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The Journal of Happiness Studies published a report earlier this year on the psychological benefits of baring all: “More participation in naturist activities predicted greater life satisfaction—a relationship that was mediated by more positive body image and higher self-esteem.”
Researchers found that getting naked with friends (or strangers) in a non-intimate setting led to an exposure to a wide range of body types that had two values: seeing others and being seen. An increase in nudist activities (the report mentions the increase in World Naked Bike Rides and says a quarter of all Britons have participated in a naturist activity) has been contributing to a more positive image, but this research found empirical evidence to support baring all.
If you’re considering eschewing all running gear, you might be surprised to learn that there are quite a few naked races! The Caliente Bare Dare 5K in Florida and the Bare Burro Nude 5K in California are both clothing optional.