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Wearing these colours might make you work out better

Worth a shot?

Digital technology means we’re exposed to far more colours than ever before, with hues influencing everything from our purchasing decisions to whether we double tap on Instagram. While ‘colour psychology’ might sound like another wellness buzzword, scientists have proven that observing colour does have a physiological impact. Sure, its effects are mostly subconscious, but colour is even being used by sports psychologists as a performance technology, along with more traditional things like training and nutrition.

Can the shade of your yoga pants really impact your work out? And how might colour’s in-built triggers help you harness your body’s biological response? For SS21, innovative colour system Coloro has worked with sister company WGSN’s trend forecasters to pinpoint five key shades, the result of years of research, which they predict to make a big impact in the world of wellness.

For pre-workout preparation, look to green – in cool and calm pastels rather than fluoro brights (Coloro’s shade is called ‘Quiet Wave’). According to them, green’s medium wavelength makes it a soothing colour for the eye to absorb, creating a futuristic-feeling detachment that will help you mentally prepare for the wild ride of a Friday night spin class.

The Experience Design research group at the University of Leeds “found a small effect of coloured light on heart rate and blood pressure: red light does seem to raise heart rate, while blue light lowers it.” So if you want focus, go for ‘A.I. Aqua’ blue. Long a favourite for A.I. software and virtual platforms, the shade can potentially accelerate post-stress relaxation ahead of a heavy session. 

It won’t come as a surprise that saturated, blood cell-red hues can trigger the fight-or-flight reflex – and even possibly power peak performance for a burst of cardio. What’s more, wearing red (Coloro’s is ‘Oxy Fire’) during your workout could harness both biological benefits and cultural ideas of success; a 2005 Durham University study found that referees rank red-wearing players as winners 55% of the time, regardless of their performance.

More of a wildcard: how about ‘Lemon Sherbet’, to make the most of the endorphin rush that follows? According to WGSN, the feel-good shade apparently supports feelings of wellbeing to keep you surfing that euphoria all the way home from the gym. For recovery, Coloro recommends warm neutral grey (‘Good Grey’) – a counterbalance to the stimulus of more vivid tones. It’s both grounding and relaxing, with a hint of blue that they say is rebalancing for the brain. 

These recommendations stem from various studies and research, while Coloro’s intuitive and accurate system of 3,500 shade swatches is designed to help designers work better with colour – with access to sister company WGSN’s forecasting and analytical insights for added benefit.

Colour Psychology is still an emerging field, but in an era when 0.04 of a second is all that separates 1st and 2nd place, we’re willing to hedge our bets for the sake of a personal best.

Sign up here to join Coloro, WGSN, and special guests for their five key colours SS21 webinar on Thursday 4th April.