The advantages of naked exercise are numerous, ranging from the ability to witness your muscle groups functioning to being free from sweaty workout clothes. The obvious disadvantage, however, is that exercising naked is restricted to your own home to avoid offending others or subjecting yourself to embarrassment.
Workouts to Do at Home and in the Buff
Any workout routine can be performed naked. However, there are some exercises that are really enhanced when being done while in the nude. For instance:
- Isometric exercises - Isometric exercises work multiple groups of muscles at the same time and you can see the complete muscle contractions when naked.
- Exercises without machines - Machines cover up parts of your body that you'll likely want to see during a naked routine.
- Full body exercises - These exercises showcase your entire physique and include exercises such as squats, lunges and push-ups.
Naked Exercise in Groups
Not all exercise enthusiasts engage in physical activity naked for the purpose of scrutinizing their physique. For some people, exercising nude is simply a choice they make because they prefer to do most activities without clothes on. The American Association for Nude Recreation is an organization that promotes and hosts recreational activities for nudists in group settings. Whether the participants want to work out at a gym unencumbered by clothing, or if they would prefer to join in a group swimming expedition sans bathing suits, this organization and other similar groups provide that opportunity within a safe environment.
Clothing Optional Gyms
Some gyms in Europe offer alternating workout days that are clothing optional, meaning the members can visit the gym and use the equipment with or without clothing. While some people may be offended by the sight of naked gym members - or, at least, concerned about hygiene matters when naked people use the workout machines - attendees prefer the freedom provided by naked exercise.
Specific Naked Formats
In the United States, a select few yoga studios offer "Naked Yoga," which is a class led by a naked instructor who leads the naked attendees through a series of poses. There are some yoga experts who make the claim that these classes are nothing more than naked stretching classes that merely mimic true yoga. Some experts go so far as to say that naked yoga is contradictory to the basic principals surrounding yoga. Enthusiasts can purchase naked yoga and nude Pilates workout DVDs to practice at home.
Reasons to Work Out Naked
Exercising naked isn't only about feeling free and unencumbered by clothing. For some exercisers, no clothes means a better view of their body at work.
Watch Your Body Work
Serious body builders know the benefit to scrutinizing every part of their body naked in front of a mirror since their bodies will undoubtedly be subject to close examination during competition by judges. Only by closely studying their bodies can these athletes hope to obtain a reliable view of what the judges and audience will see. Other athletes can also benefit from this same periodic scrutiny to their bodies. What better way to watch the way your body functions during exercise than to work out naked in front of a mirror?
Increase Body Awareness and Empowerment
By working out naked, people can learn to accept their bodies and at the same time see every part of their body improve over time. Many naked exercisers say this is an incredibly empowering experience. After all, one way for people to get a realistic view of their bodies is to spend time naked in front of a mirror. This can help people accept their bodies as they are, and can teach them how to marvel at the body's amazing capabilities.
Avoiding Body Dysmorphia
The mirror helps give people a realistic view of their body. It is a different matter when someone becomes so obsessed with their appearance that they spend a great deal of time naked in front of a mirror, exercising because they are desperate to change the image they see in the reflection. When exercising naked in front of a mirror becomes a compulsion, it may be time to seek help from a qualified therapist or other health professional.
Obstacles to Working Out in the Nude
There are obviously some obstacles for those who wish to take part in naked exercise. The main one is a place to work out. In America, most people are limited to working out in the privacy of their own home. Most Americans trying naked workouts for the first time would only consider this option. However, using a home gym poses its own set of challenges and benefits. To get the full benefits of naked workouts and to be able to see your body completely, you'll need a large mirror installed in your home gym.
Now if you're a bit more adventurous and wish to work out with others who are naked, you'll run into some trouble finding a place to do this in the U.S. While several hip European gyms are implementing one "naked day" a week, American gyms remain much more modest.
For naked athletes who prefer to engage in sporting activities, the need for protective gear still remains despite the lack of clothing. A game of naked rugby or naked baseball could result in substantial injuries if the participants shun protective gear. In other words, while exercising without clothing may allow some participants to feel freer, they should still make an effort to wear the proper gear when engaging in exercise that involves a fair amount of risk.
Avoiding Injury and Legal Issues
Most nudist resorts provide the proper protective gear to exercise participants. If you find yourself involved in a naked sporting event outside the confines of a nudist resort, you should make sure you have protective gear. Remember, naked exercise should only be performed in the privacy of your own home or at a licensed facility that allows for the practice to avoid legal charges stemming from exhibitionism on public property.
Try It Out
A naked workout may not be for everyone, but if you decide to try it you'll most likely reap a few good benefits that most other exercisers will never experience. Consider trying a few routines at home and then if you really enjoy the feeling of working out in the nude and want to take it to the gym, check listings for organizations that arrange for naked workouts and meet other adventurous exercisers like you.