Health Literacy Course Helps Community Embrace Fitness
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Health Literacy Course Helps Community Embrace Fitness

September 30, 2019

Physical therapy student Jocilyn Yarnell (DPT '21) introduces PCOM Georgia staff and students to gym equipment and exercises through the “Level Up your Gym Life” course.

The PCOM Georgia Library and the Department of Professional Development and Online Learning (PDOL) joined forces in September with Department of Physical Therapy (PT) student Jocilyn Yarnell (DPT ’21) to teach a course called “Level Up your Gym Life.”

A CrossFit games athlete, trainer, and former Kennesaw State University Owls cheerleader, the second year PT student took faculty, staff and students on a tour through the resistance machines and free weights in the campus fitness center.

According to Yarnell, important factors in a workout include warming up for five to 10 minutes, studying the pictures and instructions on the machines to get oriented to each one, and using core stability. She also advised her audience to be mindful of their range of motion to avoid injury and to use free weights with care.

Expertly demonstrating each piece of gym equipment, she invited volunteers to try out the machines advising them to “start conservatively with lighter weights to get a feel for the equipment and see how your body reacts to resistance training.” She then took to the mats to demonstrate a proper plank position and effective abdominal exercises.

With a goal of teaching her class to “not be afraid” of the equipment, Yarnell provided instruction and advice such as “don’t lock your legs during the leg-press” and “activating your core does not mean holding your breath; we don’t want anyone passing out.” Due to participants’ requests for more information, additional sessions are planned, which will take a more in depth look at gym use and workouts.

“Our goal with this and other classes in the Consumer Health Literacy Series is to provide attendees with a variety of ways in which they can improve their health and wellness,” said Erica Rosalle, the library’s public services coordinator. “Whether it’s avoiding injury while using the gym, finding credible health information online or improving time management skills—all of these things contribute to a healthier life.”

The class is part of a Consumer Health Literacy Series, a health and wellness initiative presented by the Library and PDOL. Other courses have focused on learning about individual body composition through Dunk Tank mobile fitness testing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle despite a busy school and work life.

An October course will showcase the health and wellness materials available to the PCOM community in the Library and online.

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About PCOM Georgia

Established in 2005, PCOM Georgia is a private, not-for-profit, accredited institute of higher education dedicated to the healthcare professions. The Suwanee, Georgia, campus is affiliated with Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, a premier osteopathic medical school with a storied history. PCOM Georgia offers doctoral degrees in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, and physical therapy and graduate degrees in biomedical sciences, medical laboratory science, and physician assistant studies. Emphasizing "a whole person approach to care," PCOM Georgia focuses on educational excellence, interprofessional education and service to the wider community. For more information, visit or call 678-225-7500. The campus is also home to the Georgia Osteopathic Care Center, an osteopathic manipulative medicine clinic, which is open to the public by appointment. For more information, visit

For more information, contact:
Barbara Myers
Senior Public Relations Manager
Office: 678-225-7532 | Cell: 770-309-0613

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