What Happens To Your Body When You Go Skinny Dipping

For some, the thought of going skinny dipping sounds like nothing more than a "truth or dare" ultimatum at a high school party. For others, taking a dip in the nude is a celebrated wellness practice. It has earned itself a spot on the National Day Calendar, with International Skinny Dip Day coming around every July. As it turns out, skinny dipping has a number of physical and mental health benefits. To better understand these benefits, let us first debunk a few common myths about the practice.

According to the Volonte Science and Medical Advisory Board, the act of swimming nude is about embracing freedom and self-love, as opposed to the widely-held belief of it being a sexual act. It is not an invitation to stare at or photograph others without their permission. While environments, such as nude beaches, provide a communal space for this practice, it can also be practiced as a solo activity.

The act of skinny dipping engages both the mind and body, so in what ways does this form of nakedness benefit our health?

The physical and mental benefits of skinny dipping

Skinny dipping allows the sun's rays to hit every part of our body. As a result, our skin is soaking in a hefty helping of vitamin D. Even just a quick 15-minute dip can boost immunity far more than any supplement can (via Volonte). Not to mention, vitamin D also does wonders for brain and bone function while enhancing quality of sleep (via Brooklinen). Additionally, sweat is completely released without the hindrance of tight clothing, allowing toxins to be fully flushed from the body.

In addition to physical benefits, the wellness benefits of skinny dipping also extend into one's mental and emotional health. A 2017 review published in the Journal of Happiness Studies found that engaging in nude recreational activities had a positive impact on self-confidence, body image, and quality of life. Nude events hosted in different countries around the world, such as group swims or biking events, demonstrate the public's growing acceptance of public nudity. The review also examined past research regarding the relationship between parental nudity and its effects on children. KIds exposed to parental nudity during childhood were at a lower risk for drug usage and had higher rates of self-acceptance.

Skinny dipping also promotes body positivity within oneself, as well as amongst others, according to Volonte. With so many healing benefits, if comfortable, taking a dip "au-natural" may be worth a try as a form of self-care.