With cosy cardio, it’s all about the feel-good vibes.
With the nights getting colder and darker, it’s becoming even harder to drag ourselves off the sofa and go to the gym. Given that exercise is one of the key elements involved in beating Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD, anything that promises to get us moving again is a win in our book.
If you’re in the same boat as us, but still want to get your heart rate up, fear not — there’s a new fitness trend in town. Let us introduce you to cosy cardio, the endorphin-boosting workout that can be done from the comfort of your living room. Here’s everything you need to know.
What is cosy cardio?
With over 1.5 million views on the CosyCardio TikTok hashtag, this trend focuses on gentle workouts and opts to give users an easy way to incorporate low-impact exercise into their everyday routines. It follows in the footsteps of #HotGirlWalking’ and #SoftHiking, which are both further examples of workouts that focus on wellbeing, rather than fast results.
“Cosy cardio has rapidly gained popularity on platforms like TikTok, and it’s not hard to see why,” says Keoghan Bellew, personal trainer (PT) at Fitness Superstore. “This unique approach to exercise combines comfort and cardiovascular health, making it accessible and appealing to people of all fitness levels. Unlike traditional high-intensity workouts that often involve rigorous activities, cosy cardio puts physical and emotional comfort first. It encourages people to exercise in a way that feels good, creating a more enjoyable fitness experience,” says Keoghan.
From lighting candles and decorating your workout space to putting on your favourite movie while you exercise, cosy cardio encourages you to focus on what feels good so that you’re inclined to exercise more often.
“The trend is great for those who are feeling unmotivated, or if you’re looking to get back into exercise after some time off, or an injury,” adds Martin Sharp, personal trainer and founder of Sharp Fit For Life. “Plus, if you want to crank it up a notch, you can always add in things like weights or resistance bands to take your workout to the next level.”
What are the benefits of cosy cardio?
Unlike a gruelling PT session or the fear of joining your next spin class, the whole point of cosy cardio is that it’s meant to be enjoyable.
“Maintaining consistency is one of the toughest aspects of starting a new workout regimen, but if cosy cardio is something you genuinely enjoy, you’re more likely to show up and stick with it,” says Keoghan. “Another advantage is that you don’t need expensive gym equipment or a lot of space. Many of the exercises can be done at home with minimal equipment, making it accessible to a wide audience.”
As winter approaches, there’s another aspect of cosy cardio that will make it appealing to many: you can work out from the comfort of your own home. Dark, cold mornings can make getting up early to hit the gym or go for a run much harder. But, because cosy cardio is all about feeling good and staying home, it can be a great form of exercise for the winter months.
“On top of this, working out in a cosy and relaxed environment can help reduce stress and anxiety, which is beneficial for both mental and physical wellbeing,” says Keoghan.
Where did the trend come from?
The trend can be traced back to 2022, when creator Hope Zuckerbrow posted an early-morning workout video, in which she can be seen gently exercising in fuzzy socks on her walking pad alongside lit candles, an iced coffee and a feel-good film on the TV — a workout routine we can get on board with.
“Exercise doesn’t have to be done in a cold and sterile environment. It can be sensory-friendly and fun,” says Hope in a shared video captioned ‘cozy cardio club forever’. “Cozy cardio has healed my relationship with exercise and brought joy back to movement again,” reads the text on the clip.
Hope’s videos have inspired other creators and influencers on the app to share their own takes on the routine, each of which has contributed to the popularity of the trend.
@hope_zuckerbrow cozy cardio🏻 #fyp #cardio #cozy #weightloss #walkingpad ♬ Blue Moon – Muspace Lofi
How effective is cosy cardio?
“As long as you raise your heart rate into the weight management zone (that’s usually somewhere above 120 BPM to 130 BPM for most people), then the cosy cardio trend can absolutely be an effective workout,” says Martin.
“If you feel good post-workout, and think it’s something you can keep up, there’s no reason why you can’t swap out your regular exercise regimen for the cosy cardio trend.”
How should people practise the cosy cardio trend?
“Cosy cardio can be any kind of exercise, as long as you enjoy it, and it can be performed at home in a cosy environment. Jogging or brisk walking on a treadmill or walking pad, yoga, Pilates, skipping or cycling on a stationary bike… the possibilities are endless,” says Keoghan.
“The ambience of your space plays a big role in cosy cardio, so it’s well worth spending a bit of time creating a relaxing workout den. Alongside the usual fitness equipment, you may want to add soft blankets, pillows, cushioning floor tiles and soothing lighting to make the atmosphere more inviting. You could even add a TV or projector to allow you to watch your favourite movies or shows while hitting the treadmill or stationary bike. Anything that makes you want to get in there and work out,” Keoghan continues.
So, tonight, when you get home after work and feel like doing anything but exercising, pop on a candle, throw on your PJs and get walking. It might just become your new favourite way of working out.
@hope_zuckerbrow cozy cardio club 4ever💗 #foryou #cardio #weightloss #workout #cozy #cozyathome #walkingpad ♬ hospital beach – Cottonwood Firing Squad