In order to determine the effects of chronic exercise on the kidneys at different ages, young, adult, and old rats swam 1 hour either daily or twice a week for 10 weeks and then were killed along with unexercised controls. The kidneys were removed and sections were prepared for histometric analysis including planimetric measurements on camera lucida drawings of renal components and line sampling. With both degrees of exercise young rats showed lower kidney weight, fewer glomeruli and less medullary tissue than unexercised controls. In the adult group no significant differences were noted between exercised and unexercised rats. In old rats both degrees of exercise resulted in a loss of kidney weight and medullary and cortical mass, and a decrease in size of glomeruli while total number of glomeruli remained unchanged. Thus the effects of chronic exercise on the kidneys varied with age. Retarded kidney development occurred in young animals; a loss of renal tissue in old animals; and no change in adult animals.