How smiling could improve your athletic performance

If you consider yourself an athlete, there are bound to be a lot of techniques you have in order to improve your performance. All athletes, even the hobbyists, look for ways of improving their performance and making themselves better, faster, stronger. Pushing yourself that bit more is great for your health, but it’s also great for the mental aspect of your fitness.

There are a lot of things we already know can improve performance, such as changing diets, getting rest, and having the right equipment. However, there are some things that can have a hugely positive impact on your athletic performance that you never would have considered before. One of the major one is smiling, and we’re going to look a little closer at how this can be so effective.

Grinning mid-race

You may occasionally be watching a really grueling race on the TV, and see some lunatic athlete grinning midway through. What’s wrong with them?! Well, actually, nothing (probably), but, it is proven that grinning in the middle of a race can actually be hugely beneficial for athletes. It can actually result in relaxing muscles and helping to boost performance significantly. Extensive tests and studies were carried out and found that runners who smiled were 3% more efficient than they normally would have been.


Scientists have determined from studies that one of the ways in which smiling can help improve performance is because it relaxes muscles, reducing muscular tension, and thus can give that extra boost to runners. However, they also determined that the smiles had to be genuine, fake smiles would not yield the same outcome. This is perhaps to do with the fact that the body and mind interlink and the brain knows when a smile is genuine, so it helps the body to react differently.

Relaxation is the key

Another factor involved in this is that fake smiles do not work nearly as many facial muscles in the body as real smiles do. As a result, the impact and effect is much smaller and will not have anywhere near the same kind of benefit. Your body cannot be tricked with things like this so you will need to make sure you are genuine about it. Relaxing is actually the key to boosting performance, and helping your body perform better when you’re exercising.

Using it during a race

Of course, it’s not possible to maintain an authentic smile for an entire race – nobody would be able to manage that. This is why, for the best effect, most scientists suggest that smiling near to the end of a race, preferably in 30-second intervals, is the best way of doing things. This will help you maintain authentic smiles, as well as helping to give your body the boost it needs at just exactly the right time.

Smiling might be the last thing you want to do while working out or exercising, but you might be surprised by how effective it can be. Science has shown us that smiling can really improve and boost your athletic performance, and, by the same turn, can benefit your body during everyday exercise as well. Make sure you conjure a memory that makes you smile during your next race, you might be shocked by how effective it can be.