I don't really know what it is like to live in a place with cold weather. I did live the first 9 years of my life in Chicago, but I can't really recall living in that kind of cold and snow. Cold to me is our mornings here in Sonoma County where there is ice on the car windshield, maybe the low 30's. Our average high in the winter is around 50. It is not freezing, but it is not warm either. But regardless, I still get out in the pool twice a week. That is, I get in an outdoor pool twice a week.
Most places that experience sub-freezing temperatures are equip with indoor pools, so swimming is possible, regardless of the elements. Being here in California, my gym only has an outdoor pool. I'm out there in the pool no matter what the whether, but at least I don't have to worry about jumping into a block of ice.
I actually love swimming in the winter. It is peaceful and quite. There are not many people that stick with swimming in a outdoor pool year round. Some days I have the pool to myself. And I swim one day a week at dusk, so I am not only surrounded by nature, but I usually can watch the sunset. I also think it is easy to get in the water during the winter. The water is way warmer than the outside air, so it actually feels comfortable to jump in.
Swimming has really helped keep my back pain under control and my lungs in great condition. I usually do water aerobics class on Saturdays and my own version of water aerobics on Tuesday evenings.
Here is one view from the pool. See you in the water.