are many theories regarding the role of exercise
in the treatment or prevention of
One study claims that obesity increases the risk
of GERD by increasing the pressure on the abdomen.
Some feel that the symptoms of GERD are greatly
reduced with weight loss while others feel there
is no change and perhaps that massive weight loss
actually increased the symptoms of GERD. None of these
theories has been proved beyond reasonable
Some other studies claim that the incidence of
GERD is more frequent during exercise than at
rest, and can be the cause of severe chest pain or
abdominal pain during
According to yet another study, an increase in the
intensity of exercise caused an increase in reflux
in both trained athletes as well as untrained
Another study states that strenuous activities
such as running resulted in aggravated GERD while
activities such as bicycling or weight training
produced fewer symptoms.
Eating just before any exercise causes an
aggravation in the symptoms of reflux.
Then again, a recent survey found that people
indulging in little or no exercise were more
likely than active people to be hospitalized for
with such confusing, contradicting data, it makes
sense for GERD patients to use exercise as
part of a healthy lifestyle plan, but opting for
activities that are least likely to cause GERD
symptoms for them.
Exactly what causes increased reflux during
exercise is not known, but experts believe it is
likely that body position, motion, and pressure on
the abdomen from a full stomach play a role.
heartburn should not be a reason to stop
exercising. Patients can choose their workouts
wisely, and take a few steps to prevent heartburn
before it starts.
Talk to your doctor. Ask what type of exercises
will cause the least amount of discomfort and what
you can do to ease the
Avoid foods high in fat and protein for two hours
before workout. Opt for high carbohydrate foods
Moderate intake of spicy foods, citrus foods,
chocolates, spearmint, caffeinated and carbonated
Do not exercise on a full stomach and eat smaller
Drink plenty of water 30 minutes before exercise
and sip little amounts every 10 to 15 minutes and
after exercise to keep yourself well hydrated and
to aid digestion.
Jarring exercises such as jogging or high-impact
aerobics increases chances of acid reflux. Riding
a bike, swimming, or walking causes fewer
Use an antacid before or during
If pain persists, have it checked out by a doctor
to rule out any heart problems.
that is light and paced, such as stationary
bicycle exercises or light treadmill exercises, as
well as yoga and light weight lifting, are
extremely helpful in GERD patients, as these
exercises allow for weight loss over time. The
overall sense of well-being gained from light
exercise, with its associated weight loss, makes
it an ideal recommendation for patients with GERD.
Along with exercise, however, consultation with a
holistic practitioner for mental as well as
emotional health is also important as part for
GERD treatment. Holistic approach treats the
entire body not just the symptoms, resulting in a
more satisfying and permanent cure.