AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill
Everyone knows you don’t need a treadmill in space, right? You just find a free section of the cylindrical wall of your spaceship and run around that, 2001-style. But when you get back to Earth, you need to exercise your atrophied muscles and get the blood pumping again. But how do you stand up on those weak and skinny legs? An anti-gravity treadmill, that’s how. And it isn’t just astronauts that can’t bear their own weight: injured athletes and accident victims also need to regain strength slowly. The answer is the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill M310, a newer, cheaper version of the company’s $70,000 machines. (Video)
It works like this: The astronaut, or other user, slots themselves into a big plastic bag which inflates around their lower-half and supports up to 80% of their weight. This stops the joints from a-knocking while they exercise, much like doing aerobics in a swimming pool. The difference is that they are not in the water, and so movement is not inhibited, and you don’t feel like you’re running through treacle.
The M310 costs $24,500 and, like others in the range, will support runners of up to 400 pounds (it’s useful for weight loss, too). The base model goes up to 8mph, and the full-on, NASA-budget version will hit 18mph. That might sound fast, but one other neat side-effect of being squeezed inside a giant bubble is that you can’t fall off the back, however much you crank up the speed.
The AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill
- Rehabilitation following injury or surgery of the lower extremity (hip, knee, ankle or foot)
- Rehabilitation after total joint replacement
- Gait training in neurologic patients
- Strengthening and conditioning in older patients
- Weight control and reduction
- Sport specific conditioning programs
- Aerobic conditioning