Home Workout Motivation Tips Swearing During Exercise is Good for You

Swearing During Exercise is Good for You

by Shoshana Sue

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The next time you are in the gym and you hear someone shouting out profanities, you might just smile or egg them on because after reading this, you will understand why swearing during exercise should be encouraged.

Scientists recently made a wonderful revelation that uttering some profanities during exercise has a way of making one stronger. According to a study conducted by Dr Richard Stephens of Keele University, swearing makes people more tolerable to pain.

How Swearing During Exercise Makes You Stronger

D. Stephens and his team conducted two experiments. The first one involved 29 participants who were subjected to a short but intense workout on an exercise bike. The other test involved 52 participants who were required to grip a device designed to measure hand strength. In both cases, the participants did the tests before swearing and after swearing.

swearing during exercise

Results indicated that the group on the bikes produced 4.8% more pedal power when using foul language than when not. The other group displayed an increase of 8.2% in strength when strong language was used than when not.

“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 you 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.

“But when we measured heart rate and some other things you would expect to be affected if the sympathetic nervous system was responsible for this increase in strength, we did not find significant changes.

“So quite why it is that swearing has these effects on strength and pain tolerance remains to be discovered. We have yet to understand the power of swearing fully,” Dr Stephens explained.

The study was revealed at the British Psychological Society’s Annual Conference.

So, next time you feel like giving up during exercise just utter a few obscenities.

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29 comments

Robin rue May 9, 2017 - 11:56 am

This is pretty funny. Coming from Massachusetts, there is definitely a lot of swearing that goes on here. We are a bunch of massholes after all.

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Abigail May 9, 2017 - 12:35 pm

Was talking about this with my girlfriend’s mum not that long ago! I definitely agree that it helps! Great post x

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Marcie in Mommyland May 9, 2017 - 2:24 pm

Swearing totally helps with pain. I swore a lot during labor and it was good pain management!

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Kristina May 9, 2017 - 2:54 pm

This is funny! I’ve never heard of this. I swear like a sailor. If I hurt myself or in pain I swear too.

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daniella May 9, 2017 - 4:15 pm

Good because I feel like some days that is all I do when I work out. Haha…especially if I am running a killer hill or I dropped a weight on my foot… (I do this way more than I should.)

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Angela Tolsma May 9, 2017 - 4:40 pm

I usually attend a yoga class, so when someone falls out and you hear them mutter a swear word under their breath but then get back into it, stronger, it always makes me smile. It’s also something I tend to do!

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Bernetta May 9, 2017 - 4:43 pm

This is funny! I am trying to see if I swear during my workouts. I know I grunt alot!! HAHAH!!

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Cassie @ Be Forever Healthier May 9, 2017 - 8:11 pm

Haha great post! Made me laugh! I definitely throw a few under the breath swear words in some of my workouts!

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MELANIE EDJOURIAN May 9, 2017 - 9:07 pm

Well I didn’t expect that. I love that they actually took the time to research it that is hilarious.

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Vicky May 10, 2017 - 5:15 am

Interesting findings. I can’t say I have ever used swear words during exercise but I don’t workout very hard so that is probably why.

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Rhian Westbury May 10, 2017 - 8:17 am

That is so funny, I’d never have thought something like swearing would make any difference. Such a good excuse to get your anger out haha x

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Lynne Harper May 10, 2017 - 9:58 am

My worst time for this is during a pt session lol. It makes me feel instantly better ha. What a great read x

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Jenni May 10, 2017 - 11:51 am

Haha I didn’t know this, I will tell my partner it’s acceptable

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Cindy Ingalls May 10, 2017 - 12:13 pm

I can absolutely say that I have used some foul language during my workouts. It does make me feel better, especially when my body doesn’t want to cooperate or their is someone reminding me to smile.

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katriza May 10, 2017 - 7:11 pm

I swear in general… and quite a lot so swearing during a good exercise would definitely not be out of the ordinary for me but I totally understand where you are coming from!

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Ali - We Made This Life May 10, 2017 - 7:40 pm

This is funny! If I’m working out I usually haven’t got enough breath or energy to say anything, let alone swear!!

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Jenny May 10, 2017 - 7:56 pm

This us hilarious. I am a pretty quiet exerciser but I had a step teacher who swore by yelling during class. She said it burned more calories and was just good for the soul.

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Brandi Puga May 10, 2017 - 8:17 pm

darn straight! I am a swearer at heart and I def need the extra push sometimes to really get IT done! Thanks for the great post!

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Terri Steffes May 10, 2017 - 8:40 pm

I don’t even know what to say! Research sure finds some interesting things! I know I have cussed a bit after getting my tubes taken out after my mastectomies, and yes, I guess it did help!

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reesa May 10, 2017 - 8:42 pm

Well you learn something new everyday!!!!! I do not work out nearly hard enough to swear when I do it!

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CourtneyLynne May 10, 2017 - 10:02 pm

Hahaha interesting and I definitely see how this can be helpful! I will have to remember this next time I’m in the gym.

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Carol Cassara May 11, 2017 - 2:26 am

I think it helps relieve the stress that you’re feeling which makes it awesome. It’s definitely something that people can consider, unless you’re really not comfortable shouting out curse words.

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Nikki May 11, 2017 - 3:24 pm

Haha this is too funny! I am so glad I read this. Now when my husband reprimands me for my potty mouth, I can tell him to shove it haha. This would explain then possibly too how when I hurt myself and I curse and hop around a bit I feel better.

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Jean May 11, 2017 - 5:18 pm

What an interesting experiment! I haven’t worked out in a while but when I used to, i never thought to swear. That’s probably because I don’t tend to swear in public. I guess if it helps though, why not!

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Heather May 11, 2017 - 9:27 pm

I personally feel, for me, swearing is a healthy way to let off some steam without yelling at anyone or looking frustrated. I’m all for quietly swearing your way through the tough stuff!

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Lindsey London Mumma May 12, 2017 - 12:53 pm

Some interesting reasearch here found! But feeling a bit better about it, because I have been known to curse whilst working out from time to time.

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Angela Milnes May 14, 2017 - 1:04 pm

interesting. I have never heard this before. I Don’t swear so i guess i would just have to use angry words.

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Emily Leary June 1, 2017 - 11:13 am

Interesting! I wonder what the threshold is? Hopefully shouting ‘flip’ in the gym will give me the same results!

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Joanna June 1, 2017 - 3:35 pm

That is interesting and now I feel normal for letting a swear out at the gym from time to time, in my body combat class. It actually helps me relax and de-stress, strangely.

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