Excessive exercise can certainly have an effect on the body: tired and sore muscles, tensions and even injuries can result from overtraining. But, can too much exercise also have a debilitating effect on the mind?
The answer is … possibly.
A study published today in Current Biology indicates that excessive athletic training can cause mental fatigue in addition to physical fatigue.
The study analyzed the training load in triathletes. He found reduced activity in the part of the brain that is vital for decision making.
Overtraining syndrome, as the study calls it, is a form of exhaustion. In endurance athletes, exhaustion is defined by an inexplicable performance drop associated with intense exhaustion.
The researchers who conducted the study aimed to demonstrate that physical training overload shares a link with the form of fatigue demonstrated after intense mental work.
The athletes in the study acted more impulsively in subsequent decision-making tests, opting for instant gratification rewards instead of goals that would take longer to achieve.
The study determined that this is because both sports training and excessive cognitive work affect the same region of the brain, the lateral prefrontal region.
“The” overtraining syndrome “that causes decreased cognitive abilities makes sense,” said Dr. Elan Goldwaser, a sports medicine specialist at New York-Presbyterian / Columbia and his Sports Performance Institute.
“In fact, overtraining does more than contribute to temporary cognitive fatigue. “Exaggerating” can also cause many other health effects. A whole panel of abnormalities can affect the body by overtraining, and the brain is no exception, ”he said.
What is overtraining?
There is no single definition of overtraining. All people are different. That said, there is a way to determine what one overtraining per person could be.
“When you begin to feel fatigued during exercise, that is, out of breath or have difficulty thinking, speaking or ordering your thoughts, it is important to slow down and take a break,” said Dr. Robert Glatter, assistant professor of medicine at Emergency at Lenox Hospital Hill, Northwell Healthcare. “These are early signs that it is important to reduce the scale and be easy with yourself.”