4 Ways to Exercise With a Stomach Ulcer and Tips to Avoid Getting Them

An ulcer — also referred to as a stomach ulcer or peptic ulcer — is a sore that forms in the stomach or in the upper portion of your small intestine. Ulcers occur when the acid your stomach uses for digestion begins to eat away at the lining of your stomach and small intestine.

Exercise, stress reduction and a healthy diet help prevent and treat ulcers. (Image: SolisImages/iStock/GettyImages)

Ulcers are caused by the bacteria H. pylori and can be aggravated by stress, overeating, consuming spicy foods and certain conditions of the stomach; they can be painful. One way of controlling your ulcers and reducing the risk of developing another ulcer is to participate in regular exercise.

Tip

  • In addition to exercise, lifestyle changes can help reduce the occurrence of ulcers. Consider removing spicy foods from your diet,reducing alcohol intake and quitting smoking.

  • Certain medications may also lead to ulcers. Talk to your doctor about any medications you maybe taking and ask for recommendations about lifestyle changes.

Consult Your Doctor

Visit your doctor. He can confirm your diagnosis and make sure you are healthy enough for exercise as well as provide you with advice on exercising with an ulcer. Your doctor may perform tests, including a lab test for H. pylori or an endoscopy, which may be required to confirm the ulcer diagnosis.

Your doctor may also provide additional medication, such as an antibiotic or antacid to help treat the ulcer.

Adopt Stomach Ulcer Diet and Exercise

Exercise regularly. To reap the health benefits of exercise — including weight maintenance and prevention of disease — plan to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, five days per week, the National Academy of Sports Medicine advises.

Ulcer symptoms often occur a few hours after eating. If this is true for you, be sure to plan your exercise schedule to avoid times when you experience painful symptoms like stomach pain and nausea.

Warning

Ulcers can cause heartburn, pain, gas and burping. You may experience these symptoms as you exercise. If symptoms are severe, contact your doctor.

Include Cardio Exercise

Participate in cardiovascular exercise. Swimming, cycling, jogging, jumping rope, aerobics, dancing, gardening, team sports like basketball, brisk walking and running are all forms of cardiovascular exercise. Choose one or several activities you enjoy.

Do Stress and Gastric Relief Exercises

Relieve stress. Yoga and Pilates, for example, focus on both mind and body to help improve your strength, flexibility and state of mind. Take a yoga class or Pilates class to help clear your mind and relieve stress while reaping the benefits of strength and flexibility training. Some yoga poses are also gastric relief exercises that may help bloating and other ulcer symptoms. Prevention recommends poses such as supine twist and cat-cow.

Get plenty of sleep. Being well rested will help reduce stress and boost your immune system to combat the ulcer.

Add Strength Training

Engage in strength training. Biceps curls, pushups, pullups, triceps extensions, leg presses and shoulder presses can help burn calories while strengthening and toning your body. Perform both upper- and lower-body exercises.

Avoid core exercises if they cause you ulcer-related pain. Participate in 30-minute strength-training sessions two to three days each week.

Warning

  • Consult your doctor if your ulcer does not heal with the prescribed treatment. Taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, like ibuprofen, or using tobacco may prevent your ulcer from healing.

  • In rare cases, there may be a more serious underlying condition, such as stomach cancer, Zollinger-Ellison syndrome or Chron's disease, advises Mayo Clinic.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
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