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Active Matters

Apr 01 2012

Put it away – it’s gone 12 o’clock.

by Nigel Pollard

Ok, we admit our nude “Freedom Fitness” classes weren’t entirely serious (check the date). But no matter what Dr Paolo Firl says, Virgin Active Health Clubs are the most fun you can have with your clothes on. Missed the joke - read it here.

That’s right – the people who go in for Virgin Active Freedom Fitness do it without a stitch on.

But it’s not just an excuse for titillation among the treadmills – there’s sound scientific reasoning behind dropping the gym clothing. As our company physiotherapist Paolo Firl, explains:

“My team and I studied long and hard the effects of a strenuous workout on the body, and we found that no matter how much effort the people in our gyms and classes were putting into their activity, they still weren’t reaching their optimum potential. The figures we scrutinized demonstrated this.

“We came to the inevitable conclusion that what was stopping our exercisers achieve their full objective was the clothes they were wearing. Eliminate those, and we found you eliminate the problem. We investigated workouts in the nude, and the results were eye-popping.”

Not only do clothes restrict movement, Paolo and his team discovered that no matter how loose or aerated, clothes can’t help but restrict the flow of air over the skin and prevent the evaporation of perspiration. Any fabric – natural or man-made – interferes with the body's own temperature control mechanisms.

It’s not only physical health that is improved by exercising in the nude. Our team discovered that working out in the buff also leads to improved mental and emotional welfare. Without the encumbrance of clothing, the blood circulation of the skin and nerve endings is unimpeded, which gives an overall feeling of well-being.

And the beauty of this approach is more than skin deep. People who have embraced Freedom Fitness are liberated from hang-ups about having the latest gym gear or the ‘right’ logos on their kit’ they are no longer labelled by the size signalled on what they wear. It seems that when we shed our clothes, we also lose a shed-load of anxieties.

Plus, when fitness fanatics go naked, they also go green. Think of the environmental savings of having no kit to wash after a sweaty session in the gym.

Freedom Fitness has been trialled in a number of Virgin Active Health Clubs, and has proved such a success with members that it is now being rolled out in every club from 01/04/12.

Anyone who wants to experience a new (or should that be ‘nude’?) way of working out is invited to come as they are.