Extended participation in an exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation program has been shown to positively influence cardiovascular risk factors, improve cardiorespiratory fitness, and decrease mortality. Furthermore, participants in a comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation program generally demonstrate increased quality-of-life scores and more rapidly resume gainful employment. To increase adherence, enhance satisfaction, and improve cardiovascular health, cardiac rehabilitation programs continue to expand the physical conditioning activities offered to their participants. Water exercise, walking, jogging, strength and balance training, stretching, and swimming are particularly appealing options for many cardiac patients. In fact, numerous cardiac rehabilitation programs throughout the United States already offer water-based exercise classes.

Because water exercise is an attractive alternative for many participants, especially those with orthopedic/musculoskeletal limitations, it is important to understand the physiology of this training modality as ...

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