Can Workout Help with Acid Reflux?

Learn how working out can help relieve symptoms of acid reflux.


Acid reflux is a common condition that can cause uncomfortable symptoms such as heartburn and chest pain. Those who suffer from this medical issue may be looking for ways to minimize its impact and improve their overall health. One potential solution is exercise: it may be effective at helping you relieve your acid reflux symptoms.

Regular exercise can have a positive effect on your digestive system, allowing you to experience relief from the unpleasant feelings associated with acid reflux. It can also reduce stress levels, which may in turn limit symptoms. Additionally, exercising consistently helps support a healthy weight, and being overweight can be a risk factor for acid reflux.

The type of exercise matters when attempting to combat acid reflux: certain forms are better than others at alleviating symptoms. Low-impact forms of exercise like yoga or swimming are gentler on the digestive tract and tend to lead to better outcomes than high-intensity exercises like running or weightlifting.

Carving out time for regular light exercise not only has physical benefits but mental ones too: it helps reduce stress by releasing feel-good hormones like serotonin and endorphins into the bloodstream. The combination of these chemicals with improved digestion could help thwart episodes of acid reflux in those who experience it regularly.

What is Acid Reflux?

Acid reflux is a common medical condition that occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter does not close properly and acid from the stomach flows back into the esophagus. When this happens, patients may experience heartburn, chest pain or a sour taste in the mouth. This condition can have serious long-term effects, such as damage to the esophagus and increased risk of esophageal cancer. However, research has shown that physical activity can help reduce acid reflux symptoms in some people.

Exercise plays an important role in helping to regulate digestion and reduce stress levels, both of which can help with reducing acid reflux. In addition, regular exercise can improve overall fitness levels and help you maintain a healthy weight – two factors that can play a role in reducing your risk of developing acid reflux. Furthermore, certain exercises may be beneficial specifically for managing acid reflux symptoms by strengthening abdominal muscles and encouraging better digestion.

If you are prsenting withe symptoms of pesistent indigestion it is highly recommended consulting witha medical professional before beginning an exercise program to ensure it is safe and appropriate for your specific needs.

How Can Exercise Help?

Exercise can have many positive physical and mental health benefits, and it can also help reduce symptoms of acid reflux. Regular exercise can strengthen the muscles surrounding the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which can make it easier to keep the LES closed, preventing acid reflux. It can also help reduce stress and anxiety, which can contribute to acid reflux. Let’s look at how exercise can help with acid reflux.

Strengthen the Esophageal Sphincter

Studies have demonstrated that exercise can help relieve symptoms of acid reflux and possibly prevent future outbreaks. The primary way that exercise aids in preventing and alleviating acid reflux is by strengthening the esophageal sphincter muscle. This muscle helps to keep stomach acids in the stomach, where they belong, rather than being regurgitated into the esophagus during times of acid reflux.

Low-impact aerobic exercises such as brisk walking, swimming, or cycling can be very effective in helping to strengthen this important muscle. Additionally, research has shown that developing abdominal muscles with core exercises can also help keep acids down in their rightful place.

Resistance training has even been found to reduce levels of gastric acidity and heartburn symptoms – probably because it strengthens the underlying muscles of your gastrointestinal tract. Pilates is a good starting point for strengthening these core muscles in a low-impact format.

Finally, improving overall cardiovascular fitness through regular exercise can reduce levels of stress hormones which are known triggers for exacerbating acid reflux symptoms.

Improve Digestion

Exercise can help to improve digestion by stimulating your digestive organs and aiding in the proper absorption of nutrients from the food you eat. When you exercise, your body releases hormones that promote digestive activity and aid in the breakdown of food particles. Exercise also increases blood flow to your digestive organs, allowing for better digestion and faster transit time. This helps get rid of waste products quickly, so there’s less risk for acid reflux to occur. Additionally, strengthening abdominal muscles can help with posture, which can also help reduce acid reflux symptoms. Expanding lung capacity through regular exercise also helps by increasing pressure on the stomach that reduces acid reflux and other gastrointestinal issues. Lastly, exercising outdoors has been shown to have additional benefits compared to indoor or simulated activities due to increased exposure to fresh air and absorption of essential vitamins needed for digestion purposes like vitamin D from the sun’s rays.

Reduce Stress

A physical activity program may be a key factor in reducing the painful symptoms of acid reflux. Regular exercise can help to reduce stress levels, which has been known to be one of the main triggers of acid reflux. Exercise helps to reduce the amount of stomach acid being produced and also relieves intestinal pressure, allowing more space in the stomach for gastric contents to remain. Vigorous forms of exercise like running and weight lifting should be avoided as these activities can put added pressure on your abdominal cavity, causing aggravation of symptoms. Instead, moderate activities such as walking, biking or swimming are recommended for maintaining fitness levels without increasing stress on the body. Additionally, focusing on core exercises can help to strengthen and tone your abdomen, making it better able to support the digestive system. If done correctly and consistently, regular exercise can be an effective way of helping manage acid reflux symptoms.

Types of Exercise to Consider

Exercise can be an effective way to reduce acid reflux symptoms. However, not all types of exercise are suitable for acid reflux sufferers. Some exercises can aggravate the symptoms, while some can be beneficial. In this section, we will discuss the different types of exercises you can consider to help alleviate acid reflux symptoms.

Low-Impact Cardio

Low-impact cardio is a type of exercise that won’t put too much strain on your joints while still providing a good workout and elevating your heart rate. Low-impact activities are beneficial for those with acid reflux because they can reduce the amount of pressure put on your stomach. Examples of low-impact cardio include swimming, water aerobics, walking, biking, elliptical and other cardiovascular exercises in which one foot remains in contact with the ground at all times. When participating in any form of exercise, it is important to drink plenty of water and to wear comfortable shoes.

