A WAY TO FIND HEALING
There is not one 'end all be all' way to help veterans successfully cope with PTSD and TBIs. We understand that everyone's situation and road to healing is unique, so our solutions are custom-tailored to fit every veteran. At Project Echelon, we believe the way to find healing and self discovery is through physical activity and connecting with others. There are several ways Project Echelon help our veterans accomplishes their goals. Our two main approaches are through Veteran Mentorship and supporting Veterans' Initiatives. Click below to learn more:
Project Echelon assists veterans in a number of other ways, too. We host quarterly workshops that connect veterans with their local communities' businesses. We also host events such as The Project Echelon Omnium which not only raises funds for the cause but also awareness of Project Echelon's mission.
BENEFITS OF EXERCISE
Both PTSD and TBI can have a major negative impact on an individual's health and wellness with effects ranging from depression, restlessness, and anxiety to poor hygiene and nutrition, weight gain, and high blood pressure. There is emerging evidence that exercise can not only help an individual maintain healthy "numbers" and gain confidence through a positive self image, but also that exercise can be a valuable and cost effective method of therapy for those affected by PTSD and TBI.
Moderate exercise has been found to release positive mood altering hormones such as dopamine and endorphins. These hormones reduce anxiety and lower overall stress levels. Further, repetitive exercises that require mind-body awareness are correlated with improving symptoms of depression from PTSD and TBIs. Endurance exercise has also been shown to improve the symptoms of PTSD and TBIs by improving sleep quality for individuals who suffer from hyper-arousal and poor sleep quality because of the healthy fatigue caused by the exercise.
OUR CYCLE-OGICAL APPROACH
Cycling is a low-impact (important for many veterans with physical injuries and wear/tear on their bodies from service), aerobic exercise that is accessible to all age groups, ability levels, and persons with disabilities. Cycling is also an activity that promotes community and is often done in small groups, creating a platform for individuals to share their story and expand their support network among other cyclists in the community and other veterans. At the same time, managing symptoms of PTSD and TBI often requires personal time and space for reflection, which cycling also facilitates.
Much of the research done on the positive effects of exercise on the impacts of PTSD and TBI have been carried out using cycling as a model because of its accessibility, sustainability, cost effectiveness, low-impact on joints, and high level of acceptance as a form of exercise and therapy by veterans.