Heart Beat: Water exercise safe for troubled hearts

Exercising in a pool is often recommended for people with stiff or painful joints. The water supports the body, which reduces the impact of stepping or jumping. Its resistance also gives muscles a good workout. Is aquatic exercise also a good option for heart attack survivors, people with heart failure, or others with compromised hearts? That's been a bit controversial.

Some experts have worried that simply standing in water up to the chest might strain the heart. That's because water pressure on the legs and arms squeezes blood into the chest, which could make the heart work harder.

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