We all know that exercise is good for you. In fact, the NHS says that exercise can reduce your risk of major diseases like type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease and even cancer. Yet, if you’re someone who balks at the idea of working out, then cosy cardio may be for you.
Unlike high intensity workouts or weight lifting, cosy cardio is exactly what it says on the tin: a low impact cardio workout done in a cosy environment.
Think: warm lighting, the scent of candles, a comforting TV show on the telly or listening to your favourite audiobook. Whatever makes you feel comforted - or cosy - is what’s going to make this exercise work for you.
What is cosy cardio?
Cosy cardio is a form of exercise that has gone viral on TikTok. Coined by user Hope Zuckerbrow, who has lost 100lbs, she developed it as a way to help herself heal her own relationship with exercise.
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"It’s meant to take the pressure off, it’s meant to help you enjoy movement again, and teach you that you’re worth setting time aside for. Your body deserves it, but your mind does more," Zuckerbrow explained in a video.
"I want cosy cardio to be a movement for women to reclaim their relationships with exercise," she added. "Society puts so much pressure on women to look a certain way and because of that a lot of them have turned exercise into punishment or a means of solely working off the calories of their last delicious meal they ate … or didn’t.
"Cosy cardio rewrites all of that. Cosy looks different for everyone, but my version looks like ambiance lighting, the flicker of a candle, the taste of my favourite protein coffee or the comfort of the shoe I’m binge watching. I just applied that to my exercise."
Videos mentioning the cosy cardio hashtag have now been viewed over 5.8 million times, and the trend has even been given the nod of approval by fitness experts.
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"One of the things I love most about the ‘cosy cardio’ trend is that it is accessible for everyone. Not everyone can get to the gym, for a whole host of reasons, but the whole point of ‘cosy cardio’ is that it can be done from your own home," Penny Weston, fitness, wellness and nutrition expert and founder of MADE wellness centre tells Yahoo UK.
"A lot of people can suffer from ‘gymtimidation’, feeling anxious when in the gym or about going to the gym. The gym can be an intimidating place if you are new to it, so working out at home and experimenting with exercises you like and work best for you is a good way to build up your confidence. The trend could also be a gateway for people to bring more exercise into their lives."
How to find the right ‘cosy cardio’ for you
While Zuckerbrow’s go-to cosy cardio is using her walking pad, Weston says that the key to finding an exercise you enjoy is to experiment.
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"Although the trend is called ‘cosy cardio’, do not forget you can opt for any form of exercise, such as yoga, a full body workout, a dance routine, a quick HIIT workout or even pilates," she explains.
"The trend is not about the type of exercise you are doing, it is about making time for yourself and connecting with your body - something I am all for."
The NHS suggests people do at least 150 minutes of physical activity across the course of a week - and cosy cardio can count as part of this.
"You can get a really good workout at home just using your own body weight, but if you did want to make things a bit tougher, why not add some water bottles in to use as weights?" Weston says.
"You can also use towels as resistance bands and chairs, as long as you have secured them properly, for exercises like tricep dips. Stairs are also great for running up and down (carefully) and strengthening your calf muscles with toe lifts."
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