The Cozy-Cardio Trend Could Be The Key To Loving Your Workout

Let's face it, getting motivated to work out can be hard. When you factor in the difficulty of finding a good gym, the fact it's getting darker earlier at night, and the potential for #gymcreep harassment, it's easy to feel like you're better off staying home instead. Enter the cozy-cardio trend, a workout movement that is all about staying in while still getting your steps in.

Like all trends these days, the cozy cardio movement started on TikTok and the tag now boasts over 2.8 million views. The creator, Hope Zuckerbrow, creates a cozy quiet early-morning environment complete with coffee and fuzzy socks while she clocks in a few miles. It's a lowkey and relaxed way to add physical activity to your day without the hassle of the gym. The trend has taken off for it's focus on personal comfort over the grind. As Alexa Mieses Malchuk, MD, MPH, a board-certified family physician, explained to Popsugar, "Cozy cardio offers a nice alternative to this 'go hard' punishing mentality that many people associate with fitness progress."

What makes cozy cardio special

What makes cozy-cardio so motivating is the comfort level achieved through the workout. By removing the difficult, judgmental, and even creepy elements of the gym, you are free to workout in a totally safe environment at your own pace. Mood lighting, candles, and even comfy sweats can all make you forget you're even working out. Plus, by coupling this cardio workout with your favorite comfort TV show or even music, you can ensure you have all the elements you need to develop and stick with a successful new habit (remember to never miss two days in a row when building a new habit).

Speaking to PopSugar, Dr. Malchuk added, "Bundling something you enjoy doing (like watching reality TV) with something you 'should' be doing (like walking for physical activity) is a great way to meet your fitness goals. This is actually a psychological technique that can make less desirable but necessary activities more appealing, like listening to music while you clean the house." In other words, by creating a comfortable or 'cozy' environment for yourself to work out in, you are ultimately helping to ensure you keep up the routine and stay active long term. Physical activity can be important for not only your physical health but also your mental health (physical activity has been shown to reduce anxiety and depression). So keeping up a cardio routine can be beneficial in more ways than one.

Making your own cozy-cardio habit

If you're thinking that this trend only applies to those who own cardio equipment at home, you would be mistaken. Part of what makes the cozy cardio routine is that it can work despite space and financial limitations. So even if you can't squeeze a walking pad, treadmill, or peloton into your apartment, there are still ways to participate. Everything from standing movements to jump rope to dancing it out counts.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that people get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity in a week. This means you only need about twenty minutes a day (or, roughly, one episode of New Girl) to hit your exercise goals. This smaller, more manageable workout time makes it not only way easier to fit into your schedule, but also more likely that you will stick with it.

Finally, perhaps one of the greatest benefits to cozy cardio is the freedom to choose your own level of intensity. If you're just not feeling it, you can stick to a more mellow walk or squat routine. On days when you have more energy, you can amp up your treadmill speed or incorporate a jump rope. Personalization is at the heart of the cozy cardio trend, so remembering to be kind to yourself and find what works for your body that day is not only allowed, but highly encouraged.