H@#% Yes! New Study Says Swearing Boosts Your Workouts
Your favorite expletive has a measurable impact on power and strength.
When you’re on the treadmill, challenging your body, driving your physique to extremes, and smashing previous records, sometimes you can’t help but burst out an expletive to express just how amazing you feel. But, you never feel good about it. After all, cursing isn’t exactly something that people consider civilized or genteel, especially when in public places.
According to a new study published in the Journal of Psychology of Sports and Exercise, however, it looks like your body’s natural inclination to swear during an intense workout is not for nothing. The study, conducted by Dr. David K. Spierer of LIU Brooklyn and Dr. Richard Stephens of Keele University, found that participants who swore showed a 4.6 percent increase in initial power during a 30-second stationary bicycle test, and an 8.2 percent increase in a separate test of maximum hand grip strength.
“Swearing appears to be able to bring about improvements in physical performance that may not be solely dependent on a stress response arising out of the shock value of the swearing,” Dr. Stephens said. “We know that swearing appears to be handled in brain regions not usually associated with language processing. It is possible that activation of these areas by swearing could produce performance improvements across many different domains…Cursing may allow people to shut down their inhibitions and somewhat veil the effort and the pain of this really difficult task.”
In this way, Spierer said, “using swear words might be helpful in any circumstance where muscle strength and a sudden burst of force or speed, is required.”
Now, as always, the study has some limitations. Researchers noted that swearing did not appear to affect heart rate, which “makes it unclear whether these results are due to an alteration of sympathovagal balance or an unknown mechanism.”
But if it effing feels good, then why not? And for more great advice, know these 25 Great Instant Mood Boosters.
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