Give Your Health a Lift: Exercises for the Elevator

By Andy Darnley

Everyone needs daily exercise to stay healthy and fit. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise that all healthy adults do at least 150 minutes per week of aerobic activity at a moderate intensity level. On two or more days each week, adults should also perform muscle-strengthening exercises that use all of the major muscle groups. As important as regular exercise is, it can be challenging to fit this activity into a busy lifestyle. One common suggestion for busy people seeking to improve their fitness levels is to take the stairs instead of riding in an elevator, which can provide beneficial cardiovascular exercise. But there are ways to incorporate exercise even when riding in one. When you’re away from home elevators are a perfect place to jog or march in place to elevate your heart rate for a moment or two. The elevator can also be an ideal place for strength-building exercises that work one or more muscle groups, such as the abdomen, back, legs, arms, chest, and shoulders. Many exercises are so simple that you can perform them when surrounded by people. You can use your muscle to build strength, and no one will even realize what you are doing.

Leg Curls

  • Stand tall with your shoulders back and back straight. Tuck in your buttocks, and keep your chin up.
  • With your legs shoulder-width apart, place your weight on one leg. Bend the other leg slowly at the knee, with the foot rising behind you.
  • Clench your muscles tightly, and hold this position for 10 seconds. Return your leg to the starting position.
  • Repeat the same process with the other leg.

Glute Squeeze

  • Stand straight with your legs together.
  • Contract the gluteal muscles tightly, and hold this squeeze for at least three seconds.
  • Release the muscles and relax for a few seconds.
  • Repeat this exercise every time you ride the elevator.

Shoulder Shrugs

  • Stand up straight and square your shoulders.
  • Move your shoulders straight up toward your ears.
  • Hold this position for about five seconds, and then release your shoulders down to normal position.
  • Repeat the shoulder shrugs as often as you desire to relieve stress and strengthen the trapezius muscles.

Praying Stretch

  • Stand up straight and place the palms and forearms together in front of your body, with your elbows touching.
  • Keep your palms pressed together and slowly move your elbows apart.
  • While moving the elbows apart, lower your hands until they are even with your waist.
  • Hold this stretch for between 10 and 30 seconds, and then return to the original position.
  • Repeat the stretch as often as desired.

Calf Raises

  • Stand up straight with your legs together.
  • Slowly raise up on your toes and squeeze your calf muscles tightly.
  • Hold the stretch for several seconds, and then lower back down onto your heels.

Isometric Shoulder Exercise

  • Stand up straight facing an elevator wall with your feet about 12 inches away from the wall.
  • Make a fist with one hand, and place the fist against the elevator wall with your curled fingers resting against the wall.
  • Try to raise your fist upwards, pressing against the wall. You should feel the resistance of your fist against the wall.
  • Hold the contraction for several seconds, and then relax your fist. Repeat the movement one or two ore times.
  • Repeat the same process with your other fist.

While incorporating exercise into an elevator ride is helpful, there are other ways to increase your activity level throughout a busy day, too. People who have sedentary jobs may have a hard time with weight control, and they can be at a greater risk for some health issues. Anyone who works at a desk knows that hours of sitting can be very unhealthy. People who spend significant time commuting to and from work or driving on the job also have to fight the lethargy that can come from this inactivity. These busy professionals have a variety of options for exercising at a desk or while driving. Some desk exercises are also based on working from a standing desk or a treadmill desk, which are two popular options for people who want to avoid sitting for long periods of time.

Work Out at Your Desk

Work Out in Your Car