Forget the 3-2-8 method, the 75 challenge and the treadmill model walk. There’s a new TikTok fitness trend that trumps them all. Cozy cardio is providing a welcome breath of fresh air to the world of fitness – and it provides benefits across the board.
The concept came to light when US wellness influencer Hope Zuckerbrow posted a TikTok video explaining how she preps for a laid-back and enjoyable cardio session. (That video has now been viewed by millions the world over). By combining low-impact cardio, her favorite show on TV, candle-lit mood lighting, comfy sweats and snuggly socks, Zuckerbrow created a blissful workout experience that is now being replicated in lounges all over the planet.
Key elements of cozy cardio
Mix and match any of the following:
- Low-impact movement
- Chill music
- A comforting setting – your lounge or bedroom
- Warm and supportive coaching
- Mood lighting
- Soft fabrics
- Snuggly socks
- Comforting food and drink
- Moments of reflection and mindfulness
This focus on enjoyable movement reflects a fundamental shift being embraced by movers the world over. No longer are the aesthetic benefits of exercise people’s primary motivator – and the idea that all workouts have to feel like some kind of punishment is long gone. Increasingly fitness is perceived as recreation, something to do because you actually want to. Backing up this idea is a recent report into the motivations of Gen Z, revealing that four of their top five reasons to exercise are linked to health and happiness.
But it's not just the TikTok generation who are seeing the light and appreciating the holistic benefits of activity. Movers of all ages have a greater awareness of the many and varied ways exercise can improve our lives: including how exercise can help battle burnout, ease anxiety and stress, help us sidestep dangerous disease and set us up to live a longer and healthier life.
Jess McDonald, a Les Mills trainer and adidas-sponsored athlete says the concept of cozy cardio helps remind us that workouts should be enjoyable. “Not all workouts have to be ‘go hard or go home’ … Working out gently is hugely important, too." She explains that your body needs time to re-energize and that gentle exercise helps nurture that. “It gives you time to focus on how you feel, tapping into what you need on a particular day. It allows you to focus on what will fill your cup rather than drain it."
Need some cozy cardio workout ideas?
Get comfortable and ease into exercise with simple low-impact workouts. Explore different ways to move your body and enjoy a taste of a variety of training styles.
Although not technically cardio, this beautiful blend of yoga, tai chi and Pilates is the ideal way to move your body, improve flexibility, develop full-body strength, and enjoy a feeling of focus and calm. The added bonus, if you do it before bed it can help you sleep better, increase your motivation and boost your confidence – at the same time as reducing sadness, anxiety and tension.
Find the heat at home with LES MILLS SHAPES™, a blend of Pilates, barre and power yoga mixed with new-generation music. Again, it’s not exclusively cardio but sure to get your heart rate up.