HealthStreet offering bootcamp, concussion testing


Published: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 at 3:16 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 at 3:16 p.m.

Whether offering a program to help you get physically fit or giving you information and tools to help you prevent and/or manage a concussion, HealthStreet has you covered.

Facts

HEALTHSTREET EVENTS

* What: University of Florida HealthStreet will be offering a fitness bootcamp and concussion testing.

* When: Bootcamp is 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursday, and also Sept. 19 and Sept. 26; concussion testing is noon-4 p.m. Sept. 21.

* Where: HealthStreet, 2401 SW Archer Road.

* Cost: Free, and open to the community.

* Information: Call 352-294-4880.

The University of Florida HealthStreet program offers residents medical and social services needs assessments, directs them to resources and presents them with opportunities to participate in clinical trials.

Darryl Pastor, HealthStreet program manager, said each month HealthStreet offers a variety of programs free to the community. This month, a bootcamp will be offered from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursday, and also Sept. 19 and Sept. 26 at HealthStreet at 2401 SW Archer Road. Also, concussion testing will take place from noon-4 p.m. Sept. 21, also at HealthStreet.

"The bootcamp is for all fitness levels," said Pastor. "Try it out. All you need is to show up. It's worth a try."

"Concussion is one injury where we can prevent negative outcomes through education," said Aliyah Snyder, research coordinator for the event and founder of Athlete Brain, an organization that strives to promote discussion, awareness and education about sports concussions. The event is sponsored by the Concussion Surveillance and Management Research Program led by Health IMPACTS for Florida, a collaborative effort between UF and Florida State University.

Fitness bootcamp

Pastor, who also is a certified personal trainer, said the bootcamp is designed for adults 18 and older. Pastor said he will work with individuals to provide their exercise needs.

Pastor suggested wearing comfortable clothes and tennis shoes, and bringing water and a workout mat, if you have them. If not, don't worry, something can be worked, he said. "Every workout is a safe and enjoyable workout," Pastor said. "It's a fun workout for anyone who wants to get or maintain physical fitness."

Pastor said the goal of HealthStreet is to connect people with resources and be involved with research at UF. "Research is a way to have a voice," Pastor said, "and to have a vote in health care and how research is run and to be represented."

Concussion testing

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention define a concussion as a type of traumatic brain injury, or TBI, caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head that can change the way the brain normally works. Concussions also can occur from a fall or a blow to the body that causes the head and the brain to move quickly back and forth.

Snyder said in 2010, there were 1.7 million concussions reported in emergency rooms.

"The majority of concussions are not reported," said Snyder, adding that not only athletes, but everyone should be tested.

Snyder said the program, which is free for children ages 5 through adults, will provide information about signs and symptoms of a concussion and treatment and what you can do to prevent concussions.

Snyder said the concussion testing to be used will be Sport Concussion Assessment Tool, or SCAT 3, which will be administered by trained UF graduate students. Children ages 5-12 will receive a children's version of the test and and teens 13 to adults will receive the adult version of the test.

Snyder said the concussion testing measures cognition, balance and symptom assessment to create a baseline of how an individual functions on a normal day so that if a concussion is suspected in the future, the test results can be compared. "It's all about comparison," Snyder said.

Participants will receive a copy of the results to take to their health care provider.

"Knowledge about the brain will be presented in an easily accessible way and this knowledge can be used in everyday life," Snyder said. "It's especially important for athletes because they're at a higher risk of receiving a concussion."

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