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?



exercise clothes,

5 Tips for Choosing the Best Exercise Clothes

Whether you’re a workout fanatic or you are just beginning your fitness journey, it’s important to understand that your exercise clothes can have a massive impact on your workouts. So to ensure you have the best possible workout, here are 5 tips to help you choose the best exercise clothes for your specific needs.

exercise clothes,

5 Tips for Choosing the best exercise clothes (Photo by cottonbro from Pexels)

Choose Clothes Specific to Your Activities

Fitness brands usually offer pieces catered specifically to certain activities. Investing in a high-impact sports bra, for example, will provide the ideal support for activities that require a lot of movement such as cardio or running. Skin-tight clothing will be helpful if you’re doing yoga or Pilates because you’ll be able to observe and maintain your positions—something that will prove to be difficult with loose or baggy clothing.

exercise clothes

If you enjoy outdoor exercise, keep weather changes in mind when selecting the best exercise clothes for you and consider adding a light jacket or thermal. (Photo by Blue Bird from Pexels)

Considering your location is also important; if you enjoy outdoor exercises, you’ll also have to deal with weather changes, so having light jackets or thermal wear to throw on will be useful.

Look for Safe and Comfortable Footwear

Shoes with non-skid soles, good heel support, and a cushioned arch is always a safe bet, but you might want to consider special footwear depending on your activity.

For instance, runners need plenty of cushioning for their feet and should consider buying from trusted brands like Nike. One of the best shoes to buy for women is Nike’s React Infinity Run, as it is designed with injury prevention in mind. It uses the brand’s very own React Foam for cushioning, which ensures stability and comfort. The pair is also very versatile, as it can be used for general strength and conditioning training, too. But if you’re into powerlifting or weight training, many pros recommend footwear with flat soles such as Converse sneakers.

Another tip is to make sure you check your shoes’ condition on a regular basis, and to assess if there’s any discomfort in your shins, knees, or ankles, as it might actually be due to the wrong choice of shoes!

Pick the Best Fabrics

Investing in quality fabrics is beneficial to both the comfort and effectiveness of your routines. For example, nylon is one of the most ideal fabrics for physical activity because the material is stretchy, resistant to elements, and quick drying. It’s also highly breathable, unlike cotton.

Selecting the right material will benefit both the comfort and effectiveness of your routines. (Photo by Marta Wave from Pexels)

Also consider compression wear which can increase the circulation and blood flow to the heart. It also helps you reduce fatigue, and eventually improve your power and endurance. Aside from nylon, bamboo, spandex, polypropylene, and polyester are some of the most dependable picks when it comes to activewear.

Get the Best Bang for Your Buck

Quality workout clothes can be a little pricey, so you’ll want to make sure you’re investing in the right pieces specific to your personal needs. Assess whether or not the items you’re purchasing are well-made because when you’re out there pushing your limits to the max, you’ll also be pushing the lifespan of your clothing, too. Ask your workout buddies for brands that they’ve tried out, or do some research online and read up on reviews. It’s also a safe bet to invest in reputable brands as they come with the assurance that you’re paying for longevity. Other than Nike, Adidas and Under Armour are tried and tested when it comes to great quality athletic apparel. However, you might want sport-specific clothing. For instance, Alo Yoga and Lululemon are trusted for their yoga apparel, while Sweaty Betty is great for high impact exercises.

You might be interested: Hottest summer 2021 fitness trends to try 

Choose Between Comfort and Fashion

Why not both? What makes you look and feel good can motivate you to exercise more. Brands are constantly evolving, so you’ll have no problem finding pieces that fit your needs and your style. Science even tells us that the colors you wear directly affect your performance.

exercise clothes

Wearing the right clothes can boost your drive and self-confidence. (Photo by SHVETS production from Pexels)

Red increases your heart rate, which is perfect for high-intensity workouts, while pastels and neutrals give off a sense of calmness, which is suitable for activities like yoga. Wearing clothes that are flattering for your body can also boost your drive and self-confidence. 

Remember that everyone is different; you know your body the best, so choose whatever will make you safe, comfortable, and confident.