No one expected it. Who could imagine this crisis? The whole world is closing in on itself and in its houses. This situation, in a world that normally requires activity, social life, etc., can be very difficult for many. Maybe it is time to learn. And from who better, but from those who know confinement very well. The astronauts. With a little help from you, we may have a few more options. Here we will tell you how astronauts pass confinement.
Once in space, they repeat an exercise protocol every day for two and a half hours. They never skip it. They know that it is essential for their physical and mental health. To the difficulties of confinement are added microgravity and the extreme conditions of life up there.
Madrid's Guillermo Rojo is a 400 meter high performance athlete. He has worked at the Astronaut Training Center of the European Space Agency (ESA) in Cologne (Germany). He supervises the physical training of the participants in harsh simulations of stays on Mars, such as Amadee 20. In this mission, organized by the Austrian Space Forum (OeWF) and the Israeli Space Agency (ISA), six individuals will spend a month isolated in the desert from Negev, in Israel, from mid-October. Based on his experience, Rojo assures that exercising is essential in confinement. Whether 400 km away from the planet's surface, in a Martian analogy or in our own home. For this reason, he has decided to share an activity planning online, a kind of "fit quarantine". He launched it last Friday and already has more than 1,500 followers.
“Physical exercise is not only important to be fit. It is also a regulator of the sleep and hormonal cycle. Therefore, it influences how we manage stress and our emotions, ”explains Rojo. His first recommendation is to make a defined agenda of the exercises that we are going to do every day.
The stress factor is fundamental in space. The pressure for work and environmental risks is immense. “They are exposed to 16 hours of work a day and they don't have a nearby hospital if they get sick. They live with the awareness that if something bad happens to them, there is hardly a solution, "says Rojo.
Astronauts practice with three machines on the ISS. A cycle ergometer (stationary bike), a treadmill and a force device. But if we don't have any of that, the preparer advises:
-Work with loads, lifting some weight like milk bricks.
-Do squats with a backpack to work the upper and lower body at the same time.
-Work the core. A perfect exercise is a front abdominal iron with an extra load like a backpack or milk bricks.
-The "Jumping Jack", a cardiovascular exercise in which you jump by opening and closing legs and arms simultaneously.
The ISS crew is currently made up of three astronauts. They are Jessica Meir and Andrew Morgan of NASA and Russian Oleg Skripochka. They grew to as many as nine, in a space comparable to a six-room house. One of its inhabitants, Scott Kelly, was the only one to spend an entire year as a human guinea pig in a curious experiment on health in space. We are not asked so much. How astronauts get through confinement can serve as a basic guide to adversity.
Confinement by Covid-19 can also be an opportunity to get in shape and strengthen our minds in the face of adversity. Or at least to learn not to lose either of the two. After all, we can open the windows.