Aerobic exercise is foundational to any well rounded workout routine. Aerobic exercise improves the strength of the most important muscle in our bodies – the heart. A stronger heart means more oxygen to the rest of the body during the rest of your workout which increases fat burning and improves recovery times.
There are three basic aerobic exercises that pretty much anyone can do to improve their cardio vascular health. They require no equipment and can be done virtually anywhere. They are jumping jacks, running, and burpees.
People who are very overweight probably think they cannot do jumping jacks. This is not true. They might not be as fast as the fittest gym rats, but overweight people can do these just as well as anyone else can. Sure, they need to talk to their doctor first, but if they have medical clearance than jumping jacks or other types of aerobic exercise should be just fine.
An advantage to jumping jacks is that everyone knows how to do them. Other than remembering to suck the belly button in and engage the core, we all learned how to do a jumping jack in elementary school. Squeezing in 30 seconds of jumping jacks in between sets is an excellent idea for keeping your heart rate up. Just make sure you move away from equipment and other people into an area with some extra space before you begin throwing your arms out.
Another time tested aerobic exercise that does not really require any special skills or equipment is running. A good pair of shoes is really all anyone needs to take up this past time. Staying loose and not tensing up are good ideas as well. Running is something that can be done outdoors when the weather allows, or on a treadmill in the air conditioning if the weather will not cooperate. Many people who enjoy running like the mental space it creates in their head as they spend 30-60 minutes alone with their thoughts, something that does not happen often in our culture.
Most people will find burpees the most difficult of the three exercises because it requires more flexibility and push-ups. But this one is worth the practice to get the movement and coordination down smoothly. Among aerobic exercises that do not require equipment, it packs that biggest cardiovascular health of all the aerobic exercises. Burpees are another good aerobic exercise to do in between weight sets because they get your heart rate back up and help you burn more calories while you are lifting weights or working the machines.
Each of these aerobic exercises can be done by anyone. As you spend more time doing them you will be able to push your body further and faster to make them even more effective.