Skip Nav

A Quick Way to Improve Workouts

This Simple Action Will Turn Any Workout Into an Epic One

Sasha DiGiulian knows a lot about conquering fear. She's been rock climbing since the age of six, and in 2012, Sasha became the the first US woman and the youngest female in the world to climb 5.14d. In climber speak that is hard — excruciatingly hard. To this day, there are very few climbers — men or women — who can say they've done a climb of such difficulty.

I had a chance to see the Adidas athlete speak on a Future/Fit panel at SXSW, where she discussed the pressures of competing on a professional level and the lessons the everyday athlete, like you and I, can take from her own trials and tribulations. A week later, I keep going back to a specific tip she offered the audience. Similar to having a mantra that powers you through a workout, Sasha's ritual is something all of us can do when exercising and, really, in any difficult situation.

"The last thing I do before leaving the ground — whether it's 100 feet or 1,000 feet — is I smile," Sasha said. "That puts me in the zone to perform well. Even if smiling isn't your go-to, find what does put you there and create a habit of it."

Sasha's tip goes well beyond a fake-it-till-you-make-it trick. Several studies have shown that a smile is one of the most powerful tools we have in our arsenal. A forced smile can almost instantly improve your mood, decrease stress, and over time, change your tendency to have negative thoughts.

The next time you're headed into the gym, are faced by a daunting long run, or are just wanting to give up, try smiling. It may feel terribly forced and cheesy, but it's likely you'll go into your workout feeling better than you did one minute prior. Excuse us while we swap out our pre-workout smoothie with a smile.

More from POPSUGAR
From Our Partners
Peloton Instructors Share Their Beyoncé Series Outfits
Should I Double Up on My Workout If I Miss 2 Days?
HOKE ONE ONE TenNine Hike Gore-Tex Boots Review
10-Minute Cardio Workout to Do When Bloated From Blogilates
How to Transition From Downward Dog to Lunge
Grease Dance Cardio Workout Video From Kyra Pro
No-Equipment Stair Workout For Cardio and Strength
Full-Body Adaptive Seated Yoga Flow in a Chair
Indoor Walking Workout Videos on YouTube
Live Workouts on POPSUGAR Fitness's Instagram, Week of 11/23
Ab and Glute Workout to ABBA's "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!"
The Best 30-Minute HIIT Workouts on YouTube
Latest Health & Fitness