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Exercise improves digestion, reduces stress, and lowers weight. All of which can help in reducing the frequency of heartburn. But some exercises can cause or make heartburn worse. Want to know the best heartburn friendly exercises? #HeartburnRemedies #AcidRefluxRemediesExercise improves digestion, reduces stress, and lowers weight. All of which can help in reducing the frequency of heartburn. Some exercises, however, can trigger heartburn.

Heartburn is caused by stomach acid refluxing into and irritating the esophagus. The lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is a ring of muscle that closes at the base of the esophagus to prevent stomach acids from refluxing. Certain foods can cause the LES to relax. These should be avoided before exercise. Pressure on the abdomen can also cause acid to push through the LES. This pressure can be caused by weight, movements and body position. Certain exercises are more likely to cause pressure on the LES than others. Your doctor, personal trainer, or fitness instructor can help you develop an appropriate workout routine that will accommodate your health conditions and lower heartburn risk.

There are 14 tips for preventing heartburn during exercise that you should review. In this article, we will focus on the actual exercises.



 

Heartburn Inducing Exercises to Avoid

Strenuous exercises that cause labored breathing1 and those involving reclining, inversion, bending, squatting, lifting, or straining increase pressure on your LES allowing acid to reflux. These heartburn inducing exercises would include:2,3

  • Running
  • Rigorous cycling
  • Lifting heavy free weights
  • High-impact aerobics
  • Jumping movements
  • Climbing stairs or stair stepping machine
  • Gymnastics
  • Sit-ups/crunches
  • Yoga
  • Pilates

 

Heartburn Friendly Exercises

Certain exercises are a problem if you suffer from chronic heartburn especially those that cause added pressure on the abdomen. If you are feeling susceptible to heartburn, save the more rigorous workouts for a time or day when you are having fewer heartburn signs. Instead, pick from exercises that will minimize the risk of heartburn. Consider the following choices that don’t tend to cause heartburn and remain as upright in position as possible when performing these exercises.

  • Elliptical machine
  • Stationary bike: Using a stationary bike will avoid bumps that would force stomach contents upward agains the LES. Recumbent bikes are the better choice of bike allowing the rider to be in a position that places less pressure on the abdomen than on the typical bike where the rider leans forward toward the bike handles.
  • Light weight lifting using a machine instead of free weights
  • Walking outdoors or on a treadmill
  • Light jogging
  • Swimming
  • Low-impact aerobics



 

Conclusion

Exercise is very important to your wellbeing and for the reduction of heartburn, acid reflux and GERD. Stress, poor digestion, and being overweight are all factors that contribute to heartburn. Exercise will improve all three. If you suffer from exercise related heartburn, pick from the list of exercises that can reduce your chances of heartburn. It’s important to continue working out. As you improve upon your physical condition, you will likely experience fewer heartburn symptoms.

Pay attention to and be good to your body. If you follow the 14 tips for preventing heartburn during exercise, improve your diet, and reduce body fat to a healthy level, you will be eliminating the majority of triggers that contribute to heartburn allowing you a successful workout.




Exercise improves digestion, reduces stress, and lowers weight. All of which can help in reducing the frequency of heartburn. But some exercises can cause or make heartburn worse. Want to know the best heartburn friendly exercises? #HeartburnRemedies #AcidRefluxRemedies

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4 Comments
  1. Dr Santosh More 2 weeks ago

    Hi Steve!
    Thanks for the reply.
    Many things are confusing.
    Since diagnosis of Reflux I didn’t dare to swim.
    When I was swimming last year there was no reflux.
    My gastroenterologist said avoid only pranayama form of yoga ( pranayama actually claims to tighten diaphragmatic muscles this preventing reflux) , otherwise you can do any exercise, swimming also.
    He has put me on anxiolytic drug (Etizola 0.25) and he said your reflux is functional.

    • Author
      Steve Hood 2 weeks ago

      Great to hear from you again, Santosh! Finding the right choice of treatment can often be difficult and confusing. There are many different causations and thus different treatments. If you are unsure that your gastroenterologist is on the right path of treatment, you might consider a second opinion. I’ve had to get second and even third opinions from doctors.

  2. Dr Santosh More 3 weeks ago

    Hi!
    I am Dr Santosh suffering from ppi dependence and reflux.
    I had an query that how swimming is heartburn friendly exercise? As it involves horizontal placing of body.
    Didn’t it would increase reflux?

    • Author
      Steve Hood 3 weeks ago

      Hello Dr. More! Great question! From my research, it’s generally considered heartburn friendly. The main reason is that many movements in swimming are low-impact. Low-impact will cause less pressure on the LES. The stomach would usually be lower than the LES in most swimming styles. Yes, there are some movements that could cause acid reflux. Any that cause you problems should be avoided. Water aerobics is a great choice for many people. It’s not really swimming though, is it? Does swimming cause you to experience acid reflux? I may need to update the article for more clarity. Thank you!

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