I am a big fan of exercises that require no equipment, not a lot of space, and are simple to understand. The best example I have of this type of exercise it the basic mountain climber. Featured in the video below, the mountain climber is an awesome full body workout. Here is a simple look at the muscles used and how their used:
1. Arms/shoulders sustain your weight & stabilize
2. Quads/Hamstrings flex and extend to drive legs during movement
3. Back & ab muscles maintain hip & core stability
4. Variety of smaller muscles throughout the body are activated depending on speed/variation
Mountain climbers are also great because you can modify them if you are a novice or more advanced as well. If you are just starting out, raise your hands up on a bench or chair to decrease the weight on your upper body. If you are more advanced, put each hand on a medicine ball or both hands on a yoga ball. If you really want to maintain the no equipment idea, simply stagger your hands or put them closer or farther apart to make it harder.
This exercise is a great way to energize your body. Start the morning with a couple 20-30 second sets to get yourself moving. Also, it's a great way to break up the workday. Have you been sitting in your chair/cubicle for hours? Staring at Facebook forever? Get up, move the chair, get down, and bang out a couple sets.
Mountain climbers are a perfect example of a component of an Active Lifestyle.