Managing Mental Fatigue


Matt Fuller

Here are some helpful tips from fitness expert, Matt Fuller for managing the stress and fatigue associated with physical exercise and training lifestyles.

Taking time to rejuvenate your mind and body is just as important as the time you take to prepare for a major event. When it comes to physical exercise, recently, after many months of training, I spent 24 hours non-stop on a spin bike for Telethon here in the West. Telethon is an iconic charity that raises millions of dollars each year for varied beneficiaries. For me personally one of the most important of those being the Telethon Kids Institute – a research centre that researches the prevention of infection and diseases and a number of physical and mental conditions associated with children in our communities.

In the months prior to Telethon, my team and I trained up to 4 hours per day with only one rest day per week. During training we would cross train between spin bike, weights, boxing, swimming, and power walking, not to mention plenty of core workouts; all while staying alcohol free and feeling amazing for it.

But it takes a great deal of mental strength and sacrifice to stay focussed and to not allow any negative influence interrupt preparation or affect our goal of completing the 24hrs and raising as much money as possible during that time. This year we had 6 soloists who all fought their own battles mentally and physically to get through the epic challenge along with 12 corporate teams. This totalled around 170 riders over the 24hr period that collectively helped to raise an incredible $150,000 for the sick kids of WA.

After the event the last thing you feel like doing is training, and this becomes a danger period where it would be very easy to become sedentary, unmotivated, eat unhealthy foods and make poor lifestyle choices. These of course would lead to unwanted weight gain and not to mention the negative mental state it places on your wellbeing.

For me setting realistic goals after a major challenge is just as important as the lead up to the event. My week after is about recovery – physio, massage, ice baths, gentle exercise, saunas and spas and plenty of sleep while keeping alcohol to a minimum and having a healthy eating plan. During that week I set goals and surround myself with positive people, because after a long training lead up and an event it’s normal to feel flat, tired and mentally and physically drained.

So after your recovery period, set a training start date and stick to it no matter how hard it is to get motivated and moving again. Then:

  1. Plan your workouts
  2. Plan your rest days
  3. Plan your meals
  4. Get plenty of sleep
  5. Get outdoors and enjoy the parks, beaches and walks in nature.

The more times you’re active you’ll find you become more energised and positive towards your own wellbeing, giving you a great mental and physical clarity throughout your day to day life moving forward.

Your health and fitness is a lifestyle choice. Until next time, 

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Important: This article is general advice only. For further advice or information on this topic, please consult your health professional.

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