Did you know there is a link between heartburn and exercise? For many people suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease, exercise can often mean exacerbating the uncomfortable symptoms of GERD, including acid reflux and heartburn, which often leaves to a conundrum. You don’t want to give up exercise, but the workout routine you are doing now is only making things worse. Rather than dropping exercise altogether, let’s take a look at some of the best exercises for GERD.

High-impact exercises, such as running, power-lifting, jump rope, stairs, etc. can make GERD symptoms much worse, so if you find that you’re experiencing heartburn when you’re at the gym, we recommend trying some low-impact workouts, like these:

Swimming or Water Aerobics

Swimming is a full-body workout that is great on your body. Water aerobics would be an even better choice because you remain upright most of the time. Water adds more tension for the body to move through, creating weight without having to use actual weights!

Biking or Stationary Biking

High-speed cycling can be a trigger for GERD symptoms, however, slower, less vigorous biking can be a great option for exercise. You can also try the stationary bicycle at the gym.


Yoga is a great slow and low-impact exercise regimen that can help you feel stronger, gain flexibility, and promote mindfulness without aggravating symptoms of your GERD. Yoga has also been shown to help with digestion in some people. Be careful of poses where your head is hanging upside down, as this may make your symptoms worse.


Just taking a long walk is a great exercise, even if you don’t work up a big sweat. Walking your dog, strolling through nature, or brisk hikes are all wonderful options for people suffering from symptoms of GERD who want to exercise.

Light Weights

In addition to cardio, some light weight lifting can be a great exercise for people with GERD. Be mindful of how you are positioning your body during weight lifting, and avoid bending over or performing any thrusting motions that could intensify your GERD symptoms.

Instead of giving up exercise completely to avoid painful symptoms from your GERD, try changing up your workout routine to incorporate a slower, lower-impact movement. Studies have shown that just a few minutes of exercise a day can help you lose weight, stay healthy, and be happier.

If you’re tired of letting GERD control every aspect of your life, even your gym time, then schedule an appointment with one of our reflux specialists to discuss how you can treat your GERD symptoms permanently.