The Worst Workouts for Heartburn Sufferers

08. 09. 2017

There are several factors that can contribute to the occurrence of heartburn – spicy foods, overeating, smoking, and yes, even exercise. An online survey of 1,000 baby boomers found that nearly 40 percent of heartburn sufferers experience heartburn when exercising. Even more concerning, more than two out of five people with weekly heartburn chose to forego physical activity due to their reflux symptoms (Source: Verywell).

Exercise in general is an excellent option for reducing the overall occurrence of heartburn, but not all workouts are created equal. Exercises that are vigorous, jarring, or place your body in a supine position can encourage stomach acids to escape into the esophagus and cause heartburn.

The following are some activities that may be problematic for heartburn sufferers:

  • Running
  • Dance aerobics
  • Indoor cycling
  • Power lifting
  • Crunches or sit-ups
  • Kickboxing
  • Supine or inverted poses in yoga or Pilates
  • Burpees
  • Push-ups

As with any heartburn trigger, it’s important to find out what affects you personally. If your current exercise routine frequently triggers acid reflux, try making small modifications to see if your symptoms improve. You may only need to make small adjustments, such as using an incline bench for weight lifting or doing push-ups on the wall instead of the floor. Ask a certified trainer or instructor for tips and modifications to make your workout more heartburn friendly.

You may also be able to improve exercise-induced reflux by modifying your workout schedule. Try to avoid exercising at least one to two hours after eating, and remember to drink water before, during and after your workout. If your symptoms persist, talk to your doctor about medications and lifestyle modifications that can keep your reflux symptoms under control.

Related articles:

Treating Heartburn with Lifestyle Changes
Workout Woes: How to Eliminate Exercise-Related Reflux

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