Combining Physical Fitness With Community Service – Longlasting Therapeutic Intervention Approach

Combining physical fitness with community service is a powerful way to get struggling teenagers (at risk youth) back on track. Both physical exercise and community service (acts of service toward others) have proven therapeutic outcomes.

The evidence is mounting for the benefits of exercise and community service as effective therapeutic tools used by professional behavioral health practitioners. We certainly use both at Turning Winds. With today’s “entitled teens,” exercise and community service are used as a foundational component of our treatment approach.

Exercise has a lot of benefits. Specifically for “troubled teens,” exercise helps kids to relax, build self-confidence, open up, and learn about themselves. There are countless mental health benefits derived from exercise, particularly for adolescents who are anxious or depressed.

Exercise and physical fitness are something that practitioners and treatment programs have been slow to attend to use for the therapeutic treatment of adolescents. But as evidence of the psychological benefits of exercise on adolescent pile up, the exercise – mental health connection is becoming impossible to ignore. At Turning Wings Academic Institute, we use both physical fitness and community service to support the therapeutic intervention for each of our students.

Short Documentary of the Positive Effects of Physical Fitness and Community Service

(CrossFit Pottstown in Pennsylvania is part of Pottstown Athletic Club, a non-profit youth organization. The affiliate provides an alternative outlet for troubled youths)

If you’ve ever worked out after a stressful day, the chances are that you felt better afterward. Seems simple, yet many youths today are not engaged in any form of physical fitness. Lack of exercise is directly related to unstable or depressed moods, negative outlook on life, and the poor life choices troubled teens make.


At Turning Winds, we believe that the positive link between exercise and healthy life choices is pretty strong. Therefore, our student participates in daily exercise. We believe that the positive effects of physical activity extend beyond the short-term therapeutic intervention. Learning to use exercise as a positive life choice helps our students remain strong in their long term recovery process.

The truth is that active youth who exercise regularly are less depressed than inactive teens. Daily exercise as a lifestyle choice is not only important for treating substance abuse and depression but also in preventing relapse.

At Turning Winds, we use exercise as an important element of each client’s treatment plan.

The Benefits of Community Service

Most “troubled teens” do not have a great deal of community service experience. Prior to their enrollment into Turning Winds, our students have been self-focused and self-absorbed. Self-centeredness is known to be a major precursor to depression, which can lead to drug and alcohol abuse.

In the most positive light, community service teaches teenagers to look beyond themselves and to experience how helping others are naturally therapeutic.

Young people who regularly participate in community service are more likely to make positive lifestyle choices and remain committed to a positive vision for their lives. The combination of physical fitness and community service is a major reason why Turning Winds students are successful after they return home.

Turning Winds Academic Institute is a therapeutic boarding school in Montana offering help for troubled teens from neighboring states such as Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and California, as well as the entire U.S. We are internationally accredited, and have enrolled boys and girls from virtually every habitable continent in the world. For more information about enrollment please call 800-845-1380.


Share This With Your Friends

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter

Sign up to receive Turning Winds community news