Does Running Help Hiatal Hernia

Hiatal hernia is a condition where a portion of the stomach pushes through the diaphragm and into the chest. It can cause symptoms such as heartburn, chest pain, and difficulty swallowing. As someone who loves running, I’ve often wondered if this form of exercise can help with the management of hiatal hernia. In this article, I’ll explore the potential benefits of running for individuals with hiatal hernia and share some personal insights into how it has impacted my own experience.

Understanding Hiatal Hernia

Before diving into the effects of running on hiatal hernia, it’s essential to understand the nature of this condition. Hiatal hernias are classified into two main types: sliding and paraesophageal. Sliding hernias are the most common and are typically associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), while paraesophageal hernias are less common but may require surgical intervention. Symptoms can vary, but may include heartburn, regurgitation, chest pain, and difficulty swallowing.

The Benefits of Running

Running is known for its numerous health benefits, including improved cardiovascular fitness, stress reduction, and weight management. Regular running can also strengthen the diaphragm and abdominal muscles, which play a crucial role in providing support to the affected area in hiatal hernia. Additionally, the rhythmic motion of running may help with digestion and alleviate symptoms of acid reflux.

Personal Experience

From a personal standpoint, running has been a source of relief for my hiatal hernia symptoms. While it’s important to approach exercise with caution and consult with a healthcare professional, I’ve found that the endorphins released during running have a positive impact on my overall well-being, including a reduction in stress and anxiety, which can trigger hiatal hernia symptoms. It’s crucial to note that individual experiences may vary, and it’s essential to listen to your body and not push beyond your limits.

Consulting a Healthcare Professional

Before incorporating running or any form of exercise into your routine, it’s vital to seek guidance from a healthcare professional, especially if you have been diagnosed with hiatal hernia. They can provide personalized advice based on the severity of your condition and any underlying health concerns.


While running can offer potential benefits for individuals with hiatal hernia, it’s essential to approach it with caution and awareness of personal limitations. Consultation with a healthcare professional is paramount to ensure that exercise aligns with individual needs. As always, listening to your body and being mindful of any discomfort is key. Remember to prioritize your health and well-being above all else.