'Train Like an Astronaut' workout promotes wellness at KSC

Class offered for all NASA employees

By Kirstin O’Connor - Reporter/Anchor

MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. - Astronauts need to be mentally and physically prepared for spaceflight, but what does it take to stay fit and train like an astronaut to prepare for microgravity?

News 6 found out how astronauts work out with a visit to NASA's Kennedy Space Center.

NASA Wellness Specialist John Serrano teaches a class at the Space Center called "Train Like an Astronaut."

From outside the Vehicle Assembly Building, or VAB, Serrano demonstrated some of the exercises he said are modeled off the regimens the astronauts use.

"A lot of people don't understand what it takes just on a day-to-day basis and the effects that space and microgravity have on the body," Serrano said.

The workout is open for all NASA employees to promote balance, strength and health.

Serrano said the name of the class is pretty motivating by itself.

"Gravity is something that's nonexistent in space, so how do you translate that in a way that people here can still accomplish that?" Serrano said.

The muscle focus, he said, actually works for both astronauts and workers spending most of their day sitting at a desk.

"You've seen probably videos of astronauts floating around in the space station. They're using a lot of their arms, they're climbing, they're pushing," Serrano said while demonstrating a single leg squat.

In this video posted to Twitter by astronaut Christina H. Koch, the astronauts are seen lifting weights and running on a treadmill.

The seatless exercise bike used by astronauts while in orbit is featured in several YouTube videos.

Serrano said core strength and cardio endurance are two key components of the course.

"Any person that participates in the class is, like, yeah I've done an astronaut workout," Serrano said.

"Florida's Space Race: The Next Step," airs July 16 on WKMG News 6 in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch and moon landing. Visit ClickOrlando.com/moonlanding for more coverage.

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