Best Aquatic Fitness Centers In Central Oregon

Best Aquatic Fitness Centers In Central Oregon

Best Aquatic Fitness Centers in Central Oregon

The best aquatic fitness centers in Central Oregon have become my new exercise salvation!  I wish I had thought of this form of exercise sooner as I would have saved myself a lot of aches and pains.

Having recently completed a 2-month course of physical therapy because of problems with my back and leg which is a recurrent problem I began to think about what I could do to overcome the chronic pain problems and flare-ups that were starting to affect my life.

As much as I try to stay active, the walking programs, gym exercises, treadmills and stationary bikes were not working – no matter what program I tried. I am literally “doggedly” fixated on being able to continue to urban mush my malamutes but with the amount of havoc I was creating to my body, it was recommended that I quit.

My motto is never be a quitter. Thankfully, I latched onto the thought that perhaps water exercise or water aerobics could save me – and I believe I’ve found the solution!

Let’s examine a bit about aquatic fitness and then come along with me on a tour of the best aquatic fitness centers in Central Oregon.

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Juniper Swim and Fitness Center – Picture by Audrey Kirchner

Aquatic Fitness and What It Can Do For You

Before we tour the 3 facilities of Central Oregon, let’s just see why water aerobic exercise works.

Many years ago, after a broken shin bone, it was recommended that I do water aerobic exercise in order to stay in shape so I could return to playing soccer.  I was not enrolled this time in a class but I had a trainer who prescribed a workout at the local pool which would keep me in shape yet take the burden off my broken bone.

On remembering the above scenario at the beginning of this summer, I decided I really had nothing to lose…except pain and I had all to gain like mobility, strength and endurance. I decided to give it a try.  I’m happy to report, I have found my niche.  I’m still going strong and have returned to urban mushing!

Mechanics of aquatic workouts:

In water aerobic fitness, there is no stress on any joint in your body – this means that pregnant women can do it, elderly people can do it and people with chronic ailments such as arthritis or muscular or tendon injuries like fibromyalgia can do it
People who have had joint replacements can participate in this form of exercise without pain or worry
Water absorbs about 80% of your body weight making it easy to work your muscles through ranges of motion that would be impossible on land
Water provides 12 times the resistance of air so consider the possibilities of doing a triceps curl in the water or a leg lift
Both sides of the joints and muscles are worked under water so for instance, a biceps curl actually is working biceps and triceps
Walking in water is double the workload of walking on land with none of the impact. The same is true of water jogging
Lungs that are under water have to breathe harder and expand lungs more increasing lung capacity
Despite the increased resistance that water creates, it is still healthier for the heart because the water shifts body heat better than air (thus no sweating) and there is less stress on the body. Due to decreased pressure in the water (hydrostatic) and decreased gravity while in the water, blood flow is less stressed throughout the body making it easier for blood to pump back to the heart. However, even in spite of this fact, cardiac output is the same as working on land but way less stressful – making it idea for cardiac patients

Benefits of aquatic fitness:

Comfort – water provides soothing comfort to bones and joints and literally makes you feel as if you are in a different, painless world
Fun – exercising to music for instance in an aquatic fitness center is really the same as dancing or dance exercise – or running and listening to an iPod
Fitness – exercising 3-5 times per week for 50-60 minutes in an aquatic fitness program will increase your fitness remarkably. You will lose inches and pounds and find that you have more energy and less pain
Therapy – exercising in water in an aquatic fitness program is pure therapy as it allows you to recover use of muscles, bones and joints that you did not have before or keeps your muscles, bones and joints in tiptop condition if you don’t have any problems. Specially tailored programs can also help someone recover from a specific injury or insult such as a stroke and the results are phenomenal
Stress relief – working out in water is a fantastic way to reduce stress and anxiety. You may be stressed when you start your aquatic fitness program but you definitely won’t be after exercising
Comfort – if you arrive to your exercise program feeling tired and lethargic, you won’t leave feeling that way. You will feel totally alive and rejuvenated, then relaxed – sleeping soundly should not be an issue
Socialization – if you do a water fitness program such as the ones outlined below, you inevitably will meet other people of all age groups and levels of fitness. It is sometimes more fun and passes the time quicker if you have other people in a class with you. However, working on your own in any water situation can also be just as beneficial

