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Benefits for Humanity: Train Like an Astronaut


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January 29, 2015



In a previous installment of the International Space Station Benefits for Humanity video series, NASA took to the high seas to show how technology aboard the station is providing safer travel for ships around the globe. Now, NASA takes to the classroom to show how active space station crew members energize students to train like an astronaut to get their minds and hearts pumping.
 
The Mission X: Train Like an Astronaut project is an international educational challenge that encourages students to adopt healthy behaviors. Children learn the basics of healthy eating and exercise, conducting dexterity, resistance training and cardiovascular activities similar to those of astronauts aboard the station.
 
“What makes this project unique is that we’re using the human challenges of spaceflight to inspire, as well as motivate, our children to make healthy choices throughout their lives,” said Charles Lloyd, NASA's Human Research Program Engagement and Communications Project manager.
 
NASA visited Heights Elementary School in Sharon, Massachusetts, to highlight the exemplary efforts of one physical education instructor, Tim Vigorito, to empower students to train like an astronaut. Prompting kids to be active is no small task, and Vigorito found just the thing to engage them in making healthy decisions. “It was something that inspired me as a kid and continues to inspire me today: the space program,” said Vigorito.
 
Through the efforts of Vigorito and educators like him, the Train Like an Astronaut project has inspired more than 33,000 students across 28 countries to lead healthier lives. The project continues to grow each year, especially with its adaptable activities that can be used in conjunction with other programs like NFL Play 60. With childhood obesity rates soaring, programs like this one help protect children’s health while challenging their minds to learn and train like future space explorers. 

Train Like An Astronaut - Off the Earth. For the Earth

Laura Niles
International Space Station Program Science Office and
Public Affairs Office
NASA’s Johnson Space Center
Tim Vigorito, physical education teacher at Heights Elementary School in Sharon, Massachusetts, encourages children to adopt healthy lifestyles through the Train Like an Astronaut project. Image credit: NASA
Tim Vigorito, physical education teacher at Heights Elementary School in Sharon, Massachusetts, encourages children to adopt healthy lifestyles through the Train Like an Astronaut project. Image credit: NASA
Students get inspired to Train Like an Astronaut with NASA astronaut Steve Swanson. Image Credit: NASA / Robert Markowitz
Students get inspired to Train Like an Astronaut with NASA astronaut Steve Swanson. Image Credit: NASA / Robert Markowitz