BONAIRE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - It's state of the art technology originally developed by NASA, and now the only one like it is in middle Georgia.
It looks and acts like a treadmill, but the Alter-G is really much more than that. Originally designed to help astronauts in space keep active and running, the Alter-G was designed to create gravity and keep the runner's feet on the treadmill.
Bringing the technology back to earth, the concept was modified and reversed, to help create lift for a runner. And the results have been nothing short of remarkable.
How it Works;
The runner (or walker) steps on the Alter-G as they would any other treadmill. But that's where the similarities pretty much end. The runner lifts up a clear, inflatable chamber to their waistline, zips them self in with a specially outfitted suit, the chamber fills with air, and gravity is essentially defied. This allows the runner to instantly feel a certain degree of "weightlessness" while they workout.
It's a physical therapy routine Lauren Betts has been loving since she had a severe knee dislocation two years ago.
"It's really weird actually, because you're not running with your full body weight," Betts explained while she ran. "But you're still getting a pretty good workout."
In fact, you're still getting a full and complete workout. The Alter-G creates lift while you're running, and unlike physical therapy in the water, the runner is able to run at full speed with a normal gate. Because of that, recovery time is drastically reduced, and time away from a workout is nearly non-existent.
Where It's Found;
Originally a device used by the elite athlete like NFL players, the Alter-G is now an everyday athlete's best friend. There are several across the state, including Savannah and Atlanta, but this is the first one to come to middle Georgia.
Angel Brown from Core Physical Therapy in Bonaire says she was ready to get one for her patients as soon as she saw it for herself.
"It's almost like you're defying gravity," Brown said. "It's like walking on the moon."
But it can be used for more than recovery. Brown says another benefit of the Alter-G, is being able to use it for patients who are overweight.
"We can show you what it's like to lost 40% of your body weight, or 20% of your body weight. And if you lost that weight and see that you can walk without pain, it's a little bit of a motivator," Brown explained.
How You Can Try It;
Since Core Physical Therapy in Bonaire is the only place in middle Georgia with the Alter-G, you don't have to go far to try it for yourself. To get more information on how to step on and go for a run, you can find Core Physical Therapy on Facebook, their website, or call them at (478)-293-1680.