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For many, the traditional gym or outdoor workout doesn’t quite hit the mark. If you’re in search of a more relaxed approach to improving your health, “cozy cardio” could be the solution.

What is Cozy Cardio?

Cozy cardio is a concept made famous by social media influencer Hope Zuckerbrow from Paradise, Texas. In her popular TikTok videos with 34 million likes, you’ll find her strolling on a walking pad in her living room, surrounded by soothing colored lights and candles. She might even be in her pajamas or a fuzzy robe, casually sipping her favorite protein coffee. The whole cozy cardio session lasts about half an hour.

The Quest for Joyful Exercise

Zuckerbrow wasn’t always into cozy cardio. She previously followed a rigorous workout plan with loud music and lost 100 pounds. However, after regaining half of that weight, she realized she needed to mend her relationship with exercise. Her workouts were no longer enjoyable, and she was solely exercising to lose weight, not to feel good or be healthy. The idea behind cozy cardio was to infuse joy into her physical activity.

Is It Effective?

According to Dr. David Sabgir, a cardiologist in Columbus, Ohio, getting started with gentle exercise is excellent. It’s about building momentum and allowing yourself to gradually ease into a more regular and intense exercise routine. Initially, the focus should be on getting those endorphins and adrenaline flowing.

The Benefits of Light Exercise

Low-intensity activities can still be incredibly beneficial. Replacing just 30 minutes of sedentary time with light-intensity physical activity has been associated with an 11% reduction in all-cause mortality and a 24% reduction in cardiovascular mortality, according to a study. This form of exercise is especially suitable for those who are frail or dealing with chronic illnesses.

Progressing Beyond Cozy Cardio

While cozy cardio is a fantastic starting point, it shouldn’t be the final destination. Ideally, adults should aim for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week. Fitness specialist Nick Occhipinti from Rutgers University suggests a gradual progression to more vigorous activities.

Time for a Mile

To move toward moderate-intensity exercise, try walking a mile and record the time. On your next walk, aim to beat your previous time. Continue this challenge, aiming to improve each week. The goal is not necessarily to have a heart-pounding, sweaty session, but to reach the point where you’re working hard enough to see fitness improvements.

Enjoying the Outdoors

Shifting some of your workouts outdoors is a fantastic ┬áidea, as it offers remarkable health benefits. Studies show that spending time in nature multiple times a week is linked to lower medication use for conditions like high blood pressure and asthma. Furthermore, if you can involve friends in your workout routine, you’ll reap even more benefits.

In essence, cozy cardio is a cozy first step, but remember that the path to fitness and well-being may involve venturing out and gradually increasing the intensity of your activities.