European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 98, Issue 2, pp 117–123 | Cite as

High intensity deep water training can improve aerobic power in elderly women

  • Gi BromanEmail author
  • Miguel Quintana
  • Thomas Lindberg
  • Eva Jansson
  • Lennart Kaijser
Original Article


Deep water running with wet vest is a safe form of exercise for elderly with mobility limitations. However, it is not known to what extent their aerobic power may be improved. Therefore, the aim was to assess the effects of high intensity deep water interval training with vest in elderly women. Twenty-nine healthy women 69 ± 4 years old participated. They performed a graded maximal exercise test on the cycle ergometer. They were randomly assigned to a control or to a training group. A submaximal exercise test on the cycle ergometer was executed only by the training group. They trained in deep water running/walking wearing a vest two times a week for 8 weeks. The target heart rate was 75% of maximal heart rate and the training consisted of several short working periods and resting intervals. After the intervention the heart rate at rest was 8% lower for the training group (P<0.01). Their heart rate at submaximal exercise was 3% less (P<0.01), their maximal oxygen uptake was raised by 10% (P<0.01), and their maximal ventilation was increased 14% (P<0.01). The values for the control group were unaltered after the period of intervention. In conclusion, high intensity deep water running with vest improves submaximal work capacity, maximal aerobic power, and maximal ventilation with the effects transferable to land-based activities in elderly women.


Aquatic exercise Elderly Women Wet vest Maximal oxygen uptake Heart rate Perceived exertion 



We wish to thank Monica Borggren for excellent help performing parts of the experiment, and Gun Broman for correcting the manuscript. This study has been supported by grants from the Swedish Centre of Sports Research (Centrum för Idrottsforskning) and the Stockholm College of Physical Education and Sports and the Swedish Medical Research Council (4494).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gi Broman
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Miguel Quintana
    • 2
  • Thomas Lindberg
    • 1
  • Eva Jansson
    • 2
  • Lennart Kaijser
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Sports and Health SciencesStockholm University College of Physical Education and SportsStockholmSweden
  2. 2.Department of Laboratory Medicine, Division of Clinical PhysiologyKarolinska InstituteStockholmSweden

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