HOT TOPICS: Nudity for Sport - Why public nude swimming is good for your confidence

GMS

Across the UK there are various naturist swimming pools, where you can swim amongst other naked people.

Before you completely rule it out, consider the positive impacts that nude swimming may have on your self-confidence.

A recent scientific study has shown that people who are naked in a social setting have higher self-esteem than the rest of the population;

  • General relaxation and relief;
  • An escape from the repression of modern, daily life;
  • You have more skin (all of it, in fact) exposed to sunlight and, therefore, more Vitamin D – a vitamin recognised at government level as so significantly lacking for the majority of people in the UK that it is the only supplement nationally recommended; 
  • When you swim naked, there is no soggy fabric sticking into every crease, no swimming costumes left getting colder and more uncomfortable the longer out of the water you are and no scratchy material to rub against your skin and irritate it;
  • Your naked skin also dries much quicker;
  • Think of the all-over suntan!;
  • Being naked in the company of others helps our perceptions of what constitutes a healthy body – we’re all very different and subscribing solely to mediated images is very unhealthy.

According to the D.C.-based nonprofit the National Sleep Foundation, to have a regular sleep schedule and sleep comfortably, your body needs to reach an optimal temperature of around 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

"Going naked is great for healthy skin," plastic surgeon and skincare expert Dr Michael Fiorillo told us. "It helps the elimination of sweat toxins that clothing can reintroduce to the body and better overall blood circulation."

In our society, women face many unrealistic beauty standards. These standards have a lasting impact that leads them to other forms of surgery to achieve the body beauty society approves of. Whatever that is.

Marathon Swimming - Tokyo 2020 Test Event

Why is this an issue to the point that many people find it so uncomfortable to talk about swimming naked? Some fitness centres have even gone as far as having only female swimming sessions to help some women feel comfortable in their skin.

Perhaps these sessions are an opportunity to embrace their body as it is and help them gain confidence. But the question really should be about, why have we let society influence us so much?

"Spending time in the nude is a great way to get in touch with your body," said Dr Jenn Mann - relationship expert and creator of the "No More Diets" app.

"Most people in today's society are so disconnected from bodily sensations, and this could help."

Dr Mann believes more time naked can help women battle body image issues. "Being in the nude reduces shame," she added. "You can work on self-acceptance, and that can be very healing."

Personally, the thought of taking part in any public activity naked is terrifying. Maybe we should challenge ourselves to experience it and step out of our comfort zone.

What would happen, if as a black woman, I decided that this is something I wanted to try for the health benefits of swimming naked?

I would most probably enjoy it because it would be something new for me. This is something within my community; we don't tend to explore much. But we have to start somewhere, and it begins with you.

Why not challenge yourself before the summer is over to go out and try it? In London, Energybase Gym holds a two-hour swimming session each Sunday. We might even go and try it with our GiveMeSport Women team as part of our health kick this year and let you know how it goes. But why not try it?

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