Locals in the Gaza Strip go winter swimming to improve their health

Elderly residents in the Gaza Strip go winter swimming in the sea – believing the cold waters will boost their health.

Footage shows the amateur swimmers doing warm-up exercises in a beach before leaping into the water off the coast of Beit Lahia City early in the morning.

The group of men, aged 30 to 70, do aerobics before paddling through freezing seawater while swimming coach Abu Mahmoud Mahra guides them.

Abu said: ‘We are a team of amateur swimmers in Gaza. We want to promote the benefits of swimming in cold water in this weather. People of varying ages come here to swim, with some aged 40 and above.’

The locals believe that swimming in the chilly sea helps improve blood circulation, strengthens the immune system, and induces the release of endorphins.

Winter swimming enthusiast Muhammad Shanif said: ‘People talk about the cold weather and how we can possibly swim in these temperatures. On the contrary, we benefit greatly from doing so.’