Should you be aiming for personal bests in 2020?

Humans are designed to be able to deal with short lived stresses which go away after a short time. The fight or flight system kicks in for a short period of time, and once the stress is over, we return to rest and digest mode. We can then reset and in some cases the body will make changes to be better and more resilient.
As a fitness coach, allow me to offer exercise as an example of a stressor that allows the body to make cardiovascular, strength, flexibility and mental health improvements, in short lived doses!
What if, as a result of modern life, most people are coping with ongoing stress, with the fight or flight system jammed on all the time?
And what if on top of this, a global pandemic were to come along and for many people brings the stress levels even higher?
I think at the current time we need to change our expectations of what benefits we will get from exercise. It’s important to stay active as one part of keeping the body healthy and giving the immune system the best possible chance to deal with whatever it comes across.
I think we need to prioritise the mental health benefits of exercise at this point over setting personal bests and trying for the most intense workout in the world. After all, the Olympics have been put off until next year!
I’m proud that my clients keep turning up and putting in the best effort they have got on the day, even if they’re finding that the resources they have to spend are a bit more variable than they were prior to interruptions caused by *that* virus. In 2020 given all the rapid changes, uncertainty and stress that people are experiencing, that’s awesome!