Train like an astronaut

1 June 2010

ESA and its partners are launching a new kind of fitness initiative using the example of space explorers to promote exercise and healthy nutrition to young people worldwide. 'Mission X: Train Like an Astronaut' is boarding now in eight countries.

Kids: throw away the remote control, leave the Internet to run without you for a while and swap your burger for blueberries! Easier said than done.

ESA and other space organisations are using the excitement of spaceflight to help children and their teachers change their sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy diets – two of the most significant risks that can lead to chronic health problems as adults.

Getting people up and moving

'Mission X: Train Like an Astronaut' will encourage physical activity and healthier diets among young people in order to promote healthier societies. It is a worldwide initiative supported by ESA and the national space agencies of Austria, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, UK and USA.

The initiative will start in the second week of January 2011 and run for six weeks at the teachers’ discretion during the following eight weeks.

The teams, consisting of children aged 8-12 years, will perform a number of physical exercises and classroom lessons to become as fit as an astronaut and learn the importance of an active lifestyle and healthy nutrition.

Scores will be awarded after each exercise and, at the end of the ’mission’, the winning class for each country will be announced. A website will allow teams to upload results, download educational material, check the results and share comments.

For more information on how to join the initiative, please read the full article here.

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