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3 Workouts that Increase Heartburn

Heartburn conditions or acid reflux can be agitated or even caused by certain types of workout or exercise. Studies show that exercise routines involving vigorous movement or certain positions can induce heartburn. Despite this, there are many options one can choose to help avoid heartburn during exercise, such as eating sensibly before exercising, waiting at least 2 hours after eating to begin a workout and avoiding sports drinks high in carbohydrates. Additionally, choosing the right types of less intense exercise and continuing with the routine on a consistent basis can help to reduce the risk of heartburn symptoms. Exercise is very important for people with heartburn, as it has been shown to actually reduce symptoms over a period of time.

1. Running

Running is one type of vigorous exercise that can lead to heartburn. Because of the jarring and bouncing of the body, symptoms can easily arise. Heartburn is normally caused when food or stomach acids reflux back into the esophagus and lead to burning and pain in the stomach and throat areas. During and after a vigorous run, the stomach and abdominal area have been bounced around, potentially causing the stomach's contents to back up into the esophagus. Choosing a comparable, but less intensive workout, such as riding on a stationary bicycle, may help to prevent this.

2. Aerobics Routines

Like running, an aerobics routine can cause a jarring and jiggling of the body leading to heartburn symptoms. In order to receive benefits of an aerobic workout without the side effects of such physically intensive exercise, there are several exercises you may choose. Swimming is one of the best forms of aerobic exercise that is easier and less stressful on the body, but very beneficial at the same time. You may also wish to ride a bike or engage in cross-country skiing during winter months. Other alternatives may include yoga or Pilates, but some of these particular positions may also trigger symptoms. Headstands or the Downward Dog position in yoga may need to be modified to reduce the risk of flare ups.

3. Weight Training

Certain positions required for overall body weight training have a higher instance of producing heartburn symptoms. When engaging in strenuous exercise, these positions put significant pressure on the abdominal area. The following types of weight training should be avoided or modified during your workout to minimize the potential for heartburn symptoms:

  • Lying down on a flat surface, such as with bench presses or leg curls can lead to heartburn. Instead find an exercise that works the area in question, but instead allows you to stand upright or move about freely.
  • Remaining upside down for a period of time, such as with headstands or gymnastics type exercises may cause reflux. These positions should be avoided during your workout.
  • Pinpointing the abdominal area with a workout, such as crunches, sit-ups or other exercises may scrunch the belly and cause problems. Instead, try standing upright and working with torso twists, or engage in a different, full body exercise routine that is less intensive.

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