Fitness can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke

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Could a good treadmill session not only keep you fit but also protect your heart? A recent study of over 15,000 people says yes.

The study showed that those who were physically fit were less likely to develop atrial fibrillation – a type of irregular heartbeat – and also less likely to have a stroke.

Atrial fibrillation is not fatal, but it can increase the risk of a stroke, which can have serious consequences, by up to five times.

And when you consider that atrial fibrillation affects over 40 million people worldwide, that’s a big deal. It is estimated that one in three Europeans will be confronted with this disease in their lifetime.

How the study worked

The study involved participants with an average age of 55, more than half of whom were men. These people did not have atrial fibrillation when they took part in the study.

They were asked to take a treadmill test and their fitness level was measured. In this test they had to walk faster and at a steeper angle in different stages. Scientists used these results to calculate how fit each person was.

They then followed these participants for a very long time — an average of 11 years — to see if they developed atrial fibrillation, suffered a stroke, or had other serious heart problems.

During this time, a small percentage (3.3%) experienced atrial fibrillation. The researchers found that each increase in fitness level was associated with a lower risk of heart problems.

For example, for each one-unit increase in the fitness test, the risk of developing atrial fibrillation decreased by 8%, the risk of stroke decreased by 12%, and the risk of other serious heart problems decreased by 14%.

What fitness levels mean for your heart

The study even divided participants into three fitness categories based on their treadmill test results: low, moderate, and high.

Over a five-year period, people in the medium and high fitness groups had a nearly 99 percent chance of not developing atrial fibrillation. Even in the low fitness group, the probability was about 97%.

dr Shih-Hsien Sung, the study’s author, said, “The results suggest that exercising can help prevent atrial fibrillation and stroke.”

So the lesson is clear: maintaining an appropriate level of physical fitness can significantly reduce your risk of developing heart problems and having a stroke.

This research adds to the mounting evidence that a proactive approach, such as For example, staying fit can make a big difference to your health.

It offers people a simple and practical way to protect themselves from serious diseases.

So the next time you think about skipping that walk or workout, remember: It’s not just your muscles you’re building; You also give your heart a chance to fight.

If heart failure is important to you, please read studies on one of the major causes of heart failure and aspirin is associated with a higher risk of heart failure.

For more information on heart health, see recent studies showing exercise reversed worrying heart failure in middle-age. The results show that this drug combination can cut the risk of stroke and heart attack by half.

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Laura Coffey

Laura Coffey is a Worldtimetodays U.S. News Reporter based in Canada. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Laura Coffey joined Worldtimetodays in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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