Weight lifting / aerobics and GERD

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Regular Member

Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 127
   Posted 9/1/2011 9:00 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi all,

Just curious if anyone here was a weight lifter or exercise enthusiast like myself? So far I've only been affected while exercising at the very onset of this. I was wondering if GERD has prevented you from exercising since that is supposedly one of the lifestyle modifications that should help manage this condition. I am still trying to accept this whole deal as part of my life and am wondering how / if it will permanently change this particular aspect of my life. I teach aerobics / kickboxing / group exercise and weight train daily. I would not be me if I did NOT do these things and I am super crabby when I don't exercise. For the sake of my family I sincerely hope I can continue. Just wondering if you could share your experience with this.


Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 9/1/2011 9:34 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi efit,

(Interesting handle :-)) I am a fitness walker, and I have found that with GERD it's super important to work out on an empty stomach. Before my surgery whenever I tried to do any vigorous activity without waiting several hours (or doing it before eating) I would get bad reflux.

That said, I would imagine that a person with a wide-open LES would find that they would get reflux even without eating recently.

I hope you get it figured out. I know how important exercise and lifting are. My younger son exercises and lifts daily, and it would be a life-changing problem if he couldn't do it because of reflux. When he gets a problem muscle or tendon it drives him crazy!

Good luck!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 739
   Posted 9/1/2011 9:53 AM (GMT -6)   
I lift 5 days per week and never have more symptoms during lifting...except I recently did the decline bench press and surprise, i got a bit of heartburn that quickly went away when i got off of it. I do regular bench, fly's, and other horizontal excersizes and haven't noticed an increase in symptoms during those times.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 739
   Posted 9/1/2011 9:55 AM (GMT -6)   
@ efit...I am the same. If I didn't excersize every morning I'd be crabby. My whole day goes a lot smoother when it starts with excersize, and it is probably what gets me out of bed when I am very depressed r.e. health problems. I usually do go on an empty stomach or just have a bit of watermelon or canteloupe to hold me over.

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 9/1/2011 10:54 AM (GMT -6)   
Sometimes I wonder if weightlifting can aggravate our conditions, what with all the pressure it puts on your diaphragm. I've seen sources say that improper weightlifting can create hiatal hernias. I used to do weightlifting and now I wonder if I should ever take up the habit again once I recover from surgery.

I'll be happy once I can do aerobic exercise again. As of a couple months ago there was nothing that gave me more miserable heartburn than going for a run, even on a completely empty stomach.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 656
   Posted 9/3/2011 2:46 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey Efit!

I run every day and the only time that the GERD bugs me is when I do extreme bouncing... at the end of my run I run up 4 flights of stairs for the extra burn (feels so good!!) and the chest pain usually flares up around then.

Also, if I'm warming up by running downhill, sometimes if I come down too hard it'll cause some chest pressure. I guess it's alright since it's bad for my joints, too :)

I haven't had a single problem with anything else - pilates, yoga, weight-lifting, or strength training.

Good luck!

Tandem Rider
Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 122
   Posted 9/4/2011 6:34 AM (GMT -6)   
I had GERD when I rode my bicycle and the harder I rode the worse the GERD was. An empty stomach helps. I had the TIF which eliminated my GERD when riding. My surgeon is a weight lifter and he has GERD when working out and that some people only have GERD when exercising.

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 9/9/2011 10:50 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm a marathon skater (inline skates - 'rollerblades') and I also lift weights 3 days a week. I have had acid reflux for a couple of years but have been managing it fairly well until recenty. I have a race in a week and my issue is that I have difficulty swallowing and I have no appetite so I haven't been eating enough calories to support the intense workouts. (I skate 26-32 miles 3x a week so I'm out for 2 + hours at a time.) I haven't felt like lifting weights because the last time I did I thought I was going to pass out. I just started Dexilant last night and I'm praying it will help get this stuff under control so I can finish out my season (I have 3 races left this year) - my doctor wants me to consider the surgery but I'm scared. (I had my gallbladder out last year and a hysterectomy the year before.) I'm 40 years old, I feel like I'm too young to be dealing with this!!!!!

Post Edited (Live2Skate) : 9/9/2011 9:53:43 AM (GMT-6)

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 9/9/2011 12:18 PM (GMT -6)   
No one's too young--I got the surgery 2 weeks ago and I'm only 22. If it affects your quality of life and medication doesn't fix it, I'd say go for it. In fact, I'd recommend it more if you are young, since that's more years of your life that your esophagus will get eroded and increase your risk of cancer.

mock turtle
Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 467
   Posted 9/9/2011 5:15 PM (GMT -6)   
5, 10, 15 years ago, on and of when i exercised i would feel some "heartburn"...id pop an antacid, no bid deal

in the last few years it got worse

i used to go to the weight room 3 times each week

part of the routine, the roman chair ( kinda a sit up in reverse), bench press and regular sit ups...they would all often push stuff up my esophagus, but hey i would just stand up swig some water and go on

in the past two years, esp since LPR no way...only do sit ups on an empty stomach first thing in the morning an only do military press (lift over the head while standing) push ups are a problem too so i do them with hands on the seat of a chair so im never horizontal and pushing

the main stay of my exercising is walking, fast (4 miles three time each week) and a couple bicycle trips to town (15 miles round trip.)

my wife and i have a big garden (2500 sq feet) and thats a big part of our exercise regimen
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