Friday, May 31, 2013

Proper Lighting Optimizes Group Fitness Training

Lighting sets the mood almost everywhere, from a dimly-lit home theatre to a daylight-bright and clean bathroom.  New studies show that variable lighting custom-matched to various fitness training activities can optimize focus and performance.  Bright daylight or bluish light brings the mind into focus, soft dim light relieves stress during yoga training, and spinning classes can eliminate boredom through the look of a starlit sky or pulsing dance club environment.  But the days of one-size-fits-all fluorescent light in an exercise studio are definitely passe.

Hunter Communications Original News Source:
Reuters

Link to article:
Putting Group Fitness Classes in the Proper Light

Excerpt: "'Because of the theatrical nature of group fitness classes, lighting is key to differentiate programming,' said Donna Cyrus, senior vice president of programming at Crunch fitness centers.

Yellow or orange light boosts high-energy workouts, such as rebounding mini trampoline routines, circuit classes or sculpt programs, Cyrus said, while for yoga the light should be soft and soothing.

Lighting also enhances the musical experience, Cyrus said.

In a cycling class, accents of 'club type' lighting pulse to the beat of the music, creating what she calls "a choreographed show."

According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) guidelines, adjustable light sources should be provided in group exercise areas.

Generally, the more hand-eye coordination an activity demands, the more illumination is required, according to Grace DeSimone, national director of group fitness at Plus One Health Management, which designs and manages fitness centers for corporations, hotels and community centers.

'If you're going to be moving around a lot you'll need a lot of light,' DeSimone said. 'You're not going to do a boot camp workout in a dark room.'

But indoor cycling classes often combine high energy and low lighting.

'Spinning goes against the grain,' DeSimone explained. 'You can do some pretty cool things - make the room look like a night-time sky or light a disco ball - because once you're on that bike you're not going anywhere.'

In a multi-purpose fitness room, she said, the lighting has to be able to change based on what's going on.

'With Pilates you want the lights on, but with yoga you can do a lot with colored lights,' she said."

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