Have you ever felt uplifted by a clear, blue sky? Have you dined in a dark, intimate restaurant? If so, chances are that you understand how colors can affect your mood. But this concept doesn’t just apply to our environment. Sure, a room painted red might get you all fired up and energized, but is this the same for activewear? The short answer is yes, colorful activewear can change your workout psychology. But how exactly does this happen? Let’s look at the science behind the principle of color psychology and how you can take advantage of the data to get the most out of your activewear.
Behind the Science
What is color psychology? While it might sound like some hokey nonsense, color psychology is the study of the way that colors influence our perceptions, moods, and vibes.
Color psychology isn’t a new concept. In fact, psychologists and marketers have been studying the psychology of color for a while. The Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung was one of the very first scientists to explore color psychology. His research in color psychology lead him to pioneer the practice of art therapy – which is often used to help people cope with trauma and stress disorders.
Color Your Mood
While there are some generally accepted principles of color psychology, the science is still rather subjective. Individual perceptions of color vary by gender, age, and even culture. For example, while brides in Western cultures typically wear white dresses as a symbol of purity, some Eastern cultures view the color white as a color of mourning. Talk about polar opposites!
There are a few broad, rules of thumb when it comes to color psychology. Here’s the breakdown that many psychologists follow:
- Red – Bold, energized, excited
- Orange – Cheerful, friendly, confident
- Yellow – Optimistic, clarity, warmth
- Green – Peaceful, healthy
- Blue – Harmony, peace, strength
- Purple – Creative, wise, imaginative
- Grey – Balanced, calm, neutral
Warm tones tend to energize and excite. If you’re feeling unmotivated or sluggish, a warm tone like red or yellow might help give you the (psychological) kick that you need. On the other hand, cool tones, like blues and greens, can bring a sense of peace and calmness. If you’re getting ready to do some yoga after a long, stressful day at work, try putting on a calming light blue or earthy green to get you in that downward dog mood.
Boost Your Performance with Colorful Activewear
Okay, okay. If perceptions of color can influence your mood, what does this mean for your workout? Well it turns out that color psychology can also play a measurable role in physical performance. In the 2004 Olympics, teams with red uniforms tended to perform more aggressively had a higher chance of winning. Blue has recently become one of the most popular colors for team uniforms because studies show that it might help promote creative thinking and a team-oriented attitude. Regardless of which color you opt for, the trends show that color psychology plays a demonstrated role in athletic performance.
That’s because performing your best isn’t just about physical ability. Even if you’re in peak condition, there will still be days when you don’t perform as well as others. While many different factors go in to how well we perform, mood is one of the most influential factors.
And that’s precisely why it’s important to understand the role that color psychology plays in activewear and physical performance.
Have you ever felt more confident for an interview after putting on a power suit? That’s because the clothes that you choose are symbolic. When you put on your favorite leggings or your favorite tank, it can affect your performance because you feel better. You’re essentially subconsciously tricking your brain into feeling a certain way because of the clothes’ symbolic meanings.
Don’t love that yellow vibe? Don’t sweat it.
Everyone is affected differently by colors – it’s not a one size fits all kind of thing. But maybe it’s time to switch up your all black routine. Next time you’re hitting the gym for a sweat sesh, or you’re looking to wind down with some yoga, think about what you’re wearing and grab that colorful activewear – because the color psychology of your activewear may be affecting your mood (and your performance) more than you think.