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Keep moving to stave off irregular heartbeat

You don’t need to run a marathon or climb mountains to keep your heart in good working order as you age. Research shows that older people who are lightly to moderately active have a significantly reduced risk of irregular heartbeat, a common condition that can lead to chronic fatigue, heart failure and stroke.

Harvard University scientists examined more than 5,400 senior citizens and found that those who engaged most frequently in leisure activities such as gardening, dancing, swimming, golfing or outdoor chores reduced their likelihood of irregular heartbeat by 36 percent. Regular walking also did the heart good: Participants who walked at least 60 blocks a week cut their incidence of irregular heartbeat by 44 percent. Even those who walked just five to 11 blocks a week slashed their risk by 22 percent.