I was fortunate that the first time I experienced heart burn was when I was pregnant.  That painful burning sensation in my chest was reason enough for me to purchase an entire case of Tums.  For those unfortunate souls that deal with heartburn on a regular basis, did you know that it may have little to do with the food you are eating and a lot more to do with your posture?

Yep, it’s true—with a slouched posture, there is no straight path between the stomach and the esophagus, which in turn causes the muscles around the esophagus to spasm, trapping gas and acidity.  Conversely, proper posture allows gravity to do much of the work for you, pushing refluxed acid back down into the esophagus and the stomach.

Here are a few tips for preventing heartburn.

Hit the gym in the morning. Research has shown that a morning sweat session not only helps kick up your energy throughout the entire day, but a morning run will also help lower your odds of heartburn.  Physical exertion after a big meal, such as dinner, contracts the abdominal muscles and forces food through a weakened sphincter, once again, triggering heart burn.

Make a log. Does your heartburn kick in when you lie in bed at night, or if you take a nap after a meal? Maintaining an upright posture until the meal is digested may prevent heartburn. By keeping a log, you can note approximately how long you need to digest your meal before you hit the hay.

Adjust your mattress. You don’t have to go out and buy a new mattress, but you should consider raising the head of the bed to keep your esophagus above the stomach. One simple trick is to take a couple of old books and put them under the mattress where your pillow is so that you are sleeping on a slight incline.