A hiatal hernia is a mild form of a hernia that you may not even know you have unless your physician finds it. A hiatal hernia is when a portion of your stomach protrudes upward through your diaphragm and through an opening called the hiatus that allows the esophagus to connect to the stomach. Most hiatal hernias won't cause symptoms, but large ones may result in chest pain, heartburn and/or nausea. MayoClinic.com recommends weight loss if you are overweight as part of treatment. Gentle abdominal exercises that do not increase pressure in the abdomen are allowed.
Slant Board Bicycles
Place a slant board on the flat surface such as the floor to perform slant board bicycles, as recommended by the National Health Federation. Lie face up with your back on the board and your head lower than your feet. Grab onto the sides of the slant board.
Bend your legs and raise your knees into the air. Align your knees over your abdomen.
Cycle your legs in the air as if pedaling an imaginary bicycle. Work up to 15 repetitions of a full cycle with each leg. Perform this exercise every other day unless your abs are sore.
Abdominal Curls With Raised Knees
Lie on your back to perform abdominal curls with raised knees, as recommended by StomaData.com. Bend your knees until your heels touch your fingertips with your arms on the floor at your sides. Slide your feet forward and extend your knees if this is uncomfortable. Your knees should be bent at an angle that feels ideal to you.
Lift your upper body just high enough to take weight off your shoulder blades and hold for three seconds. Work up to 15 repetitions. Work up to three sets of 15 reps.
Raise your shoulder blades and head 2 inches off the floor once you feel ready to increase the difficulty of the exercise. Hold yourself up momentarily and then lie flat again. Work up to three sets of 15 reps. Perform this exercise at most every other day with the bicycles if you can, or alternate if you are not yet strong enough to do both exercises.
Eat smaller meals, particularly at night, as advised by FamilyDoctor.org. Count your calories or keep a detailed account of how much you eat to share with your doctor. Reducing your calories is the key to weight loss, along with exercise. You do not want to cut too many calories, so speak with your doctor for specific recommendations.
Eliminate foods that trigger heartburn including onions, spicy foods, chocolate, citrus fruits and tomato-based foods. Reduce fatty foods in your diet as well.
Eat at least three hours before you fall asleep.
Exercise for 30 to 60 minutes most days of the week. Exercise at what feels like a moderate intensity for whatever activity you choose. Specific forms of aerobic exercise are not given, so choose what you enjoy and what doesn't cause pain, yet is still moderate. Avoid activities, however, that feel like they require high, vigorous or strenuous effort.