The workout that could finally make you an exercise person

It’s the exercise trend that is putting a different spin on traditional cardio workouts — but is cosy cardio worth doing? Here’s what the experts say.

Social media abounds with viral exercise trends, and while it can sometimes be tricky to distinguish between fitness fads and workouts that deliver real results, it’s hard not to get behind a trend that encourages you to exercise in your pyjamas.

Cosy cardio is the antithesis to the “go hard or go home” mentality often associated with working out, but could this gentle approach turn anyone into an exercise person?

What is cosy cardio?

As the term implies, cosy cardio is all about creating a comfortable environment in which to complete a gentle cardio workout.

It started on social media when content creator Hope Zuckerbrow recorded herself one morning in her pyjamas, coffee in hand and her favourite candle lit, while walking on a walking pad and watching her favourite TV show.

Millions of views later, an exercise trend was born.

If you want to try cosy cardio at home, the formula is pretty simple:

  • Your favourite pyjamas
  • A warm or cold drink you enjoy
  • Your go-to TV show, movie or podcast
  • A lit candle, for added ambience
  • A form of low-impact cardio exercise, such as walking

What are the benefits of cosy cardio?

Cosy cardio makes exercise, particularly cardio, a lot more accessible to people, particularly those who do not typically enjoy working out.

“Low-impact workouts are great, especially for people who may have joint issues, or for those who feel stressed and want to do some exercise without burning themselves out further,” Flow Athletic director Ben Lucas says.

“It’s also great for people who want to do a little more movement while watching TV after a big day at work, or for beginners who may feel daunted to go to the gym with no conditioning.”

Interestingly, study results show people are better able to stick to low-intensity exercise than moderate- or high-intensity exercise.

Cosy cardio is appealing because it is done in a familiar, comfortable setting and underpinned by your favourite things, such as a special drink or go-to TV show, making it a much more enticing prospect than an intense session at the gym.

“The best workout is always the one you’ll do,” personal trainer and healthy habits coach Loz Antonenko says.

“Compliance is key when it comes to exercise … choosing a workout you genuinely like and feel comfortable with is the most important aspect.”

How effective is cosy cardio as a workout?

“A workout is a workout, and no evidence suggests that one training style trumps another,” Loz, who wrote The Healthy Habit Handbook, says.

“You can try the most amazing and scientifically backed workout, but it’s not that useful if you don’t enjoy it and won’t do it.”

Ben says cosy cardio has its place but to avoid hitting a plateau, you should add to your workouts periodically by changing your exercise style, adding intensity or adding weights.

“You certainly don’t need to be training intensely every day,” he says.

To make the most of your cosy cardio sessions, Ben suggests increasing the speed at which you are walking to add intensity.

“Consider holding some hand weights while you walk; you can also add some squats, sit-ups and push-ups into the mix as well, to get a more well-rounded workout,” he says.

Just don’t forget to wear your PJs!

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Written by Tania Gomez.