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Active Astronauts

Recommend For: Ages 8 and up

Badges: Ready for Space, Space & the Present

Download this activity as a PDF.


Just like on Earth, exercise is an important part of astronaut’s daily lives. Astronauts have special equipment to help them exercise while in a weightless environment. In this activity, you can find creative ways to exercise at home.


You Will Need:

  • Running Shoes

  • Comfortable clothes that you can move in

  • Water bottle



  • How do astronauts exercise in space? What is the same as on earth? What is different?

  • Why is it important for astronauts to exercise while in space?

  • Why is it important for you to exercise on earth?



In 2016, Astronaut Tim Peake ran the London Marathon from space! A marathon is 26.2 miles long. Rather than being able to run on a road with lots of other people, he used a treadmill on the International Space Station to participate. It took him 3 hours, 35 minutes, and 21 second (or two and a half rotations around the Earth)!


British astronaut Tim Peake of the European Space Agency (ESA) takes a drink while running the London Marathon aboard the space station on April 24, 2016. (Image: ESA)


Tim Peake wasn’t the first astronaut to run a marathon in space. That was Sunita Williams of NASA who ran the Boston Marathon aboard the space station in 2007. She was also the first astronaut to complete a triathlon in space in 2012. A triathlon includes running, biking, and swimming.


Watch this video to see how Astronaut Williams completed a triathlon in space. Learn how she was able to “swim” on the space station:

Williams used the treadmill for the running portion, a stationary bicycle for the biking leg, and a resistance machine to simulate swimming. 


Learn how Astronaut Tim Peake ran the London Marathon:


On the International Space Station, Astronaut Tim didn’t have access to roads to run on. He used a treadmill to run a marathon. Tim is a great example of finding creative ways to exercise.


What create ways can you find to exercise at home?

                Can you run up and down the stairs?

                Maybe you can walk around your backyard?

                How about lifting a heavy book?

                What about creating an obstacle course out of everyday objects?

                How about dancing?



Get Active!

Now it’s time to get active! You can walk, run, bike, jump, dance, or move any way you want. Remember to think creatively!


Astronaut Peake ran for 3 hours and 31 minutes. That’s 211 minutes! See if you can exercise for 211 minutes. It doesn’t have to be all at once! Keep a log of how many minutes you exercise each day. Add your minutes together to see when you get to 211.


Don’t stop when you hit 211! Keep going!


Want to complete this task towards collecting a Wondernauts badge? Share a photo of you exercising at home!

Ready to share? Head here!

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