- Academic Editors
†These authors contributed equally.
Background: Moderate regular physical activity is indicated to avoid atrial fibrillation (AF), whereas athletes should be counseled that long-lasting vigorous sports engagement may cause AF, according to the 2016 European Society of Cardiology (ESC) recommendations for AF treatment. Exercise and AF are complex. Objectives: To evaluate the relationship between Endurance training and AF, in addition to the starting point/trigger by which Endurance Training causes impairment of cardiac function and AF, considering the time and intensity of Endurance training. Materials and Methods: We synthesized evidence from articles published in the PubMed, EMBASE, and SciELO databases using their respective Boolean operators. A total of 112 original articles related to AF and endurance athletes published up to the year 2023 were reviewed. Results: Our study verified multiples aspects of the genesis of AF in athletes, such as cardiac adaptations to exercise, disturbances in cardiac injury biomarkers, sex differences in cardiac adaptations and their role in AF risk, and the relationship between body composition (height, weight, and physical fitness) and AF pathogenesis. Conclusions: Variations in cardiac structure (increased atrial thickness and size in addition to myocardial fibrosis) and significant increases in vagal tone (sinus bradycardia and imbalances in sympathetic and parasympathetic activation) shorten the refractory period shortening in athletes, induce the onset of re-entrance mechanisms, and serve as ectopic triggers that can lead to AF.