Hopkins won't quit exercising just because he's in orbit
Exercise is especially important in microgravity to counteract bone and muscle loss, according to NASA.
Hopkins said in a NASA interview that he enjoys the opportunity to share his passion for fitness.
"Exercise has always been a huge part of my life," he said. "I have been very fortunate in having opportunities to play sports all the way up through the collegiate level."
He wants to "inspire people to get out and exercise a little bit by seeing how important it is to us on station, whether it be kids or adults, and at the same time peak their interest a little bit in space, spaceflight and all of that. I think that would be fantastic."
He will exercise two and a half hours a day on the mission, including strength conditioning and resistive exercise.
Among the experiments his crew will tackle is one that will study the ratio between animal proteins and potassium and how that affects bone loss.
"As we get older we experience some of the same negative effects of bone loss that we experience in space. If we are able to help mitigate that with just nutrition that would be fantastic," Hopkins said.