“So let me tell you why I wrote this book. While the country was figuring out who pays for health care, here I was, sitting on a practical, inexpensive, scientifically-proven solution derived from research paid for by the taxpayer! Astronauts, chosen on the basis of being the healthiest and fittest—of possessing the ‘right stuff’—are transformed by the lack of gravity in space into the likes of seniors thirty or forty years older. Yet, despite the debilitating effects of spaceflight, astronauts fully recover soon after they return to Earth. Why not use what we have learned about astronauts at NASA to benefit the rest of us?
It became my passion to share, in plain language that anyone could understand, the knowledge we acquired from our research at NASA. If astronauts could regain their good health after shaking off the ill effects of spaceflight, so could people suffering similar health problems due to their sedentary lifestyles. My challenge was to provide clear, practical guidance to show the public the value of making use of our old friend gravity, simply through doing everyday activities that were of a different nature than traditional vigorous exercise in the gym.”
~ Joan Vernikos from Sitting Kills, Moving Heals
Joan Vernikos was the former Director of NASA’s Life Sciences Division. Basically, she was responsible for understanding how to optimize the health and well-being of our astronauts.
(She also developed an exercise machine that would keep astronauts healthy on a potential trip to Mars. I can’t type that without thinking of another Mars genius, Adam Steltzner, and his great book The Right Kind of Crazy. And, while we’re in outer space, check out the Notes on Chris Hadfield’s great book An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth.)
In this book, Joan walks us through how our sedentary lifestyles are surprisingly similar to the gravity-free lifestyles of astronauts in space. Just as an astronaut’s health rapidly deteriorates outside of gravity’s pull, OUR health erodes when we adopt a sedentary lifestyle. (Get a copy here.)
I’m excited to share a few Ideas we can apply to our lives today so let’s jump straight in!
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