What is casual cardio? Here’s What Happened When I Tried This TikTok Trend

I know what you’re thinking, the terms casual and cardio are complete opposites, and there is no way the two can be combined in a comfortable way for your daily exercise.

That’s exactly what I thought when I first heard about the new trend. Cardio is not comfortable! It’s sweaty, breathless, exhilarating, exhausting and about as far from comfortable as you can possibly get. How can I use an adjective to describe relaxing in my pajamas and looking again Office Should this be applied to the heart-rate-raising activities I do to stay in shape?

Curious to find out, I did a little research on casual cardio and decided to give it a try. Keep in mind that what’s right for me may not be right for you As with all things exercise, be sure to check with a medical professional before starting any new fitness regimen.

What is casual cardio?

first introduced in a now-viral tiktok, content creator Hope Zuckerbrough coined the term relaxing cardio to describe her early-morning exercise routine: She wakes up before sunrise, prepares iced protein coffee, lights some scented candles in a dark room, to watch the Watch a television show or movie, find the shed, then hop on the treadmill for 40 minutes. By the end of her session, she walked 2.65 kilometers and burned about 170 calories (let me point out here that the calorie counts on most pieces of cardio equipment are extremely inaccurate, but focus more on how many calories you actually burn below. has not been done) .

one in follow tiktok, Zuckerbro further explained about the casual cardio trend. She said, I want Casual Cardio to become a movement for women to reclaim their relationship with exercise. Casual Cardio started to help heal my own relationship with exercise, but it soon morphed into a form of meditative self-love. It means removing pressure. Its purpose is to help you enjoy movement again. Its purpose is to teach you that it is worth taking time for yourself. Your body deserves it, but your mind does more than that.

She says that while she enjoys walking on her treadmill, she has also been known to do a 30-minute workout on her living room floor. Comfortable looks different for everyone, but my version looks like ambient lighting, the flicker of a candle, the taste of my favorite protein coffee, or the comfort of a show I’m binging. I just applied it to my workouts.

Photo of woman exercising on treadmill at home

What happened when I started casual cardio

There’s nothing about my regular cardio routine that would ever be considered comfortable, so I knew my foray into this trend would be a departure from the norm.

Since I don’t have a treadmill, I decided to get on my spin bike instead. Luckily for me, the timing of this challenge worked out brilliantly, the lights on my Christmas tree provided a beautiful ambiance that fit the cozy bill perfectly. I lit some candles, found a documentary on Max Ivey that I was waiting to watch, and started paddling. Here are some things I noticed during my casual cardio session:

It reminded me a lot of SoulCycle

Before the pandemic, I was known to go to some SoulCycle classes from time to time. The main thing that always drew me to the studio was the unique atmosphere that built well into my relaxing cardio experience.

The loud music, the even faster trainers, and the frenetic energy of bodies pedaling to the beat were missing, but you could always turn up the volume on your favorite playlists and get at least one aspect of them back.

i forgot i was exercising

By the time I was about 15 minutes into my 45-minute comfortable cardio session, I had forgotten I was even working out. My breathing was steady and under control, my heart rate was slightly elevated but not distracting, and I was focused on the show I was watching.

Casual cardio can really be a game changer for someone who hates exercise. All the relaxing elements really do wonders to distract you from the fact that you’re currently doing cardiovascular exercise.

time passed so fast

When my Apple Watch indicated that my 45 minutes of leisurely cardio was complete, I was literally shocked. If you had asked me at that very moment, I would have guessed that 15 or 20 minutes had passed.

Again, this can be very important for people who hate cardio. Instead of counting every second in complete agony, let the minutes fly by while you enjoy your environment.

I realized I’ve been (unknowingly) recommending this to customers for years

As a personal trainer, I’ve found that many of my clients have trouble fitting in exercise on their own. Whether it’s due to a lack of time or motivation, finding 30 minutes to go for a walk, bike ride, or some resistance training circuit can be a daunting prospect.

One trick I often use is to save your favorite TV show, podcast episode, or new album release for your practice sessions. Not only does this motivate you to workout, but you’ll associate movement with doing something you enjoy. It appears to be a similar idea behind pairing comfortable cardio with movement with a pleasant sensory experience.

Decision? I can definitely see both the physical and mental benefits of leisurely cardio. As creator Hope Zuckerbrough described, the entire experience felt very meditative and self-soothing, which is not how most people would describe exercise.

Ultimately, though, my personality is more suited to more traditional cardio, the sweaty intensity of treadmill runs and elliptical sessions is what keeps my mood balanced. For those who feel differently, making your cardio comfortable is a revolutionary way to make it a lifelong habit.

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