Your dirty mouth could just be the ticket to a hard body in no time! Ok, let’s not exaggerate here; truth be told, new research reveals that muscle strength and stamina can be boosted during your workout by swearing with all of your might!
Psychologists tested volunteer fitness buffs by having them curse before an intense workout session on a stationary bicycle and before squeezing a device that measures hand grip strength. Low and behold, swearing led to substantial improvement in performance in both experiments when compared to letting out non-offensive language.
So what does this all mean for the rest of us?
Dr. Richard Stephens, the lead author of the study, had this to say:
“We know from our earlier research that swearing makes people more able to tolerate pain. A possible reason for this is that it stimulates the body’s sympathetic nervous system - that’s the system that makes your heart pound when you are in danger.”
“If that is the reason, we would expect swearing to make people stronger too, and that is just what we found in these experiments.”
In the initial experiment, 29 volunteers (average age of 21) pedaled vigorously on an exercise bike for 30 seconds while repeating a swear word or a non-offensive word. Scientists discovered that peak strength was boosted by an average of 24 watts by cursing!
The second experiment had 52 volunteers (of about the same age) endure tests of hand grip strength. Once again, the individuals were asked to swear or say a less emotionally charged neutral word. Yep, you guessed it… swearing boosted grip strength by about 2.1 kilograms.
“Swearing seems to be a form of emotional language. Perhaps it’s the emotional effect of the words that leads to the distraction, but this is just speculation at the moment.”
So what is the moral of the story? You have every right to swear your heart out as you pump it up next time at the gym! That is, as long as those around you don’t mind your foul mouth.