“Cozy Cardio” Is The Low-Maintenance Fitness Trend TikTokers Love

Going to the gym first thing in the morning sounds like a great idea in theory, but then you wake up and remember the cold, harsh reality of overhead lighting, loud music, and crowds — and suddenly it doesn’t seem so appealing. This is the reason why “cozy cardio” has taken off as a movement on TikTok, where the “cozy cardio club” has over 5.6 million views.

Founded by TikToker Hope Zuckerbrow, cozy cardio is all about staying as comfy as possible while you exercise at home. Typically, that means rolling out of bed, lighting a candle, keeping the lights down low, and walking on a treadmill while a Y2K comedy plays in the background. To do cozy cardio you don’t have to go anywhere or even change out of your pajamas, so it’s essentially a lazy girl’s dream come true.

Under her cozy cardio videos, Zuckerbrow’s comment section is constantly blowing up with appreciation, especially as more people hop on the trend. One person said, “Watching our generation find simple yet unique ways to support our bodies and bring joy into movement is so nice,” while another wrote, “This is so smart. Like, why does a workout have to be in a cold, sterile environment?” With cozy cardio, it doesn’t.

While there’s always a time and a place for a gym workout, an outdoor run or bike ride, or even the camaraderie of a group fitness class, sometimes it feels better to stay in and sweat all by your lonesome with nothing more than your Stanley cup — and your dog — as witnesses. That’s what cozy cardio is all about: Finding the chillest, most low-pressure way to exercise while still breaking a sweat.

For Zuckerbrow, a cozy cardio workout typically entails a 40-minute stroll on a small walking pad that she keeps in her living room. After she pulls on warm socks, pours an iced coffee, and finds her remotes, she’ll set everything up on a table next to her tread so it’s within reach for ultimate coziness.

The creator starts with a warm-up at 3 mph while looking for a show or movie to watch. As she starts to break a sweat, that’s when she bumps up the speed to 4 mph for twenty minutes, followed by a 4.5 mph stint, before finishing off with a quick cooldown at 2.5 mph.

In some videos, Zuckerbrow bumps the speed up to 5 mph, which she says turns her walk into more of a light jog. (This is a cardio workout, after all.) The things that never change, though, are the comfy clothes, the favorite drink, and the mood lighting. As one commenter said, “This is a vibe.”

Is Cozy Cardio A Good Workout?

According to Ellen Thompson, CPT, a certified personal trainer with Blink Fitness, the cozy cardio club is perfect for anyone who has trouble getting up and at it in the morning, as well as anyone who experiences gym anxiety. It’s accessible and sustainable, she says, which are the two keys to actually enjoying your workout routine.

“Adding cozy elements can create a more inviting atmosphere,” she tells Bustle, especially compared to a gym. That said, she does warn against getting too cozy in fuzzy socks or slippers, as they aren’t very stable or supportive. (Just throw on a pair of sneakers real quick, instead.)

Cozy cardio is the ideal way to ease into exercise. It’s great when you want to add a little more movement to your day, and if you bump up the speed and do walking intervals, it truly can improve your cardiovascular health, Thompson says.

Zuckerbrow’s walks typically take her over two miles in total, which is great for the leg muscles, too. “Any type of walking will involve engagement of the quads, hamstrings, calves, and glutes, and walking at varying paces and intensities will increase this engagement,” she adds.

So there you have it! Not only is cozy cardio the comfiest workout around, but it’s also effective.

Studies referenced:

Nemoto, K. (2007). Effects of high-intensity interval walking training on physical fitness and blood pressure in middle-aged and older people. Mayo Clin Proc. doi: 10.4065/82.7.803. PMID: 17605959.


Ellen Thompson, CPT, certified personal trainer with Blink Fitness