5 Top exercises to reach your New Year fitness goals in just 11 minutes a day

Every year we all make the same New Year’s resolutions. This year will definitely be the year you say, as you head back to the gym for the first time in months. However, as many of us know from experience, keeping up with our fitness goals can be a challenge. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our levels of physical activity over the past two years. Many of us have become used to spending more time indoors and sedentary, raising some concerns about the long-term health effects of sedentary lifestyles.

For Hispanic and Latino populations, primary health concerns include high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and heart disease. These issues can be improved or prevented through exercise and lifestyle changes. 

However, busy lives and work often prevent us from taking the time to exercise consistently. We already know sitting at a desk for hours a day isn’t good for us, but it often seems impossible to squeeze in a daily workout, especially when for years we have been told to live by the “1 hour of exercise” rule. Some days, one full hour just isn’t possible.

Luckily, a new study has found that we can still reap health benefits by exercising even for just 11 minutes a day. Maybe we won’t have to scrap our fitness goals just yet.  

Benefits of just 11 minutes of exercise a day

In the study conducted by the Norwegian School of Sports Medicine, researchers found that just 11 minutes of moderate exercise per day can give you long-term health benefits, offset the effects of prolonged sitting, and add years to your life. 

The study sampled 44,000 men and women for a period between four and 14 and a half years, using activity monitors to measure “moderate-to-vigorous” physical activity. Researchers used these calculations and compared them to participants’ time while sedentary. Through their data, they found that overall, people who exercised for 35 minutes a day saw the biggest results in terms of health, but the study also showed that those who exercised at least 11 minutes a day also saw benefits. 

But 11 minutes is much less than the “1 hour” previous studies have reported, so what’s changed? Well, nothing, except how researchers approached collecting their data. Previous studies relied on “self-reported exposure data,” meaning exercise times were based on people’s recollections of physical activity, rather than hard data. Human memory is flawed, as we all know, and many people are prone to either overestimate their exercise time and intensity or underestimate the amount of time spent sedentary. 

You might be interested: When is the best time of day to exercise?

Reaching your fitness goals: Exercises to try at home

So what can you do to reach your 11-minute exercise quota and stick to your New Year fitness goals? 

There are tons of options. Here are our top 5: 

office exercises

Photo by Kari Shea on Unsplash

  1. Yoga: Practicing yoga is a great way to get your body moving while also relieving stress and fostering your mind-body connection. If you’ve been practicing yoga for a while, just unroll your mat, set a timer for 11 minutes and go through any number of combinations of your favorite yoga poses. If you’re new to yoga there are also many resources online. Just open up YouTube and search for some beginner yoga videos to get yourself started. 
  2. Full body workout: When selecting your exercises, try to pick a sequence of movements that will engage your body in a workout of moderate effort. Mix in cardio and weights to reap the most benefits. There are plenty of great short workout routines to follow online, many of which require no equipment either. This 10-minute standing abs workout is one of my go-tos. 
  3. Dancing: Who doesn’t love to dance? This one is pretty easy and requires no equipment. Just pop on some of your favorite upbeat tunes and get moving! Dance like no one’s watching. You only need about 3 – 4 songs to reach your 11-minute mark, but you’ll likely want to keep going once you get into it. 
  4. A brisk walk: Many of us underestimate the power of a good walk. While winter months may make it more of a challenge or daunting task, a short brisk walk every day will do wonders for your health. Additionally, just spending time in nature while you move will also help improve your mental health. However, if you really can’t get outside for a walk, then try this indoor walking routine.
  5. Bike riding: Lastly, like walking, bike riding often gets looked over. But again, the benefits of a quick bike ride are so worth it. Just take a spin around the block. You can even go on a social distance bike ride with friends or family. And being out in nature will boost your mood too.

Reaching your New Year fitness goals doesn’t seem so daunting when it’s just 11 minutes, right?



Hottest summer 2021 fitness trends to try 

Summer and sunshine is just around the corner! With nice weather on the horizon, I’m sure you’re itching to get outside and enjoy the sunshine and get moving after a long winter cooped up inside–and a year of pandemic-related lockdowns and restrictions! 

This summer loosen those limbs with some fun, summer fitness trends. 

5 Top fun fitness trends to try this summer 

Outdoor Yoga + Meditation 

Get in the zone this summer and enjoy the fresh air with outdoor yoga and meditation. Go solo or gather some friends for a safe, socially distant yoga session outdoors and soak in that Vitamin D. Just a few stretches and deep breathing exercises a day will go a long way in reducing stress, stabilizing your mood, improving strength and flexibility, and reducing back pain. 

Hybrid fitness classes 

In the age of virtual everything this past year, hybrid fitness classes have become increasingly popular. These classes combine a variety of fitness styles and exercises such as Pilates and sprints. These all-in-one workouts aim to target the whole body with a fun, exciting variety of exercises. Look for virtual classes online or even search up some total body workout videos on YouTube to get started. 


Featured in Elle Magazine, FaceGym offers online one-to-one workouts that help to sculpt, lift and tone the face. You might be thinking, “Workout my face? Why would I do that?” It sounds a bit strange at first, but when you think about it, your face has muscles that need to be exercised too. For many who have been working from home, or who spend many hours sitting, facial tension is a real thing and no joke. FaceGym is working to help those who struggle with facial tension by targeting key areas in the jaw, neck, head, and eyes. They also offer pre-work face workouts at 8AM every day to prepare you for the workday. Check out more here


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Wearable tech 

Fitbits and fitness trackers are nothing new, but in the past year there’s been a significant rise in the use of wearable tech and the use of wearable tech has actually been found to increase and help maintain one’s overall fitness activity. Perhaps we just love to see our numbers rise or compete with friends to “get our daily steps in” but either way, it’s one summer trend that is sure to stay around. This summer, consider starting a personal challenge or make it a group activity with friends and family as you all track your progress throughout the season! 

You might be interested: When is the best time of day to exercise?


Last but certainly not least–dance! As Latinas, dance is part of our culture and in our blood. We can’t help moving when we hear a good beat. After a year of pandemic stress, isolation, and low spirits, let’s lift those spirits with some good vibes and get moving. Dancing is a perfect, fun, low-intensity way to get your daily cardio in so put on your dancing shoes (aka some very comfortable athletic shoes), turn up the music, and get started! The beauty of dance is you can do it anywhere. Dance to your favorite music in the comfort of your own home, or head outside to dance in the sunshine.