A wild wade in winter

The allure of staying at home, preferably under a warm blanket, apparently cuts no ice with this swimmer, out last Friday in a frozen lake at a park in Shenyang, in north- east China.

Winter swimming is popular across the north of the country, reported news site MailOnline, especially among the middle-aged and the elderly.

Enthusiasts rave about the practice, either because they believe it is good for health or simply because they enjoy the way it feels.

To start, swimmers make a hole on the surface of a frozen river or lake, and then jump in, added the report. They use sticks and brooms to clear ice from the surface, as it forms.

Despite the frigid temperatures and biting winds, many winter swimmers prefer standard swimming costumes over wetsuits or other forms of thermal protection.

The sport is also enjoyed in other countries that have long, cold winters. Annual competitions for winter swimming have become quite common as well.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 12, 2016, with the headline 'A wild wade in winter'. Print Edition | Subscribe