Cozy Cardio: Your Comfiest Workout Ever

Cardio doesn’t have to be a grind. It’s time to get comfy.

Erin Fisher Author Image
Erin Fisher

April 23, 2024 - Updated April 23, 2024

Cozy Cardio Woman In Hoodie

Most of us know cardio training is great for our health and should be a regular part of our fitness routine, but for many people, even the word cardio is enough to make your eyes glaze over.

If you tend to associate cardio with any type of training that either leaves you gasping for air or has you bored out of your mind on an exercise machine, know that it doesn’t have to be that way. There are plenty of ways to reap the benefits of cardio training that can provide you with a lot more enjoyment if cardio hasn’t always brought you much joy.

Hot girl walks burst onto the scene in 2022 and are still going strong to this day - a walk with your ears tuned into some motivating music and your mind focused on three things - what you’re grateful for, your goals, and how hot you are.

But another type of cardio that’s been growing in popularity recently? Cozy cardio. Ditch your assumptions that cardio has to completely drain you of energy or bore you senseless. With cozy cardio, it can be energising, comfortable and entertaining.

Cozy Cardio Woman On Bike

What is cozy cardio?

Started by TikToker Hope Zuckerbrow, cozy cardio is a complete shift away from anything that feels exhausting, intense or mind-numbing. While your usual cardio workout might be outside, in a gym or in your garage, cozy cardio takes place in a more comfortable environment like your lounge, using a walking pad, treadmill or exercise bike.

To elevate the coziness of your space even more, you can also dim the lights and add ambience with a sunset or lava lamp, fairy lights or even a candle. When it comes to the dress code, don’t worry about putting on your best activewear (unless you really want to). This is a time for sweatpants, baggy t-shirts, fuzzy socks or slippers, hoodies, or even pyjamas if you’re so inclined.

Before you get moving, grab a drink if you’d like. Zuckerbrow’s original cozy cardio sessions come complete with her favourite protein coffee, but you could also opt for something like flavoured water, tea or cold brew coffee.

Finally, flick on one of your favourite movies, TV shows or podcasts and start moving your body. Whether you’re on a treadmill, walking pad or bike, the aim here isn’t to get out of breath, smash any PBs or be dripping in sweat by the end. The point is to enjoy moving your body in a mindful, comforting way. You can even think of it as self-care or a gentle way to exercise on your recovery days or during your menstrual cycle when you don’t feel up to working out.

Cozy Cardio Woman Doing Yoga

Why do we love cozy cardio?

If you’re usually one to push yourself to your max in every workout or you have a punishing “no pain no gain” mindset, cozy cardio might actually feel a little bit out of your comfort zone (strangely enough), as it can take a hot-minute to rewire how you think about exercise.

In case you need a reminder, the success or effectiveness of your exercise session shouldn’t be judged by how sweaty, tired, sore or shaky you are or how many calories you burned. With cozy cardio, you don’t even have to aim for a certain step count for it to still do you a world of good.

There is a time and place for challenging your body, and it’s essential if you want to see improvements in your cardiovascular fitness, strength or flexibility, but not every session needs to be a grind. Adopting a more mindful approach to movement is something Sweat trainer Kelsey Wells is passionate about, and why she created her program, Redefine Fitness: Strength & Mindfulness.

Like mindful movement, cozy cardio offers unique benefits by providing an opportunity to reclaim your relationship with exercise, look forward to moving your body without any pressure, see exercise as self-care, and reap the benefits of low-intensity steady state cardio. LISS training is a key part of most Sweat programs and is widely known as a way to strengthen your immune system, heart health, fitness, and reduce your risk of disease.

For people who are rebooting their exercise routine after a break, hate working out in gyms or outside, or are getting started for the very first time, the low barrier to entry makes cozy cardio the perfect place to begin. Having a basic cardio machine at home helps, but you could also dance or do some gentle yoga. You don’t need a high level of fitness, athleticism or experience, you certainly don’t need any activewear, and you don’t need a gym membership either.

Feel cozy in your space and your clothes, move your body gently and enjoy some entertainment. It’s that simple.

Erin Fisher Author Image
Erin Fisher

Erin is a writer and editor at Sweat with years of experience in women's publishing, media and tech. She's passionate about the power of movement, and you can often find her on a yoga mat, a hike, a dance floor, in the ocean or the gym.

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* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.


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