Getting in shape may improve afib symptoms

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Boosting your fitness level may help decrease the symptoms of the most common heart rhythm disorder, according to a study published online June 22 by the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The disorder—atrial fibrillation, or afib—causes an irregular, rapid heartbeat that can lead to shortness of breath, dizziness, and fainting.

The study included 308 people with afib who were also overweight or obese, a condition that raises the risk of afib. The participants answered questions about their afib symptoms and underwent tests to determine their fitness levels, which were described in metabolic equivalents, or METs. (METs measure your level of exertion and are based on how much oxy-gen your body uses during activities; sitting still is 1 MET, and brisk walking is 3.)

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