Tag Archives: indigestion

couple working out at the gym

Why and How Exercise Can Reduce Acid Reflux

 

From changing your sleeping position to adapting your diet, it’s a known fact that lifestyle changes can significantly reduce acid reflux symptoms.

With symptoms such as heartburn and indigestion, acid reflux and GERD sufferers are pretty keen on trying any and all suggestions to minimize flare-ups.

One recommendation to naturally reduce acid reflux is to begin or increase your weekly exercise regimen.

If you’re someone who’s always been an exercise fan–whether it be going to a local yoga class twice a week or swimming laps at the gym every morning–that’s great.

However, if you don’t currently have an enthusiasm for exercising, it’s understandable that you would be a bit more hesitant to dive into fitness.

In this post, we’ll provide you with an overview for why and how exercise can help reduce acid reflux symptoms along with what types of exercise you should try to lessen your symptoms.

Once you’re equipped with this knowledge, it’s easier to feel more motivated to prioritize fitness in your life.

Read on to find out more!

Why Exercise Is Important in Decreasing Acid Reflux

woman jogging at sunset

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Of course, exercise is a beneficial lifestyle factor in the lives of everyone–whether they have acid reflux or not.

The reasons that exercise is particularly important for GERD sufferers have to do with the affect that weight can have on the lower esophageal sphincter, also known as the LES.

Weight puts pressure on the LES, which prevents it from opening and closing at a fast enough rate.

If the LES functions at a slower pace, acid is more likely to pass through the LES and travel back up through the esophagus–creating the dreaded symptoms of heartburn and indigestion.

Therefore, obesity is a common factor when it comes to GERD–but you don’t need to be obese for there to be an effect.

Researchers in one study found that, “even in subjects with normal body weight, the risk of heartburn increased with weight gain despite the fact that the body mass index remained in the normal range.”

The researchers also determined that simply losing 10 to 15 pounds can reduce heartburn by 40 percent.

Types of Exercise That Reduce GERD Symptoms

Feeling motivated to become more active yet intimidated by the prospect of exercise?

No need to feel as if you need to immediately transform into a fitness junkie that can drop and do 50 pushups on command.

Taking baby steps will ensure that your fitness routine will become a sustainable practice and routine in your lifestyle.

For example, the best kinds of exercise to reduce acid reflux include…

  • Walking
  • Tai chi
  • Light jogging
  • Water aerobics and swimming
  • Stationary cycling
  • Upright yoga poses

In addition to helping you burn calories and lose weight, these exercises boost your immune system.

This is key because a healthy immune system works to rid your body of bacteria–including bacteria in your digestive system.

In particular, H. pylori (HP) is bacteria that, according to Sepalika, can be found in the lining of your stomach and affects approximately 66% of adults.

A study published in The Journal of the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons found that “significant evidence suggests the potential role of HP infection in the development of GERD.”

It’s also important to note that there are several exercises that can actually worsen acid reflux. These include…

  • Vigorous aerobic exercise, such as running and heavy cycling.
  • Weight lifting, since it often puts internal pressure within your abdomen and can affect your LES.
  • Anything that involves lying flat or bending down, since the pull of gravity can affect your LES and cause more heartburn and indigestion. This can include certain Pilates or yoga poses, as well as surfing. In fact, according to a study in the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, acid reflux was “significantly higher” in surfers versus non-surfers at a ratio of 28% to 7%.

Remember, don’t expect yourself to immediately become a pro at any type of exercise you try. Take it one step at a time.

If you make it a sustainable practice over time, you’ll begin to see how exercise can reduce acid reflux.

That said, exercise isn’t the only lifestyle modification needed to reduce acid reflux.

Learn more about how food can significantly affect your GERD symptoms.

motherhood, pregnancy

4 Ways to Soothe Acid Reflux During Pregnancy

The nine months of expecting a child is a thrilling time for soon-to-be mothers (and fathers!).

From decorating a baby room to selecting a name, there’s a range of exciting elements that occur over the course of the nine months in preparation of welcoming a son or daughter into a family.

However, as per usual, good things in life also come with a few less-than-ideal aspects–one of which can be acid reflux.

Expectant mothers-to-be often experience heartburn and indigestion that come along with acid reflux due to the fact that they have higher levels of progesterone, which is the hormone that relaxes muscles in pregnancy.

Along with relaxing the uterus during pregnancy, progesterone also relaxes the stomach valve that keeps acid out of the esophagus.

You can guess what happens next–stomach acid easily passes up through the esophagus, causing the uncomfortable symptoms of indigestion and heartburn.

Here are four ways to minimize these symptoms during pregnancy, enabling you to have a more enjoyable and comfortable experience in the nine months before your child is born.

#1: Wear loose-fitting clothes.

heartburn, loose clothing, pregnancy, acid reflux

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If you’re determined to continue to wear tight-fitting jeans during your pregnancy, you might as well give up your goal of minimizing acid reflux symptoms.

Tighter clothing puts more pressure on your abdomen, which increases the likelihood of acid traveling up through your esophageal sphincter.

Instead, opt for wearing looser clothing. With a range of stylish and comfortable maternity wear available online or at various stores, you don’t have to worry about finding appropriate options.

#2: Eat smaller meals–slowly.

eat slowly. acid reflux, heartburn

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Similar to the way that wearing tight clothing can put pressure on your abdomen, contributing to heartburn and indigestion, eating large meals has the same negative effect.  

Therefore, rather than eating three large meals a day, aim to eat five or six smaller-portioned meals.

Additionally, rushing through your meal won’t do you any favors.

Try to eat your food at a relaxed pace, enjoying each delicious bite. This will also help ensure that you don’t unintentionally overeat.

#3: Don’t eat right before sleeping.

clock, acid reflux, nigh time snacks

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I get it–life can get busy, and sometimes you find yourself eating at the end of the day, just before you head to sleep.

However, it’s best to allow your body the time to digest food before lying down to sleep. Otherwise you may find yourself awakening to painful heartburn in the middle of the night.

Aim to eat dinner two to three hours before bedtime, and you’ll be golden.

#4: Sleep upright.

Once you have digested and are ready for bed, it’s important to note that the position in which you sleep matters.

Elevate your head and upper chest so that they are higher than your abdomen. Doing so discourages acid from following upwards into your esophagus.

Incorporate the four tips above in your day-to-day life, and I guarantee you’ll experience less instances of heartburn–making your pregnancy experience more enjoyable!

Looking for the perfect pillow to help you achieve the ideal sleeping position? Learn about an excellent option in my post This Acid Reflux Pillow Can Work Wonders.