They do not spend money for medicines because they do not fall ill. These grannies look 15-30 years younger than they are without any plastic surgery. Though not only their bodies are young but souls as well. The secret of their health is ice cold river water in which they swim every morning.
For a woman aged 72 it’s nice to hear she looks as a woman of 50 y.o. Though Svetlana does not keep her age secret.
She has been swimming in the cold water for 32 years. Every day.
Svetlana had been suffering a lung disease before she turned 45 years old. Five years of winter swimming fully healed her. She started to sleep well and feel much better.
She recollects that she could not even imagine herself to swim in ice water. But she was impressed by those who could do it. When she plunged first the water temperature was -24 C (-11,2 F). She thought she woudn’t survive, but today she laughs when remembers this.
She retired but didn’t stop working. She is a construction engineer by profession. Five months ago she finally decided to leave her work and pay more attention to herself.
Last year she celebrated the 50th anniversary of her marriage. However she can’t persuade he husband to swim in winter. She says jokingly that her husband is a fisherman and he is afraid of falling through the ice.
They have their own club on the territory of the former school of Olympic reserve.
There are 50 members in the club. Only fifteen of them are males. The youngest ones are a family couple both aged about 30.
Another pensioner Nigima aged 40 was a teacher of physics. She had undergone heart attack twice before she enetered the club. Now she has no problems with her heart. Besides, she managed to get rid of cold allergy.
Now she does not dive into an ice hole, because her feet are hurting after the long walks in Germany where she travelled just recently.
She says her relatives call her crazy. But her son is a doctor and he advises mother not to stop swimming in cold water if she likes it.
Winter swimmers say that the main thing is to swim in ice water every day. Not a single day of rest! It’s the only way they can get both pleasure and health.
All beginners are advised to start swimming in a river in summer. They should gradually get used to water which is getting colder and colder.
That day the temperature was -15 C (5 F).
Altyn has been swimming in ice water for three years. She prefers to be among those who live active life. The woman works in a dressmaking workshop, her colleagues are impressed by her energy.
Altyn runs in the morning, in winter she also goes skiing. But she complains that neither her husband nor three adult children want to go in for sport.
Maria, a winter swimmer with eighteen years experience, shows her big warm gloves. She says that her body is not cold while plunging in ice water as opposed to her hands. But some people do not need gloves.
The woman tells that it was stress at work that made her join the club. In a month she got used to winter swimming and found a new job.
According to Maria during the procedure warmth is generated inside of her body. “It is an inner reserve that we do not use”.
This man is already 61. Mikhail is an enginner in the naval sphere. He is the only male member of the club who agreed to be photographed.
After swimming in ice water Mikhail likes to run along the river bank. He joined the club twenty five years ago.
He decided to swim in cold water because he had problems with his respiratory system. Today he forgot about those problems. He says that people come to the club not only for curing their deseases but for strengthening their inner spirit.
Though opponents of winter swimming say that such activity only brings people’s deseases deeper inside. That it is an euphoria accompanied with release of endorphins – hormones of happiness, which bring only temporary pain relief.
Opponents are sure that winter swimmers eventually deplete their hormonal system. Winter swimmers have to do it every day or their deseases will come back.
But winter swimmers are sure that they become only stronger and their hormonal system is not depleted at all. Svetlana says she knows no person whose health became worse after joining the activity.
Some people give up coming, of course. But the most devoted ones do not miss “classes” even on the coldest days. They swim in the Irtysh river even at -40 C (-40 F)!