Naked exercise is making a comeback since its ancient history. The Anglo-Saxon word “gym” is a contraction of the Greek word “gymnasion,” which translates into school for naked exercise. Ancient Greeks exercised nude ritually. The dress code for the Ancient Olympic games was only a pottery flask full of oil to grease up with. This helped get dust off the skin.
A perfect example of today’s nude movement would be The World Naked Bike Ride. Tens of thousands of bikers each year take the streets nude in cities worldwide, in a protest against oil dependence and car culture. The event doubles as an unbridled celebration of the nude body. It was founded in 2004 and aims to deliver a vision of a clean and safe body-positive world. The dress code for the event is bare as you dare.
Some find nude exercise to be liberating. A nudist group called Naturist London hosts a popular Sunday Swim event at the University of London swimming pool, with no membership required. “Naked yoga, naked swimming clubs, naked bike rides and naked gym classes all seem to be gaining popularity, with suggested benefits including increased self-esteem and body positivity.”
Yoga always seems to be at the forefront of an exercise trend like this one. The naked yoga practice has been booming in popularity over recent years. There are four-week courses available at Naked Yoga London, which claims that people seem to be able to go much deeper into practice when they are naked. Naked yoga may offer freedom from negative feelings about ones own body, and helps one experience a deeper connection with themself and the surrounding world.
For those who seek a more energetic workout, a London based company called NKD Training provides naked group fitness classes, as well as one on one sessions. They believe it offers the chance to be more in tune with their bodies. Some experts say that naked exercise is beneficial and can boost self-esteem and confidence. The benefits are more psychological than physical.
Psychologist Emma Kenny says that “Being happy with your body begins with a naked one.” And “Being willing to bare all and being unafraid of our bodies can provide a boost to our confidence. People who don’t feel the need to cover themselves up are potentially more self-accepting.” While naked exercise is nothing new, the growing trend seems to be helping some people with their self comfort.