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Jul 15, 2010

Healthy Living stretches the truth about exercise

Exercising is key to a healthy lifestyle, but before you exercise there’s an important step to take is too often neglected. The next time you exercise make sure you stretch and prepare your muscles for the rigorous activity. This week’s segment of Healthy Living will show you how to warm up those limbs to avoid serious injury.

Marleni Cuellar, Reporting

We’ve all heard it before, stretching before and after exercises is important to prevent injuries. This is not a practice taken too seriously as most people feel that the aches they experience are the pains on the way to the gains.  Physical Therapist, Harold Zuniga, has worked extensively with athletes and amateurs aiding in recovery of such injuries. He explains why a consult with a doctor, fitness expert or physical therapist is important before initiating an exercise regime.

Harold Zuniga, Physical Therapist & Acupuncturist

harold zuniga

“They can hurt their knees, they can hurt their back, they can get bad ankle injuries. Not only that, but they can also hurt their hearts. They don’t know if they have high blood pressure which is hypertension. They don’t know if they’ve had underlying kidney problems or maybe other organ problems like maybe the spleen is not working well or maybe the liver isn’t working well. They get out there and then they’re all well its normal to have pain after you have start exercising but if you have pain for an extended period after you start exercising then there’s a problem with that.”

Harold is a physical therapist and is trained to aid in the rehabilitation and prevention of injuries.

Harold Zuniga

“What physical therapy is,  is the maintenance of function or functionality for the body or keeping humans functional meaning that physical therapy doesn’t only look at the person who has back pain or who has sprained a finger or a toe or something but we look at ways to prevent these problems from happening in the first place.”

The prevention and rehabilitation of exercise related injuries is the most recognized role for physical therapy but the practice extends to prevention of injuries and home and even the workplace. This specific discipline of preventing workplace injuries is called Ergonomics.

Harold Zuniga

“Ergonomics on a whole is how you fit into what you do or how what you do fits with you. You have measure your desk fi fit your chair, fi fit how your hand rest on the desk. Everything supposed to be certain degree angles and your eye to screen contact with your computer should be a certain angle and everything else.”

A proper analysis of the work environment which can be done by a physical therapist can lessen preventable injuries.  According to Harold, the most common injury he sees is back injuries due to improper lifting. As a prevention tool he recommends daily stretch exercises to start the day.

Harold Zuniga

“William flexion exercises have to do with bringing the knees up to the chest this is especially for guys who do a lot of lifting all day. It is important for them to remember that the muscles of their spines need the stretch and recovery of body flexion which is simple; lie on your bed take some deep breaths and grab both knees up to your chest and stretch so that you actually feel the stretch on the lower back and whole spine. Bring the head towards the knees as you stretch. It helps to stretch out the muscles and when you stretch the muscles they fill with blood and it gives you a good working thing and gets them going for the day. Then you take both legs then shift them to the left then to the right so that you can get the waist loosened up.  The females because the female is built differently and because the body fat percentage is a little bit more in females than the males, lie facing down flat and push up on the hands so that you bring only  your upper body up kinda like you’re doing a sun salutation exercise in yoga, kinda like a cobra and then you count to eight repeat it again and then you go ahead to do the William flexion exercises.”

Most importantly, remember to fit in stretching time to your regular exercise schedule.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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3 Responses for “Healthy Living stretches the truth about exercise”

  1. Earl Grey says:

    Next up…………… YOGA CLASSES.

  2. Otuome Okoye PT says:

    I am a Physical Therapist in the U.S. trying to get in contact with Mr. Zuniga. If someone could provide me with an e-mail address or a phone number to get in contact with him I would greatly appreciate it.

  3. Ralph (Rhino) ONeill says:

    Please pass on this message to Harold Zuniga, many thanks.

    Hi Harold its Rhino here, hope you remember me from Belize APC med centre in 1993, i was the Sgt in charge of the FST. i still have the BDF cap badge you gave me. hope life is good for you, i have been trying to get hold of you for years. email me on would be great to hear from you.
    kind regards

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