No, no we aren’t talking about that huge wheel of Gouda you have stashed in the back of your fridge. We’re talking about flashing those pearly whites! In addition to spreading holiday cheer, it turns out that spreading a smile across your face can actually help make your workout more powerful.
While you’re working out, you’re probably working hard. And we know this can be pretty intense and even pretty painful, depending on the exercise! Recently, though, a study that was published in Psychology of Sport and Exercise followed 24 men and women throughout their exercise regimes. These long-term recreational runners were asked by the researchers to randomly smile or frown as they worked out.
Though you’d think gritting your teeth and putting on your game face might help you push through that last set of push-ups or pyramids, the research concluded just the opposite. The runners who flashed bright smiles as they ran had superior performance overall.
Think it sounds silly? We promise, it’s more than placebo effect. Just listen to the Kenyan marathon runner Eliud Kipchoge! He told the Times that letting a natural smile reduce his muscular tension helped increase his performance and win him his fastest race time ever.
So what’s the moral of the story? Turn that frown upside down. And you’ll turn out the best performance you can give.