A FITNESS fanatic who used exercise to help overcome her mental health struggles after a traumatic car accident is now offering one person the chance to join her six-month training regime – for free.

Caroline Jones, a personal trainer at Warrior Fitness in Clydebank, opened up about her life’s turmoil and how pushing herself physically to keep fit helped her overcome her problems.

The 37-year-old said: “Exercise is without a doubt the most under-utilised anti-depressant on the planet. It’s free, and good for you both mentally and physically.”

The mother-of-three added: “I discovered the benefit of exercise in my early 30s after being fed up of feeling so low in myself and like a failure to my family.

“I pushed myself in the gym, then discovered not only the benefits of it mentally, but a passion with fitness on the whole. So I decided to embark on a new career, stepping outside my own comfort zone to get the qualifications needed to help others in physical and mental wellness.”

Caroline admits it has been a long journey, discovering how exercise could benefit her, after a car crash in 2013 left her with internal trauma and suffering from horrific panic attacks.

She was referred to Clydebank Health Centre for interactive psychotherapy when it was discovered that the crash had triggered severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

She said: “I went on to have therapy for months after and was eventually discharged after I spent time in the gym in between sessions.

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“I was encouraged to continue training as I felt the benefit it was having on my mental well-being.

“I’ve had my own long term battle with mental health since my late teens triggered through a traumatic experience and have fought my own personal demons over the years since.”

Caroline has been a trainer for four years, with multiple qualifications in health, nutrition, fitness instructing, classes and person training.

Now she wants to share the benefits of exercise with others in a similar position.

She said: “I decided this year I want to give something back to the local community to try and hopefully help someone else manage their mental well-being through exercise.

“So I am running a mental health campaign to offer my time and support in training and the gym free of charge for six months to help someone else find their happy place through training.”

Caroline’s training approach will offer one person a personal six month training plan and free use of the gym. For more information on how to get involved visit Caroline’s Facebook page – CJ Grace Fitness.