15 across the study sample. While some astronauts experienced a significant decline in V̇O2peak (a dip that rebounded later in the space flight), other astronauts did not experience any substantial change in V̇O2peak. Interestingly, the astronauts with the highest V̇O2peak experienced the greatest reduction in capacity, but according to the authors, "this finding should not be interpreted that a high preflight aerobic capacity is undesirable. Although the astronauts with high capacities tended to lose more, they typically remained at higher levels than crew who started at lower levels.

"These results provide evidence that, although many astronauts experience a decline in V̇O2peak during ISS missions, use of the aerobic exercise hardware aboard the ISS combined with exercise prescriptions of sufficient exercise intensity can be used to effectively prevent decline in aerobic capacity," the researchers wrote.

The article "Peak exercise oxygen uptake during and following long-duration spaceflight" is published in the Journal of Applied Physiology. It is highlighted as one of this month's "best of the best" as part of the American Physiological Society's APSselect program.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Physiological Society (APS). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A. D. Moore, M. E. Downs, S. M. C. Lee, A. H. Feiveson, P. Knudsen, L. Ploutz-Snyder. Peak exercise oxygen uptake during and following long-duration spaceflight. Journal of Applied Physiology, 2014; 117 (3): 231 DOI: 10.1152/japplphysiol.01251.2013

Cite This Page:

American Physiological Society (APS). "Intense exercise during long space flights helps astronauts protect aerobic capacity." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140829115607.htm>.
American Physiological Society (APS). (2014, August 29). Intense exercise during long space flights helps astronauts protect aerobic capacity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140829115607.htm
American Physiological Society (APS). "Intense exercise during long space flights helps astronauts protect aerobic capacity." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140829115607.htm (accessed January 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Space & Time News

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Asteroid's Moon Spotted During Earth Flyby

Asteroid's Moon Spotted During Earth Flyby

Rumble (Jan. 27, 2015) Scientists working with NASA&apos;s Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, California discovered an unexpected moon while observing asteroid 2004 BL86 during its recent flyby past Earth. Credit to &apos;NASA JPL&apos;. Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com
Water Fleas Prepare for Space Voyage

Water Fleas Prepare for Space Voyage

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 26, 2015) Scientists are preparing a group of water fleas for a unique voyage into space. The aquatic crustaceans, known as Daphnia, can be used as a miniature model for biomedical research, and their reproductive and swimming behaviour will be tested for signs of stress while on board the International Space Station. Jim Drury went to meet the team. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mars Rover Opportunity Celebrates 11-Year Anniversary

Mars Rover Opportunity Celebrates 11-Year Anniversary

Rumble (Jan. 26, 2015) Eleven years ago NASA&apos;s Opportunity rover touched down on Mars for what was only supposed to be a 90-day mission. Since then it has traveled 25.9 miles (41.7 kilometers), further than any other off-Earth surface vehicle has ever driven. Credit to &apos;NASA&apos;. Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA's On Course To Take Pluto's Best Photo Ever

NASA's On Course To Take Pluto's Best Photo Ever

Newsy (Jan. 25, 2015) NASA&apos;s New Horizons probe is en route to snap a picture of Pluto this summer, but making sure it doesn&apos;t miss its one chance to do so starts now. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins