Going to the gym consistently can be a struggle if you’re anything like me. There are machines everywhere, it’s early, and people watching me exercise is evasive and uncomfortable. Most times, I’d rather take a Pilates or Zumba class at a personalized and intimate studio or stay home, which is why “cozy cardio,” TikTok’s newest trend, is appealing to me and apparently to others, as the movement has garnered over 5.6 million views. Founded by TikToker Hope Zuckerbrow, cozy cardio is about staying comfy while exercising at home. To do cozy cardio successfully, you don’t have to go anywhere or change out of your sleeping clothes, allowing you to be fully relaxed and exercise without feeling any pressure to perform for yourself or others. Instead, it’s about setting a peaceful tone for your day, creating a vibe with candles and maybe some iced coffee, and easing into your workout in a chill way.
A cozy workout can consist of a 40-minute stroll on a small walking pad or treadmill while watching your favorite movie or podcast. You can also leverage a Peleton or floor mat to activate your core ab muscles. You can follow what the creator of the trend does: warm up on a walking pad at three mph while looking for a show or movie to watch, and then bump up the speed to four mph for twenty minutes, followed by a 4.5 mph stint, before finishing off with a quick cooldown at 2.5 mph, or you can tailor it to fit your own needs.
But does this latest workout trend actually yield results? Family physician Dr. Alexa Mieses Malchuk shared more about this new trend and its effectiveness.
What are the benefits of “cozy cardio” workouts?
Cozy cardio workouts allow people to set their own pace, often in the comfort of their own homes. This more relaxing and personalized approach may offer the same benefits as traditional workouts and is a departure from the “punishing” sentiment that often plagues the fitness industry. Typically, if you aren’t “pushing yourself” or “going hard,” it is seen as a failure. But cozy cardio demonstrates that you can get in some physical activity, and it can be enjoyable.
How can people set the mood for exercise at home?
Choose what suits you best. For example, I love reality television, and I’m more than happy to walk on a treadmill if my shows are pulled up on my phone. Other people may prefer to stimulate their five senses with a flavored, unsweetened beverage (think lemon water), favorite music, essential oils, comfortable clothing, and anything else that makes the environment visually appealing (perhaps some dimmed lighting).
Share considerations people should consider while working out at home, including exercising during hot temperatures if you don’t have AC.
It’s important to always dress appropriately for the season, whether you are exercising indoors or outdoors. If indoors, you want to ensure your environment is cooler, as working out will help you work up a sweat. If you do not have access to A/C, consider the use of fans and listen to your body! If your heart is pounding, feeling winded/short of breath, or weak, stop exercising. Make sure you stay hydrated with water as well.
Share advice for women of color looking to better their exercise and nutrition for the long term. Should they only participate in the cozy cardio trend for their workouts?
The key to any activity and nutrition program is consistency! At one time or another, we all may have tried the latest fad only to give up on it a few days later. If the idea of cozy cardio prompts you to build a healthy habit of being more active at home–great! But for some, cozy cardio may be too low-key for your fitness goals, and that’s okay too. The most important principle is that you find something you enjoy so that you can stick with it in the long term. Small, healthy habits (like walking for just 30 minutes per day) build into lasting health benefits.