We have written more than a few blogs over the years warning you about unsafe or unhelpful TikTok health trends. Earlier this week, we debunked the trending mustard and cottage cheese diet. But, in all those blogs, we note that not everything on the app is terrible. There is some useful information mixed in with the silliness. The viral trend of cozy cardio is a great way to get exercise.
TikTok creator Hope Zuckerbrow shared her gentle morning exercise routine to prove that exercise can be effective and enjoyable instead of a grueling challenge to endure. It is a healthy message that has received more than 1.7 million views. Low-intensity interval training (LIIT) is a sustainable way to exercise.
“LIIT involves alternating between periods of low to moderate intensity exercise and periods of red or lower activity, which allows individuals to work out without pushing themselves to the limits, making it a suitable choice for various fitness levels and age groups,” said personal trainer Lucie Cowan.
Ms. Zuckerbrow’s cozy cardio is a form of LIIT that maximizes pleasure during exercise. She blends her workout with watching TV, listening to podcasts and lighting candles to set the mood. Surrounding a workout with the trappings of pleasure makes it easier to enjoy and stick to. You also reduce your risk of injury as it puts less stress on your body. It’s a useful form of exercise that can help you manage stress and lose weight without feeling like a chore.
“[Cozy cardio] could align better with your wellbeing and lifestyle, helping you to feel empowered to engage in activity that suits your individual needs, and making fitness a sustainable and enjoyable part of your life,” said Ms. Cowan.
In one video, Ms. Zuckerbrow exercises for the time it takes her to find something to watch and then watch an episode of a TV show. But first, she makes herself an iced coffee and water bottle and lights a candle. She’s in her PJs as she walks in places, stretches and gets moving. There’s no pumping music or hardcore routine, just multiple drink options and a comfortable environment.
“The key lies in finding a balance between comfort and exertion to ensure that the workout contributes to improving cardiovascular health and overall fitness,” said Mike Hamlin, a certified strength and conditioning coach.
Ms. Zuckerbrow said she has a lot of anxiety about going to the gym or exercising in public. About half of Americans feel the same way. She exercises how she does to make it something she enjoys, and it has become “meditational self-love” for her.
“Society puts so much pressure on women to look a certain way, and because of that, a lot of them have turned exercise into a punishment,” said Ms. Zuckerbrow.
While we spend so much time seeing the dangers of TikTok health trends, this one is great. Finding ways to incorporate movement into your day is excellent. And finding a workout routine that works with your lifestyle that you will stick to and enjoy has long-term benefits.
If you try cozy cardio, you might find it’s your new favorite way to work out and stick with it long beyond your old workout routines that left you feeling the burn.