The pros and cons of running naked

Back when I was still a beginning nudist, I often thought of things I can and can’t do in the nude. One of the things I put in the “can’t” category was running. I always thought that, well, things would start flapping around uncontrollably, if you know what I mean.

To my utter surprise several years later, when I ran naked for the first time out of sheer urgency rather than need, nothing flapped around. I didn’t realize it immediately (and I completely forgot why I simply had to run), but as I was slowing down, I realized that something was very odd. I expected something would happen, but it didn’t.

The thing is – and I can only speak for men here – when a naked person starts running – whether out of urgency or not – the penis simply shrinks to a very optimal size so that the fact that it is flapping is barely visible and cannot even be felt. This is in stark contrast to what I was expecting – something like hanging a plastic bag with – say – a beer bottle in it, onto a mechanical bull and switching it (the bull) on – something’s bound to go wrong at some point.

That said, I now don’t even care about running unless I can do it naked. Since I also like to go barefoot and I can’t really go running barefoot for a significantly increased risk of injury, I got myself a pair of Vibram Fivefinger Bikilas.

At the time of writing, my Bikilas were being soaked and about to be dumped into a washing machine.
At the time of writing, my Bikilas were being soaked and about to be dumped into a washing machine.

Yeah, they’re pretty dirty now, but just wait until after I get these babies out of the washing machine. I’d photograph them clean, but you’d just think they’re brand new.

In any case, I’m at a serious advantage when it comes to running naked, because I basically have a track in my backyard (I’d invite other naked runners to join me, but there aren’t any in my area). It’s not a real running track, but it’s good enough, being 600 meters (656 yards) full circle. When the dark falls, I can run all night in the middle of the village I live in, wearing nothing but my bikilas.

But why would I do that? Well, besides the normal advantages of running, such as health and – in my case – keeping my blood pressure in check (though, I’ve noticed that when I run naked my blood pressure is even better than when I run clothed), there are many other advantages. So, here they are, the pros and all the cons (two and by a stretch) I can think of:

Pros:

  • Everything that draws you to being naked in the first place, running or not.
  • Your sweat really works for you – as it evaporates you really do feel cooler, whereas running clothed completely undermines the whole process.
  • You don’t sweat as much when it’s colder, while it’s normal to sweat under your clothes, which then stick to your skin and you risk catching a cold as your sweat soaks your clothes in cold weather.
  • Your shirt (or undershirt – I always hated those) doesn’t bleed your sweating nipples since you’re not wearing either.
  • Your body hair doesn’t get stuck in the fabric (ouch!).
  • Your clothes don’t chafe your thighs, underarms, or groin. Rubbing skin on skin doesn’t cause chafes as bad as skin on fabric on skin.
  • Because there’s nothing interfering with your body’s natural mechanisms of maintaining body temperature, you’ll feel very comfortable while running (except for the normal discomforts of running, like fatigue) in a wide range of weather conditions.
  • You don’t waste your money on high-tech fabrics whose makers and sellers claim they’re like second skin because of how well they “transfer moisture” and whatnot (that’s what my first skin is for, thank you very much).

Cons:

  • There’s always the risk of being seen, laughed at and whatever. It would be no wonder if your shriveled genitalia (which are perfectly normal when running, but people who are ashamed of their bodies aren’t likely to know that) became the main laughing matter for some days.
  • If you’re a woman, your breasts will shake wildly. I can’t tell how much of a problem that is, but apparently it is, so if you’re not shy to share, then do so in the comments.

I tried very hard to think of more cons, but I simply can’t. Running naked simply beats running clothed in every possible way.

So what are you waiting for? Strip down and get running!

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23 comments

  1. Agree totally! Almost every work lunch break I do a nude run/hike (if I’m sure nobody is around) along a very rough bush track to a creek, have skinny dip and sunbake then run back to my car and back to work.

    The only con for me is I sometimes stub my toes on rocks as I’m barefoot…. I’ve not tried the vibram type shoes yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Nudeyman! I’m glad you like the article.

      If you can run barefoot on your trail, chances are you don’t need vibrams. They are great for protecting your feet from cuts and chafe against the surface, but they won’t protect you from hitting anything larger than a pebble. The sole is very flexible and it’s almost like running barefoot – you’ll feel everything under your feet – and the fingers are separated so stuff can squeeze in between and they’ll hurt if you hit something. I use them because running barefoot is not an option where I’m running. The road is littered with small, sharp rocks and sometimes tiny pieces of glass and I really don’t want to cut my feet or otherwise injure myself. Protection from those kinds of injuries and the feeling very close to that of being barefoot are the two qualities I value highly in these shoes, but if I knew I could, I’d run barefoot any day.

