Were you aware that too much strenuous activity like exercise can lead to heartburn – even in people who are not suffering from chronic heartburn? So you must be wondering why doctors and fitness experts urge you to implement an exercise routine in the first place!
Fact is, exercise does keep you fit and helps you build up your immunity against chronic health issues – but not every kind of exercise is meant for everyone. Before we move on to tell you about which kind of exercise will do you good, and which will worsen your heartburn, you need to take a look at what causes heartburn.
We know that you already know what causes heartburn – it is not the over or underproduction of stomach acids alone that causes heartburn. It is the fact that the stomach acids refuse to stay in the stomach and tend to reflux back into the esophagus. Add to that a weakened esophageal sphincter and you have heartburn!
What has exercise got to do with it?
When you exercise, or put your body through any form of strenuous activity, it only helps agitate the stomach acids more. When you jump, run, jog or bend down, it makes it easy for the stomach acid to pass into the esophagus.
So if you indulge in aerobics and other similar forms of exercise, your chronic heartburn can only get worse.
What is the solution – no exercise?
While it’s true that you should avoid certain kinds of exercise when you have chronic GERD, it doesn’t automatically mean that you should shun exercising altogether. In fact, exercising is mandatory because —
- You have to trim away the excess fat in the body because with excess body fat around the vital organs, your body’s natural defenses are weakened. Your body is then unable to fight against various diseases and ailments, GERD and heartburn included.
- Research shows that the microbial organism — helicobacter pylori is known to grow in the stomach and aggravate the symptoms of heartburn. Exercising regularly strengthens the immune system and keeps this bacterium from wreaking havoc in your system.
What you need is an exercise routine that’s tailor-made for you.
Here’s what you can do—
- Figure out which activities are aggravating your heartburn and stay away from them.
- Exercise at least 2 hours after or before your meal times – and never do anything strenuous right after your meal.
- Try stationary exercises on the elliptical machine or the stationary bike.
Here’s what you should avoid—
- Don’t lie down right after you have your meal—especially flat on your back.
- Heavy lifting right after your meal puts undue pressure on your upper tummy and causes the acid to reflux into your esophagus.
- Same applies to bending over.
- Eating heavy and rich meals frequently.
- Uneven chewing and gulping your food at the speed of an express train.
- Smoking and having too much caffeine.
Once you have implemented an exercise routine that is right for you, you will get better results not just weight-wise, but your metabolism will also improve. This in turn will rectify your acid reflux situation, bringing you long term relief from heartburn. A healthy exercise routine coupled with good lifestyle choices will go a long way in not just keeping heartburn at bay but also in promoting overall health.