Smiling when exercising increases your performance: Study

According to a recent study, if you run with a smile on your dial, you can dial up your performance. Mind over matter? Believe it. 

 

 

I’m fortunate enough to live on a slightly hilly street that winds its way down to a body of water. On this road, there are people who run. On those people are fitness wear and tortured expressions. While they shuffle past my window I feel their pain, and while I eat tiramisu, I can, knowing that the world makes sense.

Physical exertion succckkkss.

Exercise is a laborious task, only made valuable by the drip-feeding of dopamine and smoky glances from strangers at coffee shops. It’s a means to an end, and that means is particularly mean. However, one study refutes the above, promoting the idea that if you smile when you run, you actually increase your performance.

Essentially, that ancient anecdotal battle of mind versus matter is actually legitimate, as physiological factors actually influence cardiovascular fitness, particularly the idea of perceived effort, or how much effort we believe we’re putting into an activity. Simply put, the less effort we feel we’re putting in, the better we believe we’re doing. Unless you’re one of those who has let exercise warp their minds like King Theoden, earnestly believing that a complete flaying of the old you represents progress.

 

In the test, participants were attached to a treadmill and forced to run with a smile on their face. They were also prompted to consciously relax. Because nothing screams relaxation like being forced to run like a lab rat at the risk of electrocution or removal of cheese.

 

In the test, participants were attached to a treadmill and forced to run with a smile on their face. They were also prompted to consciously relax. Because nothing screams relaxation like being forced to run like a lab rat at the risk of electrocution or removal of cheese (citation needed).

Regardless, the results were actually quite something. Those running the study noticed a 2.8% increase in the performance of those who were smiling versus those were allowed to frown. Yes, it’s almost three percent, but in an actual race, actually raced for something, that could mean everything.

Or not.

The point is that it proves the theory of how a positive mental attitude while exercising yields positive results. The above study also indirectly proves the theory of storied mental fitspo trainer, Albert Camus, who regarded the true meaning of life as the enjoyment you glean when you’re being tortured.

 

 

 

 

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