Ever since TikTok user Mia Lind coined the term "Hot Girl Walk" nearly two years ago, we’ve been carving out a few hours of our days (err, or at least attempting to) for long strolls around the neighborhood to reflect on what we’re grateful for, and, more importantly, how hot we are. Now, there’s a new Hot Girl movement in town — one that's not nearly as time-consuming. Cue the Hot Girl Run.
“A Hot Girl Run is running for yourself and to be better to yourself,” explains Sabrina Mendoza, a fitness content creator, personal trainer, actress, and drama teacher. “This means you don’t have to get in a 30-minute run every single day, you can get in a 10-minute run whenever you have the time for it. It’s whatever works for you.”
Like the Hot Girl Walk, the Hot Girl Run views hotness as a state of mind. It has nothing to do with your physical appearance or the physical benefits of moving your body — or even identifying as a girl, for that matter. Instead, it’s treated as an act of self-care, focusing on the feel-good mental health benefits, self-love, and, overall, being more mindful. Physical exercise has long been linked to improved mental health, with studies correlating it to positively impacting self-image and mood and helping ease some symptoms of anxiety and depression. Mendoza not only finds that running helps to relax her, but that it helps her sleep better. “Studies have found that physical exercise can help you develop better sleep habits,” she continues. “I’ve personally noticed that I fall asleep a lot quicker ever since I began my running journey.”
The Hot Girl Run also aims to help us reevaluate our societal relationship to running. “We’ve been conditioned to think that running is unpleasant, that it’s a thing we do to punish ourselves,” says Mendoza. “But a Hot Girl Run is meant to be pleasant, no matter the distance or time. You just run until you feel like stopping.” Unlike a Hot Girl Walk — which is meant to be four miles long, a hefty time commitment — the length, distance, and pace of your run don’t actually matter. What matters is running for what feels like an accomplishment to you, whether that’s 10 minutes or 10 miles, indoors on a treadmill or outdoors on a trail. “Either way, you’ve still done something so great for your mental health, you’ve got some endorphins coursing through your body, and you feel like you’ve accomplished something, even if it’s tiny,” she adds.
Ready to adopt a Hot Girl Run routine of your own? We teamed up with New Balance and enlisted Mendoza’s expertise to lay out everything you need to get started, from your clothes to your attitude and everything in between. Ahead, the five essentials for getting your Hot Girl Run on.
A Pre-Run Snack & Water
According to Mendoza, the first essential to a successful Hot Girl Run is making sure you’re prepared — and by that, ensuring you drink enough water and have a light, energy-boosting snack beforehand. “Pre-loading yourself with water will help you avoid cramps, and a snack will help you stay consistent throughout the run. It’s really key,” she says. Because Hot Girl Runs tend to be on the shorter side (Mendoza tries not to run for more than 30 minutes), she prefers to drink water before she heads out rather than carrying a water bottle. Of course, if you’re planning for a longer run, you may want to have access to water throughout.
In terms of snacking, keep it simple and small. Some studies show that consuming simple carbohydrates — think sugars found in fruit — anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour before exercise can help fuel you, improving your overall performance. At the same time, you’ll want to avoid anything too heavy or rich in fats that may weigh you down or leave you feeling sluggish. Think bananas, not a bowl of buttery pasta.
A Quality Running Sneaker
A proper running shoe is a non-negotiable for any type of running, whether you’re training for a marathon or jogging for pleasure — and, yes, quality does matter. “You’ll need a high-quality running sneaker designed for running, not just any run-of-the-mill, basic sneaker,” advises Mendoza. “Otherwise, you’ll likely wear them out quickly, which can lead to lower back pain, knee pain, hip discomfort, amongst other issues.”
One crucial feature to look out for is supportive and comfortable cushioning, adds Mendoza, but keep in mind that not all running shoes are one-size-fits-all, and what works for you may depend on the natural arch of your feet and your running pronation and style. But if you’re unsure where to start, opt for a versatile shoe specifically designed to accommodate all types of runners, such as the New Balance Fresh Foam x 1080v12. Equipped with pressure-mapped underfoot cushioning and flex zones, plus a snug-yet-stretchy upper, these stylish sneakers will have you feeling your hottest throughout your run.
A Functional Outfit (That Makes You Feel Hot)
Once you have your shoes, it’s time to complete your Hot Girl Run ensemble — which, really, should constitute anything that makes you feel hot, whether that’s bright, uplifting colors and prints, or a sleek all-black ensemble. For Mendoza, it’s a cute matching activewear set.
Perceived hotness aside, you’ll also need to consider function and comfort. Look for items that are supportive yet non-constricting; they should allow your body to move freely or move with your body. “I prefer to wear bike shorts or running shorts rather than leggings; I find them more comfortable,” says Mendoza. “Leggings tend to slide down, whereas bike shorts stay put, and running shorts are fairly loose and comfortable.” If you do prefer something full-leg, opt for styles with a high-waisted, non-slip waistband to ensure maximum comfort — Hot Girls aren’t constantly pulling up their pants mid-run. When it comes to accessories, keep things minimal. You might be inclined to leave behind your phone, wallet, and keys for a quick outdoor run, but Mendoza recommends a fanny pack to hold important essentials (especially in case of an emergency) while remaining hands-free.
A Pace-Keeping Hot Girl Playlist
Everyone knows that good music can substantially impact your motivation throughout any sort of physical activity, and in the case of a Hot Girl Run, it can help keep you moving and maintain that feel-good runner’s high. However, there’s more to it than just slapping together a playlist of your favorite power anthems. Instead, Mendoza recommends playlists designed to help you keep a comfortable pace.
“The first thing people think when they start running is that they just have to be fast, but that’s not the case at all,” she explains. To avoid running fatigue, you should instead begin by warming up at a comfortable pace and gradually increase speed, or, if you prefer to interval run, alternate between sprinting and a light jog (or a brisk walk) in a way that feels good for you — and the music you listen to should reflect that. Drawing inspiration from TikTok creator Allie Bennett — the brains behind the viral “treadmill strut” workout — she listens to playlists that gradually increase in tempo with each song, increasing her own speed accordingly.
A Hot Girl Mindset
We repeat: Being hot is a state of mind. The Hot Girl Walk and Hot Girl Run both abide by this principle; however, what you’re allowed to think about during them differs slightly. “A big difference between the Hot Girl Run and the Hot Girl Walk is that when running, you’re meant to use this time to let go of any negative thoughts and feelings, rather than blocking them out entirely like you’re meant to during a walk,” says Mendoza. While both aim to promote positivity and bolster self-confidence, the Hot Girl Run isn’t asking you to replace negative thoughts with gratitude. Instead, it wants you to permit yourself to feel them, acknowledge and accept them, and then, simply, shed that shit. “You can tell yourself, All of this happened, and I’m leaving it behind now,” she adds.
Also essential to the Hot Girl state of mind? According to Mendoza, a smile. “Smiling helps me relax — in fact, I learned through a running app that smiling can actually help relax your body,” she says. “I can tell when my shoulders are hunching up or when I’m not running in good form, so when I notice these things, I take a deep breath, slow down a little bit, and smile. It’s not an ear-to-ear grin, but a little private smile because I showed up for myself. I’m smiling at the future me who just accomplished this run. And then I continue on.”