Aquatic Fitness Facts and Advice

Whether it is a class of middle-aged to elderly people, individual instruction in a pool or lake, or a workout that you have devised on your own that you do in a pool, lake or training tank, all of these situations are perfect for an aquatic fitness program:

People benefiting from aquatic fitness:

Athletes who are cross training – you don’t even have to know how to swim to train in the water. You build endurance and you can work out to your heart’s content without sustaining muscle, bone or tendon injuries
Pregnant women, postpartum women or people suffering from obesity – a great way to increase circulation and correct potential posture bad habits also staying fit and toning muscles. It also can enhance your self image since it allows you to move in the water in ways that you cannot on land
People recovering from joint replacement surgery, shoulder surgeries, back surgeries, or tendon ruptures – no pain and much gain
Anyone experiencing problems with balance – working with bouyancy improves balance
Someone recovering from a stroke or heart attack – consult a physician first to outline an appropriate level program for instructors at an aquatic fitness center
Anyone wanting to tone muscles, lose weight and participate in an exercise program that is relaxing but not taxing to the body

Equipment for aquatic exercise programs:

Swimsuit or other acceptable swim wear
Swim shoes if you feel the need as pool bottoms can be somewhat rough
Membership or pass if you join an aquatic fitness center
Bag for your clothes and clothes to change into if desired when done
Floatation devices are most often provided by the fitness center as well as weights

To-do list for aquatic fitness programs:

Like any other exercise program, take care of yourself beforehand – a fitness program of any kind can’t fix problems if we don’t adhere to a healthy lifestyle
Always get plenty of rest – essential to good health and well being
Don’t overdo on the caffeine – especially before exercise
Take care with hair and skin – showering and shampooing is important with water fitness
Drink plenty of water

Types of aquatic fitness styles and programs:

Deep water aerobic fitness – working in deep water increases resistance, brings up your heart rate and increases the aerobic benefit of aquatic exercise
General aquatic fitness classes – these generally are a mix of deep water and shallow water exercise
Shallow water aquatic fitness classes – these isolate many muscles and joints and work on toning as much as aerobic activity
Swim training equipment such as stepper and twister, water treadmill or tread cycle, water workout stations. These are usually specific to certain aquatic fitness centers or sports medicine therapy facilities and are also great ways to train and work on specific muscles and joints – or are available for home purchase

Now let’s go have a look at the facilities available in Central Oregon and what’s available at each one!

See all 5 photos
Photo by Audrey Kirchner

Prineville Pool – Crook County Parks & Recreation

The Prineville pool is operated by the Crook County Parks and Recreation Department and is located in downtown Prineville in beautiful Ochoco Park. It is an outdoor pool and is only open during summer months, mid June through the first week in September.

The Prineville pool is 80 x 45 and is used for public swim, family lap swim, swim meets and swim team practice.

From mid June to the first week in September, water aerobics are offered twice per day – a noon class for 1 hour and a 5:45 p.m. class for 1 hour – $30 for 3 weeks. There are 4 sessions of 3 weeks and the classes are generally Mondays through Thursdays though sometimes due to weather, there will be makeup classes on Fridays.

The pool is open for lap swims and various family swim times throughout the hours of operation as noted below.

This is where I started with my aquatic fitness program and the great thing about the Prineville pool is that you are outside.  While working out, you can enjoy the magnificent Central Oregon weather and on a blistering 100 degree day, you have a place to jump in and cool down.

Of course, you also can be rained on and forced to evacuate the pool due to thunderstorms – one of the disadvantages of swimming outside in Central Oregon!


Monday through Thursday 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Friday 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday 1:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.


Swim aerobics – 3 week session for $30 – 4 times per week Mondays through Thursdays
Most other swim fees are $3 per session

Phone:  541.447.1209

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Madras Aquatic Center – free WiFi

Photo Credit:  Flickr Rachel Wentechaney

Madras Aquatic Center

The Madras Aquatic Center is a relatively new facility in the city of Madras which is northeast of Bend. This facility is state of the art and the west side of the facility is completely ceiling to floor windows giving the pool an incredibly gorgeous feel of being outside even though you are indoors!

