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TikTok thinks ‘cozy cardio’ is a thing – but is it? We find out

Sounds like nonsense, but cozy cardio might be on to something

Man treadmill running
Thai Yuan Lim / EyeEm / Getty Images

In the past few years, “self-care” is a term in the health and wellness industry that has continued to hold new meanings. Today, TikTok’s newest “cozy cardio” trend combines self-care with cardio gym routines, creating a new way to make movement enjoyable and encouraging. 

Cozy cardio, a name coined by TikToker Hope Zuckerbrow, involves creating an appealing environment in your home to provide motivation for cardio exercises. This trend highlights that gym settings are not appealing to everyone; as some may find the environment overstimulating, while others may struggle with self-image issues when working out in public settings.

What exactly is ‘cozy cardio’ and what are its benefits?

Whether it’s working out in your favorite exercise clothing, lighting a candle, or playing soothing music, this recent TikTok trend is all about creating an environment that encourages you to get your cardio in. The goal of this trend is to help people get in more tune with their personal best environment, helping to reduce the intimidation associated with doing cardio in public settings.

Low-impact cozy cardio can apply to any type of cardio activity, from cycling to walking. For those who struggle to find movement enjoyable or can’t stick to a regular exercise routine, cozy cardio has the potential to encourage a wide array of people to adhere to more regular routines. Further, this trend is all about performing that cardio workout at home.

Given that about half of Americans face workout anxiety when working out at gyms, it’s not difficult to see why the cozy cardio trend has taken off. Beyond its ability to help improve physical fitness, it also has the power to improve mental health and help people overcome their fear of exercising. 

The ultimate goal of this trend boils down to a basic premise of creating a comfortable environment surrounded by “cozy” items that help people feel more motivated to work out.

Person holding a candle
thevibrantmachine / Pexels

Limitations of cozy cardio

TikTok’s latest cozy cardio trend certainly poses many benefits, including improved physical health, emotional wellness, and mental health. While these benefits certainly sound promising, we must also acknowledge the long-term implications this new workout trend can pose.

Cozy cardio promotes low-impact and light exercise, surrounded by a comfortable environment. Although this can serve as a way to encourage people who aren’t currently exercising to start, it may not be challenging enough for long-term cardiovascular health.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, adults should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. Casual cozy cardio, while still effective, may not provide enough intensity to help achieve weight loss goals and body composition changes. Those trying the cozy cardio trend must understand that balance is key, and cozy cardio workouts should be combined with higher-intensity workouts for optimal success.

The bottom line

The cozy cardio TikTok trend surely has room for potential, encouraging people to take charge of their health, fitness, and overall wellness. Finding new ways to personalize cardio routines and create comfortable workout environments may help people overcome barriers that were once holding them back from activity. All in all, when used in moderation, this method of an at-home cardio workout could be the next biggest fitness trend, posing benefits for a vast array of people.

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Emily Caldwell
Emily is a freelance lifestyle, food, fitness, and nutrition/health writer with a B.S. in Health & Human Services from…
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