Acid reflux can be a huge hurdle to pass for anyone. It can make daily habits, such as sleeping, harder. But, exercise and GERD are a pair that we often overlook. That’s a problem because Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease complicates things.
Acid reflux is often the result of bad habits. Thus, adopting healthier habits should be your first goal. However, that goes beyond avoiding problematic foods. Losing excess weight can be a great step. Sadly, GERD makes it harder.
But, what’s really going on between the two?
What’s the link between exercise and GERD?
Intense exercise can worsen GERD symptoms. Certain workout intensity levels and lengths can trigger reflux episodes. In other words, intense workouts can trigger GERD episodes. Thus, you need to be careful.
Certain studies have pointed out possible links:
- Lower gastrointestinal blood flow.
- Hormone secretion changes.
- Esophagus and ventricle motor function alterations.
- Constrained body positions.
Exercise often results in abdominal and thoracic pressure. This pressure can become a problem with prominent GERD symptoms. Therefore, evaluating your exercise routine and specific workouts is a must. From there, you can change and adapt them to your condition.
What are the risks of exercising with GERD?
As Healthline explains, high-impact exercise is the main culprit. That includes running, weightlifting, and sports like tennis. These exercises create the dichotomy of exercise and GERD.
Some workouts can decrease gastrointestinal blood flow. This results in pools of gastric fluids, causing inflammation and irritation. This worsens considerably with restrictive body positions. Some can pressure your chest and stomach, triggering symptoms.
Bending too much and upside-down hanging are the worst types of workouts. Plus, you must be careful about gulping air. Naturally, you must also avoid eating too much before working out.
What can you do about exercise-induced GERD?
Now, I call it a dichotomy because exercise can help with GERD. So, how can you exercise with GERD? Luckily, EverydayHealth has a solution.
The key lies in identifying which workouts trigger your reflux. Then, you can make the necessary changes. It’s important that you don’t give up exercising, though. Instead, follow the following tips:
- Don’t eat too much before working out. In fact, you might have to reconsider it if your GERD is bad.
- Stick to complex carbs and foods that are fast and easy to digest.
- Don’t hurry while eating. Take your time and enjoy your meals.
- Don’t lie flat for too long. Try using incline benches for exercises that demand it.
- Adjust your workout intensity as you listen to your body. Also, breathe properly while exercising.
- Stay hydrated and in comfortable clothing.
How exercise and GERD may share a beneficial relationship
It’s time to tackle the other side of the coin: exercise’s GERD benefits. Some workouts can help you mitigate GERD symptoms. Moderate and low-impact workouts are actually beneficial against acid reflux.
Instead of running or lifting weights, try walking and yoga. Light jogging, stationary bikes, and swimming are also great. That way, you can still lose weight without triggering GERD symptoms.
Also, losing weight is a common recommendation for GERD patients. As such, you have enough reasons not to quit working out.
How to keep exercise and GERD balanced
Finally, let’s go through a few tips by Orlando Health. I’ll summarize their general guidelines below. But, I’d still recommend you check out the full article.
- Firstly, don’t just quit exercising because of GERD. Your weight relates directly to acid reflux. So, aim to adapt your routine instead of quitting.
- Be more careful than others about eating before exercising. Don’t exercise right after eating. Plus, stick to easy-to-digest meals.
- Avoid exercises that demand lying flat or strenuous workouts.
- Stay hydrated while exercising to aid digestion.
- Avoid tight clothes that can pressure your abdomen.
- Try yoga, which can help you reduce GERD symptoms.
The holistic takeaway
Exercise and GERD are a complicated couple. Working out can trigger and worsen GERD symptoms. But, it can also help you lose weight, which helps deal with GERD.
The key lies in how you work out.
Additionally, you can add Acidaburn to your days. Acidaburn targets your good gut bacteria to improve digestion. It’ll help you keep reflux in check while helping you lose weight.
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