Are You Stuck in a Sweat-Sit Cycle?

by Nicole Stenberg

Maybe you ran five miles today or maybe you took an Orangetheory class and met a new splat points record, but now you find yourself sitting on the couch for hours or at work ignoring your smart watch prompt to “move.”

You aren’t alone. In fact, many avid exercisers fall into what I call the sweat-sit cycle. So, is it okay to exercise really hard for one hour and then treat yourself to the idea that you can now skip taking the stairs or get extra steps by parking further away from the store?

Not exactly.

I often tell my clients I’d rather them start with 30 minutes of activity per day and leave enough physical and mental energy to move often the remainder of the day rather than completely drain themselves mentally and physically for one hour and be sedentary. And with only 5% of Americans getting 30 minutes of physical activity per day, it’s likely that you’re one of the ones who needs to focus on that 30 minutes versus trying to jump into an extreme workout.

You might be asking yourself if this means giving up on your favorite spin class - absolutely not!

Work hard.


Take your selfie with the local fitness studio’s logo and share it with the world!

But when you leave, commit to keeping your blood flowing by moving the rest of the day. You should be getting up from your chair about once an hour to move your legs and give your mind a break from whatever you are doing.

To help you break the cycle, try these five tips to get you moving:

  1. Set reminders to get up from your desk during the day.

  2. Don’t discredit any opportunity to move, no matter how small. Like the old adage to park further from the store entrance? Do it. To take the stairs? That, too.

  3. Prioritize high quality sleep for optimal energy throughout the day. No one wants to stay active if they’re exhausted!

  4. Give yourself time to build endurance to prevent burnout. In other words, if you jump into a CrossFit class and can’t move for three days after then rethink your approach. You want to make it tough, but doable.

  5. Make it enjoyable…take a mental break!

Continue to do your deadlifts at CrossFit (safely of course), but be prepared to take the stairs to your desk on your way back from lunch.

Are you committed to breaking the Sweat-Sit cycle?