Abstract: The purpose of this investigation was to determine the effect of 4 wk of voluntary wheel running on cardiac performance in the 5/6 ablation-infarction (AI) rat model of chronic kidney disease (CKD). We hypothesized that voluntary wheel running would be effective in preserving cardiac function in AI. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into three study groups: 1) sham, sedentary nondiseased control; 2) AI-SED, sedentary AI; and 3) AI-WR, wheel-running AI. Animals were maintained over a total period of 8 wk following AI and sham surgery. The 8-wk period included 4 wk of disease development followed by a 4-wk voluntary wheel-running intervention/sedentary control period. Cardiac performance was assessed using an isolated working heart preparation. Left ventricular (LV) tissue was used for biochemical tissue analysis. In addition, soleus muscle citrate synthase activity was measured. AI-WR rats performed a low volume of exercise, running an average of 13 ± 2 km, which resulted in citrate synthase activity not different from that in sham animals. Isolated AI-SED hearts demonstrated impaired cardiac performance at baseline and in response to preload/afterload manipulations. Conversely, cardiac function was preserved in AI-WR vs. sham hearts. LV nitrite + nitrate and expression of LV nitric oxide (NO) synthase isoforms 2 and 3 in AI-WR were not different from those of sham rats. In addition, LV H2O2 in AI-WR was similar to that of sham and associated with increased expression of LV superoxide-dismutase-2 and glutathione peroxidase-1/2. The findings of the current study suggest that a low-volume exercise intervention is sufficient to maintain cardiac performance in rats with CKD, potentially through a mechanism related to improved redox homeostasis and increased NO.