How Letting Go of a Grudge Can Improve Your Workout

Forgiving your friends can actually help you workout harder and better, reports new exercise science

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When you finally let go of a grudge you've been carrying, it can feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders. Turns out, this metaphor might be a lot more literal than you thought.

We know the positive effects of letting go of grudges for your emotional well-being. Now, scientists have discovered that forgiveness may actually benefit your physical abilities as well, according to a new paper in Social Psychological and Personality Science. (We know, it's easier than it sounds! Let us help: How Do I Truly Forgive Someone and Move On?)

In two studies, researchers found that people who were primed to think about a time they forgave someone jumped higher (by a difference of 8 centimeters) and perceived hills to be less steep than those induced to feel ‘unforgiveness,' by reflecting on a time they refused to forgive the offender in a conflict. (Want to speed up? Try The Mental Hack for How to Run Faster.)

"These findings suggest that forgiveness may lighten the physical burden of unforgiveness," the study authors concluded.

So, go ahead and forgive! But you don't have to thank your two-faced friend next time you kill it in your plyometrics workout or up the incline on your treadmill and barely feel it!

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