This facility is a 6-lane competitive quality swimming pool and there are many options available at the Madras Aquatic Center.

Schedules do change throughout the year, so be sure and call or go on-line for exact schedules during any season.

The Madras Aquatic Center offers lap swim, swim aerobics classes, Rusty Hinges (specialty class for arthritis), Madras Aquatic Center masters, Arthritis Foundation, recreational swim, mommy and me recreational swim, river work-out classes, and family night swim times. They also offer party options and pool rentals which is a very popular option for families with children.

To participate at Madras Aquatic Center, you have many options.  Check the prices on line as they do offer different things from time to time but here are some of their payment options:

Daily pay as you go
Punch cards – both in-district and out-of-district – 10 visits any time
Madras Aquatic Center membership – in-district and out-of-district – reduced rates on classes and swim times
Senior discounts
Couples discounts
Family discounts
Fitness classes for adults
Fitness classes for seniors
Rusty Hinges classes
Arthritis Foundation classes
Swimming lessons for all ages and levels

Madras Aquatic Center is also home to swim meets and competitions of different kinds such as triathlons.  For more information, again check on-line.

Phone: 541.475.4253

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Prineville Pool –
399 NE Garner St, Prineville, OR 97754, USA
[get directions]

Madras Aquatic Center –
SE Kemper Way, Madras, OR 97741, USA
[get directions]

Juniper Swim and Fitness Center –
800 NE 6th St, Bend, OR 97701, USA
[get directions]

Cascade Swim Center –
465 SW Rimrock Dr, Redmond, OR 97756, USA
[get directions]

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Water aerobics class for seniors – Public domain image

Cascade Swim Center of Redmond Parks and Recreation District

The Cascade Swim Center is located in Redmond and is part of the Redmond Area Park and Recreation District.

The Cascade Swim Center is closed throughout most of the month of September on an annual basis for draining and maintenance but after the end of September, it opens back up and is in full swing throughout the year. This is also the swim home of the Redmond High School swim team and the only time that the pool is generally not available is when there are swim meets going on.

The pool in Redmond is available for rentals and party bookings.

Some classes at the Cascade Swim Center offered:

Water Babies for ages 6 months to 3 years
Lap swim and masters swim times
Family night
Water exercise of several levels
Recreational swim
Swim lessons
Swim team
Specialty swim classes like Rusty Hinges
Therapy walking lane
Mechanical lift


General admission – pay by ticket
10 visit punch cards – in-district and out-of-district
Ticket book – in-district and out-of-district
Drop-in classes for aqua aerobics and Rusty Hinges
Group swim lessons

You can also buy swimming pool passes in-district and out-of-district for 6 or 12 months for individuals, families, children, senior or disabled persons. You can also purchase monthly aerobic passes or monthly water fit combo passes, which are a combination of aerobics and lap swim.

Again, the pool is closed during September each year and for water polo matches and swim meets for the high school.

Phone: 541.548.7275

See all 5 photos
Picture by Audrey Kirchner

Juniper Swim and Fitness Center of Bend

The Juniper Swim and Fitness Center is owned and operated by the Bend Parks and Recreation Department. Year round, the Juniper pool sports not one but two swimming pools, a hot tub, a children’s pool and an on-land fitness center. 

The Juniper Swim and Fitness Center is for all ages and all abilities and they offer a wide variety of classes and specialty training as well.

One of the pools is an ‘outdoor’ pool but is able to be covered for winter. You still can enjoy the feeling of being outside but without the snow and cold!

Juniper Swim and Fitness Center has the most extensive and varied aquatic fitness program available in Central Oregon because they have back-to-back classes of all levels throughout the week and at varied times. It would be impossible not to find a class that fits your needs and your schedule. 

Some options offered:

Masters swim level classes
Lap swim
Family swim
Open recreational swim
Swim lessons for all ages and abilities
Therapy swim  – lift available
Baby and kids swim time
Personal training
Deep water fitness
Water running fitness
Prenatal fitness
Swim classes


These vary according to the season and what program.  Check on-line or call the office for more information on schedules for the current season but their hours are extensive.


Couples – in-district or out-of-district
Senior – in-district or out-of-district
Family memberships in and out of district
Swim lessons – all levels
Punch cards for 10 visits – in and out of district
Monthly passes in and out of district, senior and adult passes, children’s passes
Aerobic swim passes on many different levels and discounts, in and out of district
Yearly memberships for in and out of district, couples, seniors and children

Call the office or stop by and have them give you the plan that suits your needs best. They have so many available, one will be right for you.

Phone: 541.389.7665

Best Aquatic Fitness Centers in Central Oregon

No matter which pool you choose or at what time of year, there is always something going on in Central Oregon in terms of aquatic fitness centers. Depending on your schedule and your fitness level, you can pretty much be assured that somewhere in this great part of the country, you are going to be able to find a fitness program that works for you.

I have personally found that aquatic fitness is the way to go and think it benefits people of all ages and all physical abilities. There is simply nothing that you can’t work on in the water and the benefits seem in my mind to be outstanding.

There is none of the pulled muscle feeling even doing crunches or squats. There is none of the tired feeling or aching in your muscles from doing repetitive curls.

There are no lasting effects from doing bursts of deep water running on your legs or feet. This form of exercise is simply miraculous in terms of healing properties.

If you have any problems with bones, joints or muscles, you have to experience it to believe how good you can feel.  I could tell a difference after just one week of aquatic exercise and it has only gotten better.

I urge you to check out one of the aquatic fitness centers in Central Oregon or in your home town.  Whatever program you select, I don’t think you’ll be sorry.

Aquatic Fitness Tips

Water Aerobics Exercises

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Aquatic Fitness Resources

Water Fitness After 40 Duffield’s Exercise in Water (9780702009259): A. M. Thomson, A. I. Skinner: Books Duffield’s Exercise in Water (9780702009259): A. M. Thomson, A. I. Skinner: Books
Aquatic Exercise Association > PublicPages > Home
Aquatic Exercise Association
Hydro-Tone Aquatic Mini Fins – Yellow – For Ankles or Wrists (Pair)
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Hydro-Tone Hydro Bells – Yellow – Pair
Amazon Price: $69.00
Polar FT7 Women’s Heart Rate Monitor Watch (Black / Gold)
Amazon Price: $76.75
List Price: $119.95
Water Barbells (1 Pair),(1 Barbell for each hand)(Colors May Vary)
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Liquid Lite 6 LED Drain Plug Light ½” NPT – Blue – 12VDC
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Timex Pesonal Analog Transmission Heart Rate Sensor and Strap
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Volleyball cell phone protective cover for iPhone 4 – White
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Water Fan Paddles
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Speedo Aqua Fitness Barbells, Charcoal/Red
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Water Fitness and Pool Exercising Weights
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Water Aerobics Aqua Fit Swim Training Neoprene Webbed Gloves Women’s S/M
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Rash Guards – Small
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Water Aerobics Aqua Fit Swim Training Neoprene Webbed Gloves Size M/L
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List Price: $24.95
Thera-Band Aquatic Exercise Dumbells/Hand Bars – One Pair – Medium – Disc Size 12″ x 2.5″
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Aqua Fitness Exercise Set – 6 Piece Color Assorted
Amazon Price: $45.00
List Price: $29.99
Aquabilt Aquatic Treadmill – A-2000
Amazon Price: $1,249.00
Incline Aquatic Underwater Treadmill by Aquabilt – Model 302 – 302
Amazon Price: $2,180.75
New Lives
Amazon Price: $1.99
Timex Mid-Size T5K537 Easy Trainer Heart Rate Monitor Watch
Amazon Price: $37.00
List Price: $49.95
Amzdeal NEW Wireless Heart Rate Monitor Sport Watch Diving Watch
Amazon Price: $49.99
Timex Pesonal Analog Transmission Heart Rate Sensor and Strap
Amazon Price: $29.00
List Price: $34.95
Watersnake 12-Volt 3-Bladed Propeller Kit (Black, 23-inch)
Amazon Price: $21.10
List Price: $53.29
Watersnake 24-Volt 3-Bladed Propeller Kit (Black, 22-inch)
Amazon Price: $24.99