Naturalist – Naturist

These two similar words can have vastly different meanings. A naturalist is one who studies or appreciates nature. A naturist can be nearly the same thing: One who appreciates beauty in nature. However a naturist can also be one who enjoys going without clothes whenever proper opportunities come up. There can be a sexual side to naturism, but more often it is practiced as a way to be more ‘natural.’ Naturism can be a very freeing experiece for one who has spent most of life covered in cloth. Many claim health benefits, feeling a reaonable amount of sunshine over one’s entire body is more beneficial than exposing only some portions of the body to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. A growing body of evidence suggests most of us don’t get enough vitamin D. However, some scientists are now saying as much exposure as one can get to sunlight will not give us optimum vitamin D. On the other hand, too much tanning can be bad for one’s health also. Go figure!

Public domain via Wikimedia Commons