Colour can affect your mood and resistance to an exercise routine in ways you may not imagine. Here is my experience…It was after I visited a Sandtex Experience Centre that I discovered the power behind colors. Whether you are a regular at the gym like myself or you are just starting your fitness journey, there would be days you would need all the help you can to pull on your sweats and hit the gym. Pop some color into your workout to keep your fitness program on track. I popped some color in my private gym at home. Let me show what some colors represent:
Blue- Motivates. According to an article on Infoplease weightlifters in blue painted gyms can lift heavier weights. Ever since I painted my gym room a Sandtex Blue Thunder, I have found that it’s easier doing my dumbbell press exercises. Blue is also calming and lowers respiration and blood pressure but it’s also associated with depression.
Pink- Drains energy. My classmate Chinenye who loves wearing pink is always sleeping off.
Yellow- Energizes people and relieves depression. I painted my bedroom walls a Sandtex Lantern Glow which is a yellowish colour.
Red- Excites and raises your heart rate but can refer to violence or danger.
An all-white space is clean, spare and sophisticated but white is the colour of death in Eastern cultures. How about that?
Green- Improves vision. No wonder why when I go to the lecture hall wearing my green shirt, I see the board better.
Orange- I wear a secondary color sometimes which is orange and is dynamic. Sandtex has that beautiful orange crush color which is perfect for painting a game room like mine.
Purple- signifies serenity, I don’t wear purple but it represents spirituality and confidence.
How Your Brain Reacts to Colours
In a study for NeoCon by Kathie Engelbrecht, a Perkins & Will architect analyzing the impact of colour on learning, cited research showing that color affects the cortex and the entire central nervous system. Colour changes levels of alertness and energy and influences moods and mental clarity.
Culture and Context
Indulge me for a moment, western culture assigns common meanings to specific colours for example, road hazard signs and traffic warning lights are yellow and the colour name is slang for “fearful” or “chicken.” It is a good idea to temper the choice for stimulating or soothing colours in an exercise space with respect for the cultural associations that could affect the room’s appeal.
Shades and Saturation
Here’s some more information on the effects of colours on our human emotions: The intensity of a color affects your reaction to it. Brightness and saturation can be motivation enhancing or energy dampening — the same hue can inspire different reactions depending on how it is used. Bright colours tend to reflect light more than duller colors that absorb light for instance, powder blue is brighter than navy. Here are some bright Sandtex colour options for motivation during a workout session: Yellow Duchess, Golden Sun and Chinese green. Saturation on the other hand, refers to the purity of a color, a good example is vivid orange which is more saturated than terracotta. I know what you’re thinking “Mind blowing, right? Here’s some more to really blow your mind. According to Dr. Sally Augustin, an environmental psychologist writing in “Psychology Today,” says bright but not very saturated colors are more appealing and soothing while opposites on the colour wheel such as red and green, create excitement. Big contrasts in saturation and brightness boost energy levels. Neighbors on the colour wheel are relaxing, as are most monochromatic spaces that feature multiple shades of the same color. Monochromatic white or beige, exceptions to the rule, darken moods and create tension.
Red’s Mixed Signals
Red stimulates your muscles to respond faster and more powerfully, according to a 008 research reported in “Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.” However, that positive reaction is offset by the fact that red is a danger cue and other studies have shown that athletes tend to lose against opponents wearing red. This is amazing! No wonder why those Kenyan runners always seem to win in the Olympics. Rochester University’s Motivation Research Group determined that exposure to red before facing a challenge results in a high degree of avoidance behavior because of subconscious negative reactions to the colour. The conflict between the short-term burst of high energy and the ingrained avoidance response indicates that red may not be your best colour for inspiring consistent workout results