Exercise-Induced Heartburn: Things You Can Do To Prevent It

It is accepted information that exercise is highly beneficial to the body as well as the mental well-being of a person. Exercise affects mood, promotes a good cardiovascular system, and releases happy hormones – the endorphins.

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Despite the many benefits of exercise, a lot of individuals are not a big fan of exerting time and effort to perform regular physical activity. Maybe they are busy with their everyday lives that finding time to sweat it out takes a backseat. Also, some are too tired to spend a few minutes in the gym or others are just not fond of exercising and would prefer to be a couch potato.

Unfortunately, some people experience horrible side effects associated with exercise.  Examples of these are exercise-induced asthma and heartburn. Heartburns caused by exercise are often seen in intense workouts and rigid training. Exercise can trigger heartburn if the lower esophageal sphincter is relaxed or weak resulting in food or gastric juices to move up from the stomach to the esophagus. Also, heartburn, in general, is associated with particular food such as carbonated sodas, coffee, chocolate, alcohol and acidic food such as orange juice, tomato sauce, citric juices, and vinegar.

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Despite the inconvenience of dealing with acid reflux associated with working out, it should not inhibit people from leading an active lifestyle. There are ways to limit the chance of acid reflux occurrence.

Examine your diet. It requires awareness of what works for your body. Do you eat very quickly? Have you noticed that you tend to chew less and swallow hastily? Do you prefer a specific type of food? What is your usual activity after eating? Incidences of heartburn are linked to these habits mentioned above. It is best to cut out offending foods like acidic juices and condiments, spicy and oily viands and carbonated or alcoholic drinks. Also, eat slowly and don’t lie down after eating.

Enjoy a soothing pre-workout snack. Consuming a small meal before exercising might help in curbing these pesky heartburns. Experiment on what works for you. It is different for every person. For some people having a cup of yogurt before a run is helpful. It is safe to start with bland foods such as banana, whole-grain cereal or toast.

Have a light meal two to three hours before working out. Again, experimentation is the key. Try eating your light snack half an hour then an hour or 2 hours before and find out what works best for you.

Reconsider your workout plan. Certain types of exercise can increase the chances of heartburn for some people more than others. Watch out for these positions or types of exercise, which trigger your acid reflux. Perhaps you can try other workouts that are lower in intensity such as hiking, walking or indoor cycling. Crunches and core workouts can be done in short intervals on an empty stomach. Headstands and downward dog positions in yoga might not be the best for you. Ask your yoga teacher how to modify these inverted poses.

Drink your medications. If the heartburn is persistent with exercise, then it might be best to consume your medicines as prescribed by your doctor before you exercise.

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Keep exercising. Having exercise-induced heartburn is not an excuse to be lazy in keeping a healthy body. It is better to have the side effects of heartburn than to lie around in bed or the couch and promoting a sedentary lifestyle.