Experts advise exercise for those stuck at home due to hot weather

Experts advise exercise for those stuck at home due to hot weather

As temperatures continue to rise, specialists underline importance of exercise to avert sedentary lifestyle that can cause pain, fatigue

By Yesim Sert Karaaslan

ANKARA (AA) — Specialists warn that air temperature rising above seasonal norms can cause pain and fatigue in joints and muscles, as rising temperatures increase sensitivity in nerve endings and lower physical activity.

Dr. Hasim Cakirbay, a physical therapy and rehabilitation specialist in the Turkish capital Ankara, said scientific studies have shown that increasingly hot weather could lead to various diseases in the body and trigger symptoms related to existing issues.

Pointing out that that hot weather can affect the body’s nerve endings, Cakirbay said this was especially the case for rheumatic diseases.

“Heat-related sensitivity increases at the nerve endings and related symptoms such as pain can increase.

“The warm weather also leads to relaxation in the muscles and can also cause shortening of the muscles. Very hot weather can have negative effects on the muscles,” he explained.

However, these effects are temporary and subside when temperatures return to normal values.

"Heat can exacerbate pain symptoms," he said, adding that rising air temperatures could lead to joint tenderness and pain.

“In hot weather, conditions such as cardiac problems and hypertension can also increase, which can lead to problems in the joints. Excessive heat can affect muscles and lead to fatigue,” he said.

Cakirbay recommended regular physical activity to maintain health, especially at a younger age to retain bone strength in later life. He explained that bone-strengthening cells begin to break down at the age of 50.

Simple exercises every evening and morning the back, legs, neck, waist, hands and spine can thus be important, since people tend to stay indoors during periods of hot weather, he said.

- Lack of exercise can hit muscle mass

Also pointing out that extreme heat outdoors often makes people prone to sedentary lifestyles, physiotherapist Deniz Sahin said that neglecting additional exercises to compensate could cause a habit for insufficient physical activity.

“This is the last thing we want, as insufficient physical activity can result in weakening and eventual loss of muscle mass in later stages,”

Sahin said a decrease in muscle mass could lead to serious health problems, pain, and a deterioration of quality of life to the point that a person may be unable to tolerate even everyday activities

“For instance, a decrease in muscle mass reduces a person's capacity for movement. As this capacity diminishes, the body may struggle to tolerate long walks and climbing stairs, presenting difficulties in tasks like ascending three or four flights of stairs.

“Moreover, while walking, those with a healthy musculoskeletal system can recover from tripping and stumbling, but in individuals with weak muscles, the lack of strong connective tissue could lead to injuries and tears in the connective tissue,” she explained.

Sahin highlighted that brisk walking, a basic exercise, should be done in the morning or evening since it is inadvisable to be outside in hot weather.

“To support physical activity, it's important to maintain the musculoskeletal system with simple exercises both at the office and at home,” she concluded.​​​​​​​

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