The latest fitness trend — cozy cardio — couldn’t be more Nice News-coded. The concept has blown up on social media thanks to a content creator named Hope Zuckerbrow. She began posting videos of her early morning workouts in 2022, and they quickly took off.
It’s easy to see why. Cozy cardio rejects the idea that exercise has to be vigorous and intense. It involves walking on the treadmill in sweatpants (or even pajamas), lighting a candle, making a cup of tea, putting on your favorite comfort show or movie, and doing whatever else allows you to slow down and simply enjoy the movement.
“I get so many messages from men and women — so many people — saying something along the lines of ‘thank you so much for kind of flipping my mindset on what I thought exercise is supposed to be,’” Zuckerbrow told the Associated Press. “This feels so doable.”
It’s an intriguing idea from the perspective of habit forming, especially for those who struggle to incorporate a regular exercise routine into their daily lives. “[Cozy cardio] fits in with a lot of what we know about how to get people to actually maintain behavior change,” said psychology professor Catherine Sanderson.
She added: “It very much relies on what psychologists would call positive reinforcement — the idea of, ‘It’s not just that I’m exercising. I’m getting to watch my favorite show. I’m tapping into something I want to be doing already.’”
Keep scrolling to check out some other examples of cozy workouts so you can hop on the trend.
A low-impact workout that has been shown to reduce pain and help people heal from injuries, Pilates lends itself perfectly to being coz-ified.
Pilates also incorporates mindful breathing, which can help you stay present and relaxed.
The routine above is intended to be a calming, “chill” version of a more typical Pilates session. But just because you aren’t going full tilt doesn’t mean you won’t feel the burn, so be sure to listen to your body and modify or take breaks as needed.
Cozy Mobility Exercises
Mobility exercises support and increase your range of motion. They’re designed to improve your joint and muscle flexibility, which can lead to less pain and stiffness during day-to-day activities as well as other workouts.
This routine was created to act as either a warmup or a session for when you’re feeling under the weather or sore, but you can use it as regular morning or evening exercise as well.
Yoga is one of those exercises that can vary dramatically depending on the type. Some strenuous yoga sessions may feel anything but cozy, and others require you to focus on your body and breathing so much that it isn’t practical to put on a television show or podcast at the same time.
That said, yoga can also be one of the most relaxing and meditative workouts, making it a strong cozy candidate. This 20-minute “easy, breezy feel-good floor practice” is a great example.
Cozy Strength Training
Since the key to cozy workouts is creating a comfortable environment and keeping the intensity low to moderate, even lifting weights can be made cozy. That’s one TikTok user’s takeaway, at least. Inspired by Zuckerbrow, she posted a series of photos of herself preparing for a “cozy strength training” session, complete with mood lighting and pajama pants.
Check out the strength training video above to practice it from the comfort of home: It’s slow and controlled, a great way to ease into the day or wind down at night — just throw on some loungewear and light a candle to get the vibe right.
One thing to remember when attempting any strength training at home is that you’re free to modify your workout so it makes sense for you. That could mean doing fewer reps, using lighter weights, or both.