Does Running Help Gerd

As a passionate runner who has struggled with GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), I understand the importance of finding exercise routines that can alleviate symptoms. For those unfamiliar with GERD, it is a digestive disorder that causes heartburn and acid reflux, often triggered by certain foods or activities. In my quest for relief, I delved into the question: does running help GERD?

The Benefits of Running for GERD

Research indicates that running can indeed have positive effects for those dealing with GERD. When you engage in cardiovascular exercise like running, it can help strengthen the muscles in your abdomen, which in turn provides greater support for your lower esophageal sphincter. This can help prevent stomach acid from creeping up into the esophagus, minimizing the likelihood of heartburn and reflux.

Furthermore, running can contribute to weight management. Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for managing GERD symptoms, as excess pounds can put pressure on the stomach and lead to increased acid reflux. Regular running, combined with a balanced diet, can aid in shedding extra weight and reducing the severity of GERD episodes.

Considerations and Precautions

While running can be beneficial for GERD, it’s important to approach it with caution, especially if you experience symptoms during exercise. Vigorous physical activity can exacerbate reflux for some individuals, so it’s essential to identify your personal triggers and modify your running routine accordingly. For instance, opting for low-impact forms of cardio like walking or cycling may be more suitable if high-intensity running worsens your symptoms.

Additionally, timing your runs can make a difference. Engaging in strenuous exercise too soon after eating can prompt acid reflux, so allowing sufficient time for digestion before hitting the pavement is advisable. It’s a good practice to wait at least two to three hours after a meal before embarking on a run.

Personal Experience

From a personal standpoint, integrating running into my life has been transformative in managing my GERD. It has not only helped me shed excess weight but also provided a sense of overall well-being. The discipline and endurance cultivated through running have translated into better control over my diet, which is an integral aspect of GERD management. While I had to make adjustments to my running routine to find the right balance, the perseverance has paid off in terms of reduced symptoms and improved quality of life.


Ultimately, the relationship between running and GERD is individualized. While it has proven to be beneficial for many, it’s crucial to listen to your body, make necessary adaptations, and consult with a healthcare professional if you have concerns. In my experience, running has been an invaluable component of my GERD management plan, offering not only physical benefits but also a sense of empowerment in taking charge of my health.