Nudism supports a healthy life style, and many naturist clubs at times arrange and encourage members to participate in local and international sport events and competitions. The German Association for Free Body Culture (DFK) encourages recreational sports and is an associate of the German Olympic Sport Federation (DOSB).

Naturist couple at the Nambassa festival, Fresh Zealand, 1981
Festival naturism
The series of 1970s Nambassa hippie festivals held in New Zealand is a further example of non sexualized nudism. Of the 75,000 patrons who attended the 1979 Nambassa 3 day counterculture Festival an estimated 35% of festival attendees spontaneously decided to remove their clothing,[24] favoring whole or part nudity.[25]

Main article: Nudity in History
See also: Timeline of non-sexual social nudity
It really is hard to nominate exactly when nudism started as a movement. The word ‘nudism’ was used for the first time in 1778 by a French-speaking Belgian, Jean Baptiste Luc Planchon (1734–1781), and was advocated as a means of improving the ‘l’hygine de vie’ (natural fashion of life) and health.[g]

The first known naturist club in the “western” sense of the word was established in British India in 1891. The ‘Fellowship of the Naked Trust’ was founded by Charles Edward Gordon Crawford, a widower, who was a District and Sessions Judge for the Bombay Civil Service. [h] The commune fell apart when Crawford was transferred to Ratnagiri; he died soon after in 1894.[29]

Max Koch’s Freilicht, 1897.
In 1902, a series of philosophical papers was published in Germany by Dr. Heinrich Pudor, under the pseudonym Heinrich Scham, who coined the term Nacktkultur. Germany printed the first journal of nudism between 1902 and 1932.[31]

The broad publication of those papers and others, led to an explosive global growth of nudism, in which nudists participated in various social, recreational, and physical fitness tasks in the nude. The first organized club for nudists on a large scale, Freilichtpark (Free-Light Park), was opened near Hamburg in 1903 by Paul Zimmerman.[30] In 1919, German physician Kurt Huldschinsky discovered that exposure to sunlight helped to treat rickets in many kids, causing sun to be associated with improved health.[32] Naturism became a more widespread occurrence in the 1920s, in Germany, the United Kingdom, France and other European nations and distribute to the United States where it became established in the 1930s.

By 1951, the national federations unified to form the International Naturist Federation or INF.[8] Some naturists preferred not to join clubs, and after 1945, pressure was put to designate beaches for . From the middle of the 20th century, with changing leisure patterns, commercial organisations started opening holiday resorts to pull naturists who expected the same — or better — standards of comfort and amenity offered to non-naturists. More lately, naturist holiday alternatives have expanded to comprise cruises.[30] (1802)
Nudism had many different philosophical sources and means many things to distinct individuals.[33] There is no one definition. In 1974, the INF defined naturism as:

a lifestyle in harmony with nature characterised by the practice of social nudity with the aim of encouraging self-respect, respect for others and for the surroundings.[2]

At one end of the spectrum are the nudists who only appreciate a nude life style, and at the other are the naturists, that have deeply held ideas and view communal nudity as just one of many significant principles.