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Brandon R. Rigby, Ronald W. Davis, Marco A. Avalos, Nicholas A. Levine, Kevin A. Becker and David L. Nichols

The purpose of this study was to compare acute cardiometabolic responses to 3 modes of treadmill exercise in adults diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Eight elderly adults with PD (67.9 ± 3.0 yr) completed 1 session each on a land, aquatic, and antigravity treadmill at 50% body weight. Participants walked from 1 to 3 mph in 0.5-mph increments at 0% grade for 5 min at each speed. Heart rate, energy expenditure, blood pressure, and rating of perceived exertion were measured at rest and during exercise. All variables except diastolic blood pressure increased with speed on all treadmills (p < .001). At all speeds except 1.5 mph, heart rate was higher on the land treadmill than the antigravity treadmill (p < .05). Exercising on an aquatic or antigravity treadmill elicits similar submaximal physiologic responses to exercise on a land treadmill in adults with PD.