Putting group fitness classes in the proper light

Mon May 20, 2013 2:03am EDT
 
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Fitness experts are shining a new light on group classes from Zumba to yoga because they believe the right lighting can transform the four walls of a fitness studio from a dance party to a meditation space, and back again.

"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."   Continued...

 
People practice Zumba during a meeting in Rimini, central Italy May 11, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer