"Cozy Cardio" Wellness Trend Can Help You Get Healthy Without Breaking a Sweat

Cozy cardio is an accessible way to fit in a workout without sacrificing your personal time, since it incorporates some of your favorite things.

Lauren Wellbank - Author

Apr. 1 2024, Published 12:32 p.m. ET

If the phrase "cozy cardio" is a new one for you, you may be wondering exactly what this deal is with this wellness trend. The low-impact exercise method is all about keeping your comfort in the forefront while you make time to move your body in a way that works for you and your lifestyle. People who practice this form of self care — and we need to be perfectly clear here, this is self care at its finest since it offers people a way to improve their well-being while allowing them to take part in the activities that they enjoy most — can experience all kinds of benefits, including the desire to keep coming back to this exercise routine time and time again and again.

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The "cozy cardio" fad first came into existence in 2022, when a TikToker went viral for sharing her early morning workout. Since then, it has taken the wellness world by storm, spawning all types of variations of the practice which inspires folks to get moving — even if they don't necessarily break a sweat. Keep reading to find out what you need to know about "cozy cardio," including how to make it part of your daily routine.

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What is cozy cardio?

This fun fad was born somewhat on accident, according to Hope Zuckerbrow, who posted the inaugural cozy cardio workout video back in November 2022. In the clip, Hope shared how she woke up early and couldn't go back to sleep. But, instead of vegging out on her sofa watching her favorite television show, the TikToker decided to get her steps in by hopping on her walking pad (a small treadmill designed for walking). With The Kardashians on her TV, scented candles lit throughout the living room, and her morning cup of coffee in hand, Hope began her morning stroll.

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Naturally, the cozy video went viral, and people all across social media jumped on board. It seems that having a comfortable way to get your body moving — that doesn't involve heading to the gym, or worse, putting on uber-tight workout gear — is part of the driving force in the rise in popularity of the cozy workout method. That, coupled with the fact that people are just really into the whole vibe, has prompted some folks to put their own spin on things.

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One woman decided to dedicate her annual fall Gilmore Girls rewatch to the cozy cardio process, getting her candles (an obvious must for this workout routine) all lit before queuing up her favorite episodes. All she's missing is a PSL and this would be our dream October morning!

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Not a TV person? No problem! This woman uses her morning cozy cardio time to catch up on her reading. Since she's walking at a comfortable pace, she can easily get some pages read as she logs her steps for the day. Talk about a win-win.

How to do cozy cardio:

Keeping cozy is at the heart of this workout, and what is cozy for one person may not be for the next, so there's plenty of room for variation with this routine. However, there are some key features that almost every "cozy cardio" session can include:

  • Comfortable clothes
  • Dim lighting or candles
  • Something to hold your attention (television, a book, a video game... anything is fair game)
  • A low-impact activity like a using a walking pad or step climber
  • Chill vibes.
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I'm seriously into this whole idea since it will not only make hitting those 10,000 steps a day a bit easier, but it will also make me feel a little less guilty about binging my favorite shows. Who knows, this may even become the thing that prompts me to add a workout session to my morning routine.

Whether you're someone looking for a new way to hit your daily step count, or someone who has been struggling to find a way to make stop the early morning doom scrolling and find a more productive way to start the day, cozy cardio seems like a great way to make a change. One thing is for sure, you can expect to see me clocking some extra time on the walking pad now that I know all about this fun new workout.

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