Can Cozy Cardio Ease You into an Exercise Program?

cozy cardio

Exercise shouldn’t ever be a punishment, but it isn’t always fun for everyone. Enter “cozy cardio”: a fun, soothing cardio program designed for those who don’t have that burning desire to work themselves to exhaustion. The brainchild of TikTok influencer Hope Zuckerbrow, the cozy cardio program might be right in your comfy wheelhouse.

What Is “Cozy Cardio”?

Cozy cardio embodies concepts like self-care and love, good vibes over hatred of exercise, feeling good over exhausting yourself, and ease of movement over tough intensity. According to the creator of the “Cozy Cardio” workout, creating an exercise habit in a soothing environment can make your cardio fun and change it into an activity you can enjoy and look forward to.

What are the basic ingredients in a cozy cardio workout?

  • First, decide on the time of day that will work best for you. It might be morning or evening, but make it a time when you can relax, unwind, and enjoy some activity.
  • Next, surround yourself with things that make you feel good. You might enjoy watching television with some scented candles and soft lighting. Maybe you enjoy relaxing to a favorite podcast or playlist as you watch the sunset (or rise). Whatever makes you happy and calm, create that environment for yourself.
  • Get cozy. Do you feel comfy in a robe and slip-ons? Then wear that! Do you like wearing an old pair of your softest sweats around the house (even if you’d never be seen in public wearing them)? Wear those! Even slippers are acceptable footwear when you’re doing cozy cardio.
  • Add some of your favorites. Do you usually like to start your day with a cup of coffee? Bring it with you! Do you prefer sipping something fizzy in the afternoon? Bring that. The point is to make your environment desirable to get those feel-good vibes revving.

What Are the Benefits of a Cozy Cardio Workout?

Believe it or not, the cozy cardio workout provides real benefits. Getting yourself to move more is the name of the game, and any extra activity you can build into your day is going to have positive long-term effects.

In fact, according to a 15-year-long study published in Sweden in 2018, replacing just 30 minutes a day of inactivity with some form of activity can reap huge benefits. How huge? The study showed an 11% decrease in all forms of mortality and a whopping 24% reduction in cardiovascular mortality. That’s big.

According to yet another study published in 2019, gentle daily walks can significantly reduce both blood pressure and heart rate. And that’s all without working up a sweat!

If you’re extremely sedentary now, suffering (or recovering) from illness, injury, or frailty, this is the plan for you. It’s gentle and soothing, and most people are able to do it.

Of course, adding movement to your day is going to cause you to burn more calories and eventually tap into excess body fat as well. Over time, if you maintain even a slight caloric deficit, you can also expect a gradual reduction in weight.

Major health benefits aside, the creator of the cozy cardio workout says that this type of exercise has helped her heal her relationship with exercise and put the joy back into movement. Whereas she used to be Team Dread Hard Workouts, she now enjoys her cozy time for movement and self-care.

cozy cardio

What’s the Ultimate Goal?

As awesome as the cozy cardio workout is, your ultimate goal should be to progress to a more intense form of exercise over time. According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Adults, you should aim for a minimum of 150 minutes per week of mild to moderate physical activity.

Start slowly and gently, and learn to love exercise first. That’s the real goal of cozy cardio. Once you and exercise are on friendly terms, you can start to (literally) ramp it up. Try increasing the length of your workouts, the intensity, or the incline. Eventually, think about branching out to some bodyweight exercises as well. The sky and your imagination are the limit.

Cozy cardio is a good start or reset for many who would otherwise linger on the couch all day or have just gotten out of the exercise habit. Yet while this type of movement is great, it should be used as a segue to more activity over time and perhaps then occasionally used on those days when your energy is low, you don’t feel like moving, or you’re on the road to recovery after an illness or injury.