AKTAU (Kazakhstan) – A young woman from Kazakhstan made a video extolling the virtues of her daily exercise routine, involving a dip in the ice-cold Caspian Sea. The video has since gone viral.
Zarina Andryushina, a resident of Aktau on the eastern coast of the sea, had to break through ice covering the surface to get her daily plunge on January 30. After sharing a video of her braving the cold in a bikini on her Instagram page, she caught the attention of local media.
“You don’t really feel water when it’s ice-cold. It’s like walking through dry ice,” she told Kazakhstan’s Tengri News. “But after you come out you feel such a heat and regret nothing.”
Andryushina says she has been dipping into the Caspian Sea, about 5 minutes’ walk from her home, for two years regardless of how cold it is. On the day the video was taken, the air temperature was about 17 degrees Celsius below zero.
The 33-year-old mother of one says ice-dipping after a morning jog boosted her immune system and made her a healthier person. This form of exercise is actually quite popular in Russia and its near abroad, as well as in Nordic countries and northern China. In Russia, it is famously connected to the Orthodox Christian celebration of Epiphany.