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Turning to fitness to better mental health | Silence the Stigma

Several mechanisms to boost your mental health can be found at one York City gym, which focuses on helping clients' minds, bodies and spirits.

YORK COUNTY, Pa. — Helping people beat their struggle with mental health is the goal of Corey Allen and the staff of CFB Fitness and Nutrition.

“Fitness saved my life and I just wanted to pay it forward, so I wanted to become a personal trainer. I just wanted to help people," said Allen, the owner of CFB Fitness and Nutrition

Thankfully, coping skills, community, and several mood boosters are more attainable than may be realized. 

“They’ve tried treatments, they’ve tried therapy, they’ve tried medications that just don’t work for them. This is a place where you can come in [and] work on mind, body and spirit, that’s the point. We really focus on what’s important in a person’s life,”  said Ashley Koltenback, Group Coach at CFB.

The York facility is a safe haven for those who need support, through group or one-on-one training opportunities.

Allen understands as he experiences mental health struggles himself. 

“For me, I struggle with depression. I started working out in a group knowing that I would either miss out on being with my friends or let them down because they depended on me or counted on me to be there," he told FOX43. "It forces me to have to get myself up and go when I would likely just be stuck in bed, stuck in my own head getting negative about myself. But here I am taking steps to work on myself and afterward, you feel fantastic it's euphoric."

Several other trainers and participants can attest to the life-changing powers of working out. 

“I feel like my life in the past year literally is a complete 180 I’m happy, I’m confident, I’m growing patience with people and my kids. I feel like something was missing in my life [before]. That aspect of changing your thoughts, the way you eat, it’s just a whole lifestyle change and it’s worth it,” said Gina Craig, a client of CFB.

“I got sober June 9, 2019, and struggled with mental health issues for much of my life,” revealed Koltenback. “[Working out] allows me to have a place to put my anger. It gives me a place to put all those emotions that I may not know how to regulate when I am on the outside and not in the gym."

The accountability is unmatched and through communication with the trainers, clients say they have been able to take back control. 

“If I see that people haven’t been I check in with them and say ‘Hey what’s going on? Hope everything is okay?’ Sometimes they’re traveling or it's personal but we like to try to keep tabs on people and let them know that we, as coaches, are here if they need us. Not to program a workout but to be a support system as well,” Dori Schneider, a client success manager at CFB.

Research from UPMC also shows the emotional health benefits from consistent exercise alone include higher self-esteem or confidence, resilience, better sleep and memory, and less stress which can lead to a better mental state. 

“If you are in a hopeless place, you are probably in the best place you can be. I learned in recovery you can only go up and places like this gave me more of an identity too. If you are feeling lost, you can find hope in a gym so don’t give up. If you feel like there are no other options, this is one of those places that is an option,” Koltenback said.   

To join the CFB Army check out their website here or follow Corey Allen for more motivational content on social media.

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