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If you’re someone who isn’t necessarily up and at the gym at 5 a.m., don’t worry. That’s not everyone’s cup of tea (though if it is, more power to you!). Some people may only have a select amount of time to get some healthy movement in before getting the kids up for school, making breakfast, or heading to work. And if you have trouble not hitting the snooze button during that time that you might sneak in a workout, we get it.
TikTokers have a solution to those early morning (or late evening) workouts that they’re calling “cozy cardio.” First originated by TikTok creator Hope Zuckerbrow (@hope_zuckerbrow), the trend involves treating your cardio workout like a sanctuary: making sure you’re well-hydrated and have your morning coffee, smoothie, or supplements in tow, you’re wearing your softest leggings or joggers, and have soft mood lighting, lit candles, and your favorite Netflix show on in the background before you hop on the treadmill. Zuckerbrow’s workouts mainly feature a treadmill, but theoretically the “cozy cardio” concept could be applied to any type of workout, from Pilates to a dance cardio or bodyweight workout. It’s mainly about infusing the element of self-care into your workout, making it pleasurable rather than punishing.
When you’re working out, it may benefit you to switch it up and get a bit more intense with your workouts (longer runs, heavier lifts in the gym, and HIIT sessions are a welcome challenge), Matthew C. Harling, CPT, CSC, a Master Trainer at Crunch Fitness tells SheKnows. But it’s also totally acceptable — and in fact, a good idea — to have a light, more comfy fitness day every once in a while to give your body a break while still getting in some movement. Want to embrace the cozy cardio mentality for a couple days out of your week? Keep on scrolling for some cozy cardio workout essentials you’ll need.
A version of this article was originally published in 2023.