Even though the temperature may be a sweltering 90 degrees in August, embracing hygge is all the rage. Picture lighting candles, wearing cozy socks, sipping on iced pumpkin spice lattes, and rewatching Gilmore Girls for the umpteenth time, even during hot girl summer. This sentiment extends to our fitness routines as well. Thanks to TikTok’s popular “cozy cardio” trend, adding a hygge-inspired touch to your workouts can offer much-needed motivation for those who struggle to find the drive to exercise (as seen in the 1.1 million views under #cozycardio). This new approach to exercise can genuinely make cardio sessions enjoyable. Keep reading to find out more about “cozy cardio” and how you can give it a try.

What Is “Cozy Cardio?”

Introduced by Hope Zuckerbrow, also known as the “Founder of the Cozy Cardio Club,” cozy cardio offers a more laid-back approach to engaging in physical activity. It focuses on exercises that feel less like a typical workout and more like participating in a fun leisure activity. According to Zuckerbrow, this entails “doing some cardio while dressed in your favorite cozy outfits, watching your favorite shows, and enjoying your preferred beverages.”

In an initial video, the TikTok creator takes viewers through her morning routine, which includes preparing a water bottle, getting iced coffee ready, and lighting a “Cozy Comfort” candle—along with wearing fuzzy flamingo socks. Cozy cardio emphasizes setting a mood as much as the actual physical activity. Zuckerbrow starts by leisurely walking on her walking pad while choosing something to watch (ideally, a comforting show), then varies intensity levels during the 40-minute session before ending with a 10-minute cooldown.

Wearing pajamas and creating a cozy atmosphere (incorporating candles and a feel-good show or movie) contrasts sharply with traditional workout settings, which typically involve leggings, sports bras, loud motivational music, and sweating it out for an hour to consider the session effective. Cozy cardio embodies the fundamental shift towards moving in a way that resonates with you, recognizing that stress relief and enjoyment are equally essential in life. You don’t have to endure through a strenuous gym session if you’re not up for it or if your body craves a different movement. Exercise can be cozy instead of draining or intense.


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♬ Blue Moon – Muspace Lofi

How to Try It

The essence of cozy cardio is to elevate your heart rate within the cozy confines of your home, surrounded by elements that evoke warm and comforting feelings. While Zuckerbrow starts her day with an early morning cozy cardio session, you can adjust the routine to the evening and create a similar dim, plush environment if you’re more of a night owl. Don’t have a walking pad? No worries. Substitute walking with another gentle, low-intensity activity like yoga or a series of bodyweight squats and jump rope.

When it comes to creating the right ambiance (a crucial element of cozy cardio), the aim is to establish a calming environment that brings you joy, unlike the bright lights and intense music commonly found in traditional gym settings. This could involve dimming the lights, enjoying a comforting show or podcast episode, or setting the mood with your favorite candle and coziest sweatpants. Additionally, following Zuckerbrow’s lead, keep a water bottle nearby to ensure you stay hydrated—with iced coffee or a warm cup of tea as optional companions.


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