AUSTIN, Texas -- A local organization is getting veterans in the gym to help fight Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Working out helps clear the mind and releases endorphins, and for veterans, mental health issues could be life or death.
"It just helps them get a better mindset. Studies have proven that 90 days of continuous physical exercise also basically is the equivalent to taking PTSD medications for 90 days,” said Mistin Johnson with Make a Vet Sweat.
Make a Vet Sweat is an organization that hooks up veterans with free gym memberships for three months to assist in combating PTSD. The organization focuses on team exercises to mirror the same solidarity found in the military.
"Whenever they go to bigger gyms. Its just them in a gym with just headphones. It's still very isolating," said Johnson.
After leaving the Army five years ago, veteran Vanessa Vinson is still dealing with the physical scars, as well as emotional ones.
"When I moved to a city that was really big, I felt super overwhelmed on top of kind of going through depression and anxiety," said Vinson.
She served in Afghanistan and spent a total of five years in the military. Returning to civilian life took some time to get used to, she eventually found her place with team fitness, working out with people dealing with the same mental and physical wounds.
"You kind of share those nods and glances where you know that the workout that you are doing is kind of something that seems all too familiar from what you used to do in the military," said Vinson.
Vinson has come a long way. She hopes being involved with this program can connect her to other vets to help them through their recovery. If you are a veteran and want to sign up for the free membership, visit the Make A Vet Sweat Website.