Strength Training

Strength training is an important component for overall fitness and health. Regular strength training exercises help to increase muscle mass and improve contractile force, leading to improved performance in daily activities. Strength training also helps to decrease the risk of injury when performing other types of physical activity, such as walking or running. Additionally, strength training can help improve cognitive function and your overall mood.

There are several types of strength exercise that you could consider including resistance machines, dumbbells and kettlebells, bodyweight exercises, power lifting exercises and Olympic lifting. Resistance machines are a great place to start if you’re new to the gym as they can help build a supportive foundation for other muscular exercises by supporting your body during the exercise movements.

Dumbbells and kettlebells enable you to increase intensity but be sure not to overexert yourself as this may lead to injury or distress. Bodyweight exercises are an effective way to use your own body’s weight as resistance while still providing great benefit while they can be harder than machines or free weights they also work multiple muscles simultaneously so are a good choice if you’re short of time.

Powerlifting requires no machines at all but requires more technique work than regular gym-style lifts so practice is needed before going straight into the big lifts such as squatting or deadlifting heavier weights. Olympic lifting uses barbells which is beneficial for explosive linear power bursts however it does require more skill making it better suited for advanced weight lifters rather than beginners.
Regardless of whichever type of strength exercise you choose, it’s important that you begin slowly with light weights with fewer repetitions until your muscles grow stronger before increasing the number of reps or amount of weight used during exercise sessions for best results

Yoga and Stretching

Yoga and stretching are two types of exercises that can help reduce symptoms of acid reflux. Both yoga and stretching can build strength, flexibility, and balance. They can also improve breathing and relaxation, reduce stress, and create a sense of calmness. Practicing yoga or stretching on a regular basis can be beneficial for managing acid reflux symptoms.

When doing yoga or stretching to reduce acid reflux symptoms the goal should be to hold poses for longer periods of time. It is important to listen to your body and stay within your comfort zone as you practice these activities. If you’re uncomfortable or experience any pain while doing poses in yoga or stretches in general, it’s important to adjust your posture or stop altogether as overstretching could worsen existing symptoms.

When performing stretches aim to stretch slowly throughout the whole range of movement while focusing on the breath. Breathing helps relax tight muscles which can help with reducing acid reflux intensity; a deep inhalation followed by an exhalation works best. During each session consider engaging all four postures: seated poses, standing poses, prone poses (stomach facing down), and supine poses (stomach facing up).

Tips for Exercising with Acid Reflux

Exercising regularly can be great for improving overall health and reducing symptoms of acid reflux. However, it can also contribute to the onset of acid reflux if done incorrectly or too strenuously. If you have acid reflux, it’s important to understand the correct way to exercise in order to avoid exacerbating symptoms. This section will discuss tips for exercising with acid reflux.

Avoid Eating Before Exercise

It is recommended that individuals with acid reflux wait at least three to four hours after eating prior to exercising, to allow the stomach time to empty. Eating a full meal prior to exercise increases the likelihood of gastric reflux during exercise. If exercising too soon after eating, acidic stomach contents may be forced into the esophagus and cause symptoms such as heartburn or regurgitation. Eating lighter meals prior to engaging in physical activity and abstaining from acidic, spicy, and fried foods can help prevent acid reflux from occurring during physical activity.

Wear Loose-Fitting Clothing

When exercising with acid reflux, it is important to wear loose-fitting clothing that won’t rub uncomfortably against your skin. Wearing tight clothing can cause increased pressure on the stomach, which can worsen acid reflux symptoms and create further discomfort. For example, wearing tight-fitting jeans or restrictive tops can aggravate your condition, so avoid these when exercising.

Clothing made of light, breathable fabrics will promote air circulation while allowing you to move freely. Look for garments with low-light reflectivity and moisture-wicking technology to keep your skin dry during workouts that make you sweat. Synthetic blends tend to be best for working out because they dry quickly and move easily with your body. Stick to comfortable pieces that give room for your body to expand when you start breathing harder during vigorous activity and don’t hug or constrict in any way – constriction of any kind worsens acid reflux symptoms.

Take Breaks When Necessary

Exercising with acid reflux can present some challenges, but it is not impossible. Taking active steps to manage your condition will help reduce the risk of flare-ups while you remain active. Taking frequent breaks and hydrating are two very important things to remember when exercising with acid reflux.

When exercising with acid reflux, it is important to take breaks as needed and pause for a few minutes if you start feeling uncomfortable. Pay attention to your body’s warning signs and if you feel acidic burps or heartburn coming on, give yourself a moment to catch your breath. Pushing through the pain may result in a more serious situation if signs of GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) are present.

Hydration is also key when exercising with acid reflux, as dehydration can potentially worsen the symptoms of either condition; having water handy during exercise is essential in avoiding further complications. Be sure to stop often for water breaks throughout your workout and always consult your doctor before beginning any kind of exercise regimen if you have been diagnosed with any kind of digestive issue.


The evidence suggests that regular exercise can help manage the symptoms of acid reflux, especially if the exercise is kept at an appropriate intensity. However, it is important to note that intense exercise or activities with large impact, such as contact sports and weightlifting, can exacerbate symptoms of acid reflux for many people. It is always recommended to speak with a physician before starting any new physical activity or workout routine.

Finally, it is important to remember that acid reflux is a complex medical condition and should be treated by a medical professional. If you are experiencing any symptoms of acid reflux, it is important to talk to your doctor about your lifestyle and diet changes as well as any medications that might be helpful in managing this condition.

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