Senior woman stretching her leg while sitting on chair at home.

Cozy Cardio May Be Your Perfect Workout for 2024

Everyone knows that exercise is important, but for many people, the thought of going to the gym, running or attending a fitness class is about as appealing as getting a dental filling.

If you agree, then it might be time for you to consider “cozy cardio”—a viral fitness trend coined by Texas-based content creator Hope Zuckerbrow.

What is Cozy Cardio?

Cozy cardio is an at-home workout that prioritizes comfort over intensity. The trend makes exercise more enjoyable by combining gentle, lower-impact exercises with cozy elements at home. It’s all about getting your heart rate up—but in a cozy way that feels kind and comfortable to you.

So How do You Make Cardio “Cozy?”

Begin by thinking about what feels cozy to you. Everyone has a different idea of what cozy is, but here are some ideas to make your at-home workout feel more comfortable:

  • Put on comfy sweats.
  • Prepare your favorite exercise beverage, such as ice water, a protein shake or an electrolyte drink.
  • Dim the lights or turn on ambient lighting.
  • Light a candle or diffuse an energizing blend of essential oils.
  • Turn on your favorite comfort tv show or movie.
  • Shake off that feeling that exercise is a punishment and any pressure you feel to burn a certain number of calories; this is at the heart of what cozy cardio is all about!

Who Could Benefit From Cozy Cardio?

The cozy cardio trend is perfect for people who have gym intimidation, people who can’t perform intense workouts, people who struggle with feeling like exercise is a punishment, or people who have a difficult time getting motivated to exercise.

It’s also an excellent option for seniors who can’t go to the gym or who need lower-impact exercise. The CDC recommends older adults aged 65 and older need:

  • At least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity activity such as brisk walking or 75 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity activity.
  • At least two days a week of activities that strengthen muscles.
  • Plus activities to improve balance.

Cozy cardio may not be strenuous enough for someone who’s already in good cardiovascular shape or someone who wants to lose weight; however, for someone who lives a more sedentary lifestyle, adding a cozy cardio workout routine can nudge them in a healthier direction.

Check out these 5 Stretches That Can Help You Stay Flexible as You Age!

What Are the Benefits of Cardio Exercise?

Cardiovascular exercise gets your blood pumping faster and harder. Regular cardio exercise that’s part of a healthy lifestyle can help decrease your resting blood pressure and heart rate, lower your cholesterol, decrease your chance of stroke, improve your memory and brain function, improve your joint health, and strengthen your muscles—among many other benefits.

What Are Some Cozy Cardio Exercises?

[Note: It’s always best to check with your doctor or healthcare provider before starting any exercise program to prevent injury and to address your specific health needs.] 

Walking on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike are both great exercises for cozy cardio, but if you don’t have that equipment, no worries! There are plenty of low-impact cozy cardio exercises you can try from the comfort of home that require no special equipment. Here are three examples:

Indoor Walking

See a video here:

  1. March in place.
  2. Engage more muscles by trying side steps, out-out-in-in movements, heel touches, knee touches, forward-backward movements, bicep curls, and arm stretches.

Chair Squats

See a video here:

  1. Begin sitting in a chair.
  2. Extend arms in front of you.
  3. Stand up slowly driving up through your heels, engaging abdominal muscles, and keeping your knees and ankles stable. Bring arms down to your sides as you stand.
  4. Slowly sit back down bringing your arms up in front of you.
  5. Repeat and add weight if you need more resistance.

Seated Walking Workout

See a video here:

  1. Sit forward in a chair with a flat seat with your shoulders back and down and pedal walk feet on floor.
  2. Pick up pace and march feet in place.
  3. Add more movement by doing heel taps, heel bounces, toe taps, arm stretches, leg lifts, and knee ins-and-outs.

Want more? Check out our blog, 3 ways gyms are catering to seniors.

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