The Best Workouts for Reflux Sufferers

There are several lifestyle changes that can reduce the

occurrence of acid reflux – eating smaller portions, avoiding common trigger
foods and not smoking – but one of the most effective yet overlooked therapies
is exercise. Physical activity aids in proper digestion and promotes weight
loss, both of which can naturally alleviate symptoms of acid reflux. In fact, researchers
in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology found that reflux sufferers
can reduce heartburn by up to 40 percent just by losing 10 to 15 pounds
(Source: Sepalika).

Any type of exercise that gets your heart pumping and body
moving can be beneficial for your digestive health, but you’ll want to proceed
with caution. Certain kinds of exercise can actually exacerbate heartburn
symptoms and discourage you from reaching your fitness goals. If you’re looking
to develop a new fitness regimen, use these guidelines to keep your workout
safe and heartburn-friendly.

Opt for low-impact – Running sprints on the treadmill or
taking an intense aerobics class might sound great for weight loss, but these
high-impact activities can force digestive acids into your esophagus where they
can cause painful irritation. If you notice that a particular activity triggers
heartburn symptoms, try something low-impact like walking or the elliptical. As
your digestive symptoms improve, you can experiment with higher-impact
exercises.

Keep your body upright – Remaining upright during exercise
allows gravity to work in your favor by keeping food and digestive acids in
your stomach. Use an incline bench when lifting weights instead of lying in the
supine or decline position. When doing yoga or Pilates, avoid inverted poses
which place the stomach above the esophagus. Ask your instructor for pose
modifications which will allow you to continue exercising comfortably.

Tone down the intensity – High-intensity exercise causes
blood to flow away from the digestive system to support your larger muscle
groups. This slows down digestion and may trigger unwanted symptoms. If you
notice heartburn developing during your workout, trying taking the intensity
down a notch and see if your symptoms improve.

Try breathing exercises – A small study of GERD patients
found that four weeks of breathing exercises improved reflux symptoms for up to
nine months (Source: EverydayHealth). Ask a certified trainer or instructor for breathing exercises you
can practice in the gym or at home to improve your reflux symptoms. You can
also attend yoga, Pilates or tai chi classes which focus on breathing form and
technique.

Committing to an exercise routine is just one way to improve
your digestive health. Talk to your doctor about other treatments and lifestyle
modifications that can help keep your acid reflux symptoms under control. With
the right tools for symptom prevention and management, you’ll be able to enjoy
newfound freedom without the fear of heartburn!

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