You know the drill! Exercise is a healthy addition to anyone’s routine. Staying in shape helps control a plethora of health problems like high blood pressure and high cholesterol as well as helping you stay at a healthy weight. But for patients with acid reflux, exercise might be a little discouraging as it may worsen symptoms of acid reflux or GERD.
High impact exercise routines like running may worsen reflux by causing stomach acids to churn and rise into the esophagus. Floor workouts, like crunches, core strengthening and some yoga poses, may require you to lay flat on your back which also allows acid to creep into the esophagus worsening reflux and bringing painful symptoms. Try more low impact routines that still get your heart rate to a target range, and refrain from floor work when possible. Eating a few hours prior to working out helps to boost your energy level and keep your blood sugar up while allowing your stomach to be empty by the time your workout rolls around. Try to drink water all day and stay well hydrated before exercising which will decrease your desire to chug water once you get going. Taking an over the counter antacid, like Tums, is very helpful prior to a workout. This will decrease symptoms of acid reflux even if you take a different medication prescribed by your doctor.
Try these tips, but if your symptoms persist while exercising talk with your doctor about other strategies and steps you should take. Never assume that any chest pain or discomfort while exercising is reflux. It could be more serious than that. If you have persistent chest pain while working out it is best to seek medical attention immediately. The doctors at Asheville Gastro want to help you manage your acid reflux and live your healthiest life. Don’t suffer in silence!