The effects of in-flight treadmill exercise on postflight orthostatic toleranceIn-flight aerobic exercise is thought to decrease the deconditioning effects of microgravity. Two deconditioning characteristics are the decreases in aerobic capacity (maximum O2 uptake) and an increased cardiovascular response to orthostatic stress (supine to standing). Changes in both parameters were examined after Shuttle flights of 8 to 11 days in astronauts who performed no in-flight exercise, a lower than normal volume of exercise, and a near-normal volume of exercise. The exercise regimen was a traditional continuous protocol. Maximum O2 uptake was maintained in astronauts who completed a near-normal exercise volume of in-flight exercise. Cardiovascular responses to stand test were equivocal among the groups. The use of the traditional exercise regimen as a means to maintain adequate orthostatic responses produced equivocal responses. A different exercise prescription may be more effective in maintaining both exercise capacity and orthostatic tolerance.
Siconolfi, Steven F. (NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Charles, John B. (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)