Recovery- Peripheral and Central Fatigue
It's important to understand the difference between peripheral and central fatigue when recovering from physical activity and exercise. The causes of fatigue during exercise include factors that reside in the brain, known as central mechanisms and the muscles themselves, peripheral mechanisms.
Peripheral fatigue is where we lose the ability to maintain exercise intensity due to fatigue in the muscular unit. This is why the correct balance of exercising and rest days is so important. In addition, it helps create a positive response for us to feel stronger and fitter.
Peripheral fatigue occurs when we exercise and don't allow our body time to rest and recover. Without recovery days, this can lead to progressive decline, increasing the chances of injuries and potentially putting training to a temporary stop.
It is so important that we make sure to have at least one FULL day to rest and let our bodies recover from the stress you place on our joints and muscles whilst working out and to prevent injuries. It is also essential to stay hydrated during the day and whilst working out!
Central fatigue can occur from prolonged exercise without recovery days and is associated with neurochemical changes in the brain, affecting exercise performance and muscle function.
A common symptom of central fatigue is feeling forgetful or just slow in your thought process.
Overtraining alters the concentration of neurotransmitters in the central nervous system, which alters how your brain communicates with your body. This leads to a negative effect on muscle performance.
Making sure to get plenty of sleep between training sessions is the best way to let your central nervous system fully recover.
Reducing caffeine and alcohol intake will also improve your central fatigue levels.
It is important to know your body and when it needs time to rest. To make the most of your rest days, you could do low-impact exercises such as yoga, Les Mills Body Balance or walking. These activities will help you stay active and allow your body the time it needs to rest.