Mental fatigue can affect physical performance
Researchers have discovered that if people are mentally worn out they reach physical exhaustion quicker than those who start their workouts with a rested mind.
Physiologists at Bangor University believe that post-work stress gives people the perception that exercise is more strenuous even though being exhausted after work did not actually affect your muscles. But this perception did actually prevent people from exercising so vigorously and could lead to chronic fatigue syndrome.
‘People with chronic fatigue report that they lack energy and experience ‘brain fog‘, just like the mentally fatigued participants in this study,’ Dr Samuele Marcora told The Telegraph.
The Bangor scientists came to their conclusions after 16 volunteers were asked to exercise on a bike, both when their mind was well rested and when it had been taxed with 90 minutes of mentally fatiguing work.
Participants stopped exercising on average 15 per cent earlier when they were mentally fatigued.
The study suggests that it would be wise for athletes and stressed workers alike to train when their minds are fresh although Dr Marcora stressed that any exercise was still beneficial.