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Cold comfort: How one Siberian is using the freezing weather to better her health

By Derek Lambie
13 January 2015

It may seem unusual but sunbathing in snow and wearing nothing more than a swimming costume in -10C can help fitness.

The pictures, from the photo shoot on the banks of a river Ob in Novosibirsk amidst temperatures of -10C, have gone viral in Russia. Picture: Ekaterina Marinina

Wearing nothing more than a revealing red bikini and a pair of boots, Viktoria Smolina is showing Siberians just want to have fun, no matter the weather.

Running through the snow, and lying down to relax on a towel on a freezing day, the 27-year-old held her impromptu sunbathing session as part of an unusual healthy lifestyle choice that harnesses the goodness of cold weather.

The pictures, from her photo shoot on the banks of a river Ob in Novosibirsk amidst temperatures of -10C, have gone viral in Russia, and helped raise awareness of her hardy therapy.

She is an advocate that cold weather can heal the soul, and improve health and fitness.

Viktoria, who was born in Novosibirsk but is now based in Moscow, told the Siberian Times: 'I have been getting myself used to the cold for several years. I have cold showers, which improve health and helps me to tolerate frosts better.

Victoria advocate of cold


Victoria advocate of cold


Victoria advocate of cold

Wearing a small red bikini, warm vakenki boots, and a pair of sunglasses, she is shown enjoying herself outdoors without managing to feel the cold.. Pictures: Ekaterina Marinina

'I recommend it to everyone.'

Viktoria, who is educated as an economist and a director, works in a variety of creative organisations in Moscow and many of her projects are dedicated to children.

The idea of the unusual photo shoot, which was held last month during mild weather of just -10C, came from her photographer friend Ekaterina Marinina.

Wearing a small red bikini, warm vakenki boots, and a pair of sunglasses, she is shown enjoying herself outdoors without managing to feel the cold. She said: 'I often hear jokes from my foreign friends on how harsh is Siberia and how life must be difficult for a lot of people here.

'So I thought ‘why not?’ to a shoot and thought of naming it something like 'A typical Siberian summer', showing that this is the way hardy Siberians relax, like we have no cares in the world about frost and snow. 

'I also had the idea that it would be great to stress that everyone can improve his or her health, and there are no limits in doing it. The shoot itself took less than an hour, and I was running and jumping between the shots which helped to stay warm. 

Victoria advocate of cold


Victoria advocate of cold


Victoria advocate of cold

'What I want to say is that living in such a climate can, in fact, do wonders to your health.' Pictures: Ekaterina Marinina

'The Siberian climate might seem difficult to a newcomer because of its sharply continental character, in which temperature can jump 20C within a day, where summers can be really hot, up to 45C, and winters can be bitterly cold, down to -50 and sometimes below. 

'What I want to say is that living in such a climate can, in fact, do wonders to your health. I try to be an advocate to this theory, living for years without drinking alcohol, doing sport and eating healthy foods which in itself helps improve health. 

'But another important aspect is in taking the best you can out of the cold climate; you should embrace the cold rather than running away from it. I hope my pictures can make some people around the world like this idea and take a bit more care about their health.'

Pictures from the photo shoot have gone viral on the internet in Russia.

Viktoria has produced a video about Siberians and their healthy lifestyles: 

Comments (4)

blogspot
joe carl, United States
02/05/2015 12:36
0
1
In Siberia there are hot thermal waters which are much better for tourism.

For example, in the Kamchatka Peninsula there are warm thermal waters very similar to Iceland, which could be used also for tourism.
Enrique, Spain
19/01/2015 08:35
2
0
Big thanks to Derek for this article! I wish to every one a really good health and happiness! And don't get cold :) Jaker, thank you for your hot comment, lol :)
Victoria Smolina, Russia
15/01/2015 23:35
2
0
Oh Victoria? Can I keep you warm after you're done with the "Snow"? Or maybe you have better ways to keep me warm...after all...I am cold all the time. So seeing you like the cold & I like the heat, maybe by getting together we'll even up the temperature to suit both of us. Anyway, (Hot or cold) you are "Beautiful".


PS. Happy New Year.
Jaker, Dundalk
14/01/2015 22:46
2
1
1

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