      Cheers!

      Like

      • Mmm yes my track is definitely not barefoot friendly, it is a hiking track along a river with logs to leap over and rocks to hop on… ‘I used to do this walk (naked when possible) when I was a teenager and I never wore shoes so my feet were very tough and calloused..

        Now age 47 I’m getting back to my roots and getting my feet tough again…. but sometimes stubbing toes/breaking toenails and getting glass cuts, I’ve tried sandals as well as soft shoes but they tend to make me injure myself more as the sandals get caught on foliage and trip me and the shoes don’t grip the rocks as well as my bare feet do.

        I think that maybe I should seriously check out those vibrams though 😉

        Here’s a video from one of my lunch runs: http://youtu.be/8UuepByBy00?list=UUFLe_2nCHwqSXW7ILL27DaA

        As you can see it’s pretty hardcore! it takes the average person about 30mins to walk this track (1.25km ) and I run it in 13mins LOL

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hey, nudeyman, those are awesome! And yeah, your track is pretty hard core. Mine is asphalt, but I run after dark to make sure I’m not seen (pretty hard to run naked in the country by day without being seen), so I couldn’t go offroad anyway.

        Yes, I can see how having vibrams will help you there. That’s also a pretty good terrain to build up the muscles in your feet and around ankles and that’s another thing vibrams are great for.

        By the way, was that RunKeeper in the background? I use it too, it’s really great.

        Cheers!

        Like

      • Yes thats Runkeeper.. Been using it since 2011 and I have logged 452 activities with a total of 1574km… Most of which are hiking and the 2.5km luncbreak hike being the the main one.

        I love Runkeeper, it inspires you to go harder:faster etc 🙂

        Its become. An obsession!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I cannot agree more with you Nikolai. I too run naked with Vibram 5 fingers or normal running shoes, and nothing comes close to it. I would add an additional benefit of running naked, and it’s in the rain. Running in the rain with soaking clothes is really unpleasant. But running in the rain naked is delicious. I wrote an article on my blog on this (in French though). And yes, running naked is a complete happiness.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, marc!

      I’ve never tried running naked in the rain, so I couldn’t put it on my list as either a pro or con, but I can see how it could be a pro. Sadly, though, I can’t read French. I’ll try to Google Translate your article.

      Cheers!

      Like

  3. Reblogged this on My Naturism Blog and commented:
    I think it’s a shame that there aren’t more opportunities (or conversely, less potential penalties) for nude exercise. I’m not saying it would solve obesity or prevent diabetes, but it would engage a lot more people with much greater regularity, myself included.

    Like

  4. I used to run ten kilometres at daybreak on Sunday mornings, along a surfcasting beach in New Zealand, and under those conditions, the genitals certainly do shrink up. But I have also deliberately tried running with a spongy semi-erect penis and its not painful at all even though it flaps and bounces around. I think we are lucky compared to women, as I know running without a bra is painful for ample-breasted women. Those of us who live in Australasia are fortunate, because of the low overall population density and large national parks, to be able to find places to run nude out of sight.

    Like

    • Haha, I meant your genitals would shrink if they were flaccid. I don’t recommend running around with an erection (or semi-erection, for that matter). That’s just for situations which aren’t for people who respect their (and other’s) vows, if you know what I mean. XD

      Like

  5. I second this post – running naked makes so much sense, and in fact this is what actually shaped humans as a species to a large extent:http://activenaturists.net/2012/07/31/running-nude-the-most-human-form-of-exercise/
    And I also like to run barefoot or in “barefoot” shoes. I posted about it in my blog too: http://activenaturists.net/2012/08/02/running-barefoot-and-vibram-barefoot-shoes-review/
    Special thanks for your personal story on shrinkage 🙂 Too many guys have a false and ridiculous (self-flattering?) idea that they could hurt their hips by their swinging penis or would lose balance because of that, if they ran naked 😀

    Like

  6. Ironically shrinkage was a big reason why the last thing I’d want to do is run naked. I guess you are right though, the worst thing that could happen is someone points and laughs…

    I really like having the reduced friction from compression shorts though. Petroleum jelly or body glide can probably make up the difference though…

    Like

    • Well, you can rest assured that you won’t get any laughs from me. 🙂 I think other nudists won’t laugh either. People who will laugh simply don’t know how the human body works, having never actually seen it, and that’s tragic.

      When it comes to compression shorts, I’m sure they do wonders, but I hate them for the same reason I hate anything else that tries to tear off my body hair, but never really does because it is sadistic by nature.

      Like

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