Every year on January 1st, I feel an urge to revamp my entire workout routine. I find myself looking for an inspiring and effective way to exercise that I can actually stick to with a busy schedule. After diving headfirst into the world of low-impact exercise and beginning my yoga teacher training in 2023, there was one emerging fitness trend that caught my eye in the new year: cozy cardio.
The trend is exactly as it sounds—a place where comfort meets movement. To delve into what’s given cozy cardio its claim to fame, we tapped certified yoga teacher and wellness enthusiast Jordan Hana for the inside scoop.
Ahead, Hana explains the origins of the cozy cardio trend, its benefits, and how to incorporate this low-stakes, high-reward movement into your week. If you’re ready to feel restored, rejuvenated, comfy, and cozy—read on.
What is cozy cardio?
Hana explains that cozy cardio—the viral trend coined by TikToker Hope Zuckerbrow—is a movement empowering women to redefine their cardio experience. The workout emphasizes a softer approach to fitness—starting with a cozy environment as opposed to a crowded public gym or running in your neighborhood. This is part of what makes cardio more attainable and enjoyable.
“Instead of a grueling and intimidating high-intensity workout, cozy cardio promotes low-impact, low-intensity movement at home,” says Hana. “Think of this: you wake up in your jammies, throw on some socks and sneakers, and walk on a treadmill while watching your favorite episode of a show you absolutely love. For me, this would be waking up in my cozies, throwing on a sweatshirt and sneakers, putting on Sopranos and walking leisurely—maybe i’d even bring my coffee with me!”
Jordan Hana is the founder & creator of The Arrow Methid—a fitness program that provides fun & invigorating fitness classes that challenge minds and bodies collectively through movement. The joy-filled variety of workouts span across Yoga (power & yin), Sculpt and Barre. Hana’s certifications include 200 Hour E-RYT (Corepower), Yoga Sculpt (Corepower), Barre (Barre Eclipse), Yoga Nidra (Soul & Steady).
“It’s all about not giving AF about what you look like, but rather doing it and enjoying it.”Jordan Hana
Don’t worry if you don’t have access to a treadmill or other cardio-related workout equipment. Your cardio can look like a walk around your apartment, jumping up and down, dancing to your favorite song—anything that lifts your heart rate and brings you joy. Cozy cardio is all about defining movement for you.
Benefits of Cozy Cardio
Cozy cardio proves: movement is medicine. The trend supports choice and agency with your workout. Not only that, but it can inspire you to move in an environment that suits you best. (Complete with candles, your go-to TV show, and a favorite beverage.) At the end of the day, as an instructor, our goal is to get our students to move—and that’s exactly what you’re doing here, says Hana.
You’re Moving in a Safe Space
Hana also notes that another benefit comes from the saying: comparison is the thief of joy. Gyms and fitness studios can be intimidating. But doing cozy cardio in your safe space allows you to remove that barrier completely. With travel time eliminated, you’re also cutting out the potential cost of a hefty fitness membership. You’ve incorporated things that already bring you happiness while moving your body in a healthy way, so you associate the cardio now with something happy.
It’s Low-Stakes, but Effective Movement
Many of us aim for 5-10K daily steps. Cozy cardio can be a way to get yourself one step closer! Hana also notes that walking has so many benefits, including improving cardiovascular fitness, strengthening bones, reducing excess body fat, and increasing muscle power and endurance. So, if cozy cardio can help get you there—and enjoy it—LFG.
“I personally believe cozy cardio is a great form of exercise, especially for beginners, for someone to add in on recovery days, and/or for someone who’s looking to get more steps,” says Hana. “It helps create a POSITIVE relationship with exercise which is key to anything in life.”
It Supports a Healthy Relationship to Exercise
Cozy cardio can get a bit tricky if you start to near a plateau. When you’re not challenging your body in certain ways, such as putting strain on your muscles, your body tends to stay at a standstill—which is when most people begin to lose steam in their workout regimen.
Hana’s hope is that just beginning with cozy cardio and adding it in when necessary can inspire you to take it one step further and develop a healthy and positive environment for more challenging types of workouts to switch it up a bit. This doesn’t have to be a full-fledged change, but rather small adjustments, such as adding an incline in a treadmill or finding an online fitness program you like, such as Hana’s platform, The Arrow Methid.
How to Incorporate Cozy Cardio Into Your Routine
- Align your schedule. When would be the best time to get in your cozy cardio workout? Consider your energy levels and free time. Maybe you do it first thing in the morning or perhaps you prefer it later at night. Get in tune with your vibes!
- Set the mood. Think about some of the things you like best—your favorite candle scent, the lighting you prefer (dim, calm lighting perhaps), whip up your favorite bev (water with lemon, an Olipop, a tasty electrolyte mix—your choice). Put on comfy clothes (a robe, jammies, your favorite workout fit, sneaks you love), and maybe play some tunes or your favorite show.
- Then GO! Walk on your treadmill, do some laps around your apartment, dance and jump around. If you prefer to stay inside and don’t have access to a treadmill, walk the perimeter of your apartment or walk the floors of your building. Even laps around your apartment garage can be more comfortable than a full-out run. If your workout becomes mundane, think of changing it up by searching for inspiration online.
- Come back to your “why.” It’s a tip Hana can’t recommend enough. Your body does so much for you, and it’s important to take care of the things that serve you.
How often should you do cozy cardio?
Hana explains that with cozy cardio, there isn’t a split or set schedule—it’s dependent on the person, how busy you are, and how often you can fit this in. It’s all about finding ways to move that are enjoyable. If possible, aim for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week.
But it’s important to be realistic about where you are in your fitness journey and what feels doable. 30 minutes, three times a week can be a great place to start. Don’t have 30 minutes in your day? Move for 5-10 minutes! The endorphins will kick in and you’ll likely feel motivated to do more the next time around.