Chinese couple, 89, swim their way to a long and healthy life

Former soldier and his wife plunge into east China lake every day despite its often freezing temperatures

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 17 December, 2017, 4:40pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 10 January, 2018, 10:25am

Taking daily dips in a local lake has been the key to a long life for a married couple in eastern China, according to a local media report.

Liu Zhenjun and his wife Huang Shuwen, both 89, have been swimming in Zixia Lake in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, every day for more than 20 years, and they have never felt better, Yangtse Evening News reported on Saturday.

Former soldier Liu said he took up swimming as a hobby while serving in the army. Over the years it has helped him to stave off ill health, and maintain his strength and fitness, the report said.

He was quoted as saying that even the problems he had with his respiratory tract as a youngster disappeared after he embarked on regular winter swims.

Fancy a dip? China’s ‘coldest swimming pool’ opens for winter

Huang agreed, saying her arthritis had been much less troublesome since she took up swimming.

The near nonagenarian said she only learned how to swim in her 70s because she wanted to keep her husband company in the water. It was three years before she was capable or brave enough to swim in the lake, she said, but nowadays nothing stops either of them from taking their daily plunges.

Meet the Chinese swimmers who formed a river rescue squad

Regular swimming, especially in the colder months, is the best way to stay fit and healthy, Huang was quoted as saying, adding that the couple have taken part in several winter swimming competitions over the years.

Liu and Huang are both so full of vim and vigour that despite living on the sixth floor of a block of flats they never take the lift, preferring to scale the stairs without even stopping for a breather, the report said.