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Space Journal: Entry 6 - Tiangong to Earth: I have finally learned to run

Xinhua | Updated: 2016-11-09 07:26

Space Journal: Entry 6 - Tiangong to Earth: I have finally learned to run

Taikonauts exercise in the space lab Tiangong-2.[Photo/Xinhua]

by Xinhua special correspondent Chen Dong

ABOARD TIANGONG-2 - November 8 is Journalists' Day. Greetings and best wishes to all reporter friends covering the Shenzhou-11 mission!

Today is November 7, my 20th day aboard Tiangong-2. Many wonder how brother Jing and I exercise, and how different it feels compared with exercising on Earth. Yesterday, we mainly did cable exercise as strength training. We do it every other day.

We have to move some things to the return module before we start our return journey in 15 days' time, which will be physically demanding. To make matters worse, we have become less fit during the long-time flight. So we need to muscle up.

Our cable equipment is essentially a rubber band. I adjusted it into a loop hovering in mid-air, and tried a new feat I created to go through it. But I failed halfway with it stuck around my body. Meanwhile, brother Jing has increased his exercise load and even made up a new training method for his legs.

Yesterday after supper, we donned our penguin space suits and walked for about three hours and ten minutes. Staff back on Earth insist we wear them while doing exercise, as it helps maintain our muscle and body functions in a weightless environment.

Today, we focused on cycling. Since there's only one bike, we have to alternate, with the other person doing cable exercise. Usually we do it for half an hour. It is kind of tiring, and one cannot use one's strength as easily as on Earth; it feels like riding a bike in bed. However, I felt great after the morning's exercise.

And then there's running -- the first time for Chinese to run in space!

Actually, we couldn't even adjust ourselves to a full running posture for the first two days. Brother Jing finally got the hang of it on the third day, and he was so excited that he ran for an hour and established contact with Earth just to tell them. Our recommended running duration is only half an hour.

Meanwhile, some stunts are a piece of cake in space, like somersaults and floating, and some muscles that are rarely used on Earth are key here. For example, the upper arms are crucial for moving since we need to grasp things and pull ourselves along.

 

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