Personal trainer launches Britain's first nude-exercise class.

A personal trainer has launched Britain's first nude-ercise class where keep fit fanatics work out completely naked.

Former recruitment consultant Helen Smith, 35, led the first circuits-style workout class for ten participants on Saturday evening in Southampton.

The hour-long class, which was attended by people aged between 33 and 70, included jumping-jacks, sit-ups, push-ups and partner work.

It has been described as 'gentle boot-camp style exercise with partner games and teamwork' suitable for all fitness levels.

Ms Smith, who is a British Naturism member, said: 'The main benefit of exercising naked is that you can really see what the instructor is doing in the exercises.

'For example, if you are doing a plank but wearing baggy exercise clothes, it is hard to tell if you have the correct form or not.

'You also don't have to think about washing sweaty gym clothes after the class, and it's a great way to celebrate the body.'

While the class is a nude activity, women can wear sports bras for comfort and participants can wear trainers for some exercises if they wish.

Ms Smith, from Basingstoke, came up with the idea after someone on a forum asked her whether she did nude fitness training.

She said: 'I decided to look into it, and I couldn't find anything else like it. I think I'm offering the first classes like this.

'The focus is to allow people to take part in a normal activity, but naked, so people don't feel they are doing anything unusual.'

She added: 'Participants are required to pre-register by emailing me, and to show ID at the beginning of the class, just for everyone's peace of mind.

'Nothing untoward happens in these classes, and if there was any hint of that then the person responsible would be asked to leave.'

Ms Smith left her job in recruitment two years ago to become a full-time fitness instructor, and she runs various classes and boot camp workouts.

She was inspired to become a naturist two years ago after visiting a nudist beach in France.

She said: 'I was introduced to naturism in the South of France when I was on holiday with my partner.

'We turned up at a beach, and realised in was a naturist beach. I looked at him, and he looked at me, and we thought 'let's do it'.

'It turned out to be a really enjoyable afternoon. I think people are starting to embrace naturism more and more.

'It's interesting, because in this day and age you have on one hand pop-stars wearing scantily-clad clothing, and that being seen as quite sexual behaviour.

'And on the other hand you have things like naked bike rides. The idea behind naturism is that it is your natural body, and there is nothing sexual about it.'

Fitness enthusiast and naturist Colin Campbell, 66, described the class as 'fun and interactive' and would 'definitely recommend it.'

'It's about normalising the human form. The class didn't feel weird at all, and I think that's a lot to do with the way Helen runs it, you are just there to have fun.

'The class was similar to normal circuits classes, but a bit more playful in the way that it wasn't all hardcore exercise and involved games and was about working comfortably.

'We also did some push-ups, lunges, squats and all the usual things you would do.

'It's really good being naked, especially doing core work, because you are actually able to see your core, and that's really useful to make sure you have the right form.'

He added: 'I would definitely go again. What I would say to anyone thinking about it is to come along and experience it, because Helen is an excellent teacher.'

Retired Ray Humphry, from Southampton, who also took part in the class, believes exercising in the nude can help people become less body conscious.

The 66-year-old, who previously worked as a line operator at a motor company, said: 'I like taking part in things like zumba, pilates, and yoga.

'So when I heard about nude-ercise through my membership of British Naturism, I thought I'd give it a go.

'Too many people are body conscious, but it doesn't hurt to be health conscious and do exercise. I really liked the class because it felt freeing and liberating.

'You mix with people who are not self-conscious and there are no barriers between you, within the realms of decency!

'Helen was such a warm, nice person who really knows what she was doing and makes you work hard.'

The father-of-two added: 'You can make the exercises in the class as hard or as gentle as you want.

'We did lots of different things, including a competition to see who could hold a plank the longest.

'We also played a game in two teams where there were lots of cones on the floor and one team had to run around turning the cones upwards, while the other team competed to turn them all down. It was all different, and very fun.'

Mr Humphry said he became a naturist when he was in his 50s, after he was inspired by people he met on a beach.

The nude-ercise classes take place in Nursling Village Hall at Southampton, at 5pm on the third Saturday of every month, and cost £8 per session.

Other classes will take place in London and the South East, including in Bordon, Guildford, Reading and Alton, with details to be posted on the Facebook page.

source: Daily Mail

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