Allostatic load is the sum of all your life stressors. When the load is too low, there is no impetus for growth or development. When the load is too high for too long, health problems arise as the body and mind struggle to deal with the prolonged exposure to stress.
How does this relate to fitness and personal training?
Low allostatic load is no good. For most people, stagnation only leads to depression and anxiety. So seek out difficulty. Seek out physical stress. Take a moment to feel proud when you grow stronger and fitter because of it.
High allostatic load is no good either. Remember, allostatic load is the sum of all your life stressors. Things like workplace drama, family issues, or the fear of driving in Richmond are all considered stressors and contribute to negative health outcomes. When physical stress (i.e. exercising hard) is introduced into a person’s life, all other stressors must be taken out of the equation, or reduced, in order to see continuous physical improvements. This is why it is absolutely imperative that a proper workout regimen be paired with other lifestyle changes (e.g. getting adequate sleep, eating right, leaving an argumentative/toxic workplace). The results of the workout regimen depend on it!
Control the negative stressors. Stand up to your abusive boss, take the first step to smoking cessation, limit your consumption of processed foods. Then add in as many positive stressors as you can tolerate. Wake up early and crush it in the gym every day. See how your life changes.
Pat Koo – Personal Trainer at Crux Fitness Richmond