Back to Top Skip to main content

Healthy Heart and Total Force Fitness

Social media graphic on healthy heart for body and soul with two people running and talking

Total Force Fitness is a holistic concept of health that focuses on Service Members’ entire health throughout their career, connecting eight dimensions of fitness to optimize health, performance and readiness. This month, we are focusing on how Physical Fitness and Ideological and Spiritual Fitness are integrated with Heart Health for Body and Soul.

Messages for Communicators

Physical Fitness and the Heart: The TFF Physical Fitness Domain consists of the ability to physically accomplish all aspects of your tasks while avoiding injury. Heart health is affected by numerous physical fitness measures, and a healthy, strong heart boosts physical performance.

  • The heart is an enormously complex organ and conditions of the heart can have serious and far-reaching effects.
  • Military readiness requires training practices to maintain performance, prevent injury and illness, and support speedy recovery, all connected to heart health.
  • Fortunately, there are ways to promote heart health through a comprehensive approach to health and wellness, emphasizing proper nutrition, physical activity, mental wellness, tobacco-free living, and appropriate sleep habits.
  • A proper, balanced exercise routine is an important step towards heart health, and ensuring that your heart contributes to physical fitness.
  • Exercises that support physical fitness, readiness and heart health include:
    • Aerobic exercise
    • Flexibility and balance
    • Resistance or strength training.

Spiritual and Ideological Fitness and the Heart: The TFF Spiritual and Ideological Fitness Domain consists of having beliefs and practices that strengthen your connectedness with sources of hope, meaning, and purpose. The heart is a powerful symbol of our emotional and spiritual selves, and the values that we hold dear.

  • Our emotions can also connect directly to our heart’s health.
  • Being aware of, and living your life consistent with core values, beliefs, and principles, can give you the tools to help you recover from sudden stress and shock more quickly.
    • For Service Members, this often means commitment to service and sacrifice, and relationships with family, comrades, unit, community, the Nation, and society as a whole.
    • When your life choices, actions, and words are not aligned to your core values and beliefs, it can create added stress and self-doubt.
  • Broken heart syndrome (formally known as “Takotsubo syndrome”) is a recognized heart condition typically triggered by stressful situations and extreme emotions, or a serious physical illness or surgery.
    • The most common symptom is sudden chest pain, often mistaken for a heart attack.
    • Broken heart syndrome can actually disrupt your heart's normal pumping function by affecting part of the heart, while leaving the rest functioning normally.

Graphics

Social media graphic, Spiritual Fitness and Your Health, has heart logo, Spiritual Fitness Shuttlecock image, Total Force Fitness Logo and MHS logo.


Social media graphic, Physical Fitness and Your Health, has heart logo, Spiritual Fitness Shuttlecock image, Total Force Fitness Logo and MHS logo.


Social media graphic #1 on Broken Heart Syndrome facts. Shows a heart with a jagged break. Takotsubo: Broken Heart Syndrome Facts 1. Broken heart syndrome is a recognized heart condition, technically called takotsubo syndrome. It is typically triggered by stressful situations and extreme emotions (like the loss of a loved one), or a serious physical illness or surgery.


Social media graphic #2 on Broken Heart Syndrome facts. Shows a heart with a jagged break. Takotsubo: Broken Heart Syndrome Facts 2: Takotsubo syndrome, or broken heart syndrome, can have symptoms that  mimic a heart attack, including chest pain and shortness of breath. These may be caused by a surge of stress hormones, like adrenaline. Emotional health has a real impact on physical health.

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.