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One fun thing about me is that I don’t need a calendar to know when winter hits — I can just look at my daily step counts, because they fall off a cliff every November. I like working out (no really, I do!) it’s just that when the temperature starts to dip, there are about a thousand things I’d rather do than go for a run or walk. Yes, I could layer on my winter running clothes and go freeze my toes off for a couple miles, or I could bask on the couch in front of the heater, Netflix on, tea mug in hand, cookies within arm’s reach.
Luckily it’s 2024, and long gone are the days when leaving the house was your only option for getting your cardio in. We’re big proponents of cozy cardio here at SheKnows, which (for the uninitiated) basically means treating your cardio like self-care: turning on your favorite show, pulling on your softest leggings, sipping your favorite sports drink straight out of the prettiest Stanley cup you own. And if you don’t have the room or budget for a full treadmill or Peloton bike in your living room, never fear. We just stumbled upon a tiny stair stepper that TikTok loves, and it’s on sale on Amazon as we speak.
And yes, we’re talking about stair steppers, not the Stairmaster machine you might be used to seeing at the gym, which is much bigger and bulkier. A stair stepper, and specifically the two-in-one stepper machine from Sunny Health & Fitness that TikTok loves, is just over a foot tall about 16 inches wide. (It does weight about 16 pounds, FYI.) It consists of two foot pedals, a digital monitor to track your steps, time, and calories burned, and adjustable screws so you can change the height or intensity of your workout at any time.
The size alone is a big selling point. Unlike a treadmill or exercise bike, you can quickly move this stair stepper from room to room, whether you want to work out in front of the TV, in the kitchen while your kids have breakfast, or while working at your standing desk. When you’re done, it’s small enough to stash under the couch or bed. We also love that the stepper comes with detachable resistance bands for upper-body moves like rows or bicep curls. The stepper by itself will work your legs and increase your heart rate, so adding the bands makes it a seriously efficient full-body workout.
These stair steppers first started to go viral on TikTok back in November, with creators like @lagaelle02 popularizing them with short, dance-inspired full-body workouts. Now that we’re fully in thick of winter, it’s seems everyone wants to get their hands on a stair stepper. “It looks easy, but it is a workout,” said creator @asiajae24. “I’m sore as hell, but baby, this thing works, and all I’ve been doing is 10 minutes a day,” she elaborated in a later video. “Don’t underestimate this! I feel it in my legs, my booty.”
Other creators like @janessadanielle29 tried the stepper while doing squats (my thighs are burning just thinking about it) and curls, while others simply set it up in front of the TV and pounded out 10K steps(!). One thing to note: the Sunny Health & Fitness stepper lists a max weight of 220 pounds, but another brand that creators tried out, the Niceday stepper, goes up to 300. (And, coincidentally, is also on sale on Amazon.) And if you’re the kind of person who likes to work out in a class setting or with an instructor, Sunny Health & Fitness and other creators offer free videos on YouTube.
We all have our preferences when it comes to cardio (and workouts in general), but if your main concern is convenience and not having to leave your house — again, so key in the winter — this affordable, mini-sized stepper is a good place to start.
Before you go, build out your full home gym with these essentials: