(HealthDay News) -- Though swimming is a low-impact aerobic exercise, it's important to protect yourself from injury.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons offers these suggestions:

  • Before you hit the water, warm up with jumping jacks, walking, or stationary cycling.
  • After you're warmed up, stretch slowly and gently before you swim.
  • Perform regular exercises that help strengthen muscles in the upper back and shoulders.
  • Stick to light and easy swimming if you have an ear infection, respiratory infection or a fever.