Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

Heart Health Toolkit

To link directly to this toolkit from your websites, use this link: [Health.mil/HeartHealthToolkit].

Social media graphic on heart disease prevention with logos showing ways to prevent heart disease – a scale, exercise, not smoking and eating  healthy diet.

A healthy heart is vital to overall wellness, and critical to readiness and optimizing performance. A healthy heart is vital to overall wellness, and critical to readiness and optimizing performance. Heart disease is responsible for about 600,000 deaths in the United States every year – that’s 1 in every 4 deaths, the most common cause of death before the COVID-19 pandemic. Lowering your risk factors for heart disease is critical to your health, and will help Service Members improve their readiness and mission performance.

Messages for Communicators

  • Knowing the risk factors, warning signs, and symptoms of heart disease is key to avoiding serious health complications, including death, but many people don’t know the signs.
    • High blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, and smoking are key risk factors for heart disease.
    • Just under half of Americans (47%) have at least one of these three risk factors.
    • Warning signs of heart disease include fatigue, chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, among other symptoms.
  • There are strong indications that heart disease is more common in service members and veterans.
    • Stress, smoking, post-traumatic stress, and hypertension are known risk factors for heart disease, and are more common in members of the military than the general population.
  • The four most common symptoms of heart attacks are chest pain or discomfort; upper body pain or discomfort in the arms, back, neck, jaw, or upper stomach; shortness of breath; nausea, lightheadedness, or cold sweats.
  • There are well understood ways of minimizing the risk and impacts of heart disease.
    • Eat a balanced, healthy diet, low in sodium, cholesterol, and saturated fat (the Mediterranean diet is considered an excellent model)
    • Get at least 2.5 hours a week of physical activity
    • Get seven to eight hours of sleep
    • Manage stress
    • Don’t use tobacco and keep alcohol consumption low.

Download the Toolkit


Graphics

Fact 1: One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease. Physical exercise, proper diet and not smoking or drinking are the clearest path to lowering your risk of heart disease.


American Heart Health Month Healthy Heart for Body and Mind Fact 2: Preventing or minimizing chronic illness like heart disease is critical to military readiness. Service Members are not immune to the health problems that affect the U.S. population generally. Some risk factors for heart disease, like binge drinking and smoking, are actually more common amongst Service Members.


American Heart Health Month Healthy Heart for Body and Mind Fact 3: Just 2.5 hours a week of moderate physical exercise is enough to lower your risk of heart disease. Limiting saturated and trans fats, sodium, and cholesterol, and eating more fresh fruits and vegetables also keep your risk low.


Social media graphic on healthy heart for body and soul with a cartoon heart running on a tread mill.


Social media graphic on healthy heart for body and soul with a service members doing push ups.

You also may be interested in...

Cardiovascular providers counter pandemic-induced sedentary lifestyle

Article
2/26/2021
Military health personnel sticking an IV in a patient's arm

COVID-19 fears likely affecting cardiovascular care but not at military medical treatment facilities.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Heart Health | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Heart Health Toolkit | Heart Health Toolkit

10 ways to support holistic heart health

Article
2/26/2021
picture of a heart running on the treadmill with the words "healthy heart for body and soul. ten ways to support holistic heart health"

Tips for a Total Force Fitness approach to keeping your heart healthy

Recommended Content:

Heart Health | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Total Force Fitness | Heart Health Toolkit | Heart Health Toolkit

Eating disorders hinder optimal health and TFF nutrition concept

Article
2/25/2021
a picture of the produce section at a grocery store

Disordered eating lessens Total Force Fitness.

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness | Nutritional Fitness | Heart Health Toolkit | Heart Health Toolkit

Proper diet, sleep, exercise, and joy key to heart health

Article
2/24/2021
Military personnel working out at the gym

Heart health is crucial to service members’ readiness throughout their high-stress careers. Working to achieve that takes self-discipline and moderation, but also joy, integrity, and social interaction

Recommended Content:

Heart Health | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Total Force Fitness | Heart Health Toolkit | Heart Health Toolkit | Heart Health Toolkit

How do you mend a broken heart? It usually fixes itself

Article
2/23/2021
Military personnel wearing a face mask, gets his heart checked out by military heath personnel

'Broken Heart Syndrome’ and ‘Holiday Heart Syndrome’ are very real phenomena. Spiritual and social fitness can help mitigate both.

Recommended Content:

Heart Health | Total Force Fitness | Heart Health Toolkit | Heart Health Toolkit

Healthy Heart for Body & Soul

Video
2/17/2021
DHA Seal

February is American heart health month and the Military Health System wants to help you maintain optimum heart health utilizing the Total Force Fitness tool.

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness | Heart Health Toolkit | Healthy Heart and Total Force Fitness | Heart Health

Milley Highlights Importance of Heart Health during visit to WRNMMC

Article
2/12/2021
Two military personnel, wearing masks, standing with woman in red dress, also wearing a  mask

Americans recognize the first Friday in February as National Wear Red Day.

Recommended Content:

Heart Health Toolkit | Heart Health Toolkit | Heart Health

Fort Belvoir nursing chiefs in unique position as African Americans

Article
2/11/2021
Two military personnel, wearing masks, in a meeting

Fort Belvoir team shares decades of experience in military medicine.

Recommended Content:

African American History Month | Heart Health Toolkit | Heart Health Toolkit | Nurses Week

Navy Lt. stresses importance of being proactive during winter training

Article
2/10/2021
Marines march during a cold weather leadership course

MCMWTC is the "real deal."

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness | Winter Safety | Heart Health Toolkit

USAISR Burn Center observes National Burn Awareness Week

Article
2/10/2021
Soldiers practicing burn care on dummies

Feb 7 - 13 marks National Burn Awareness Week

Recommended Content:

Heart Health Toolkit

Speak Out: DHA observes Black History Month

Article
2/3/2021
Old-time image of soldier, wearing a helmet, holding a rifle, and planes flying overhead, with the words "Black History Month" over the image

The Defense Health Agency celebrated Black History Month by honoring those who fought injustice, and toiled to make our nation a better place for all.

Recommended Content:

African American History Month | Heart Health Toolkit

Blood donations remain vital for Service Member care

Article
2/3/2021
Man walking with assistance at a PT clinic

Putting a human face on the act of giving blood could help drive blood donations. And first-tme donors often become sustaining donors.

Recommended Content:

Heart Health Toolkit | Coronavirus | Convalescent Plasma Collection Program

USU launches into 2021 with Team Wellness Challenge

Article
2/2/2021
Four women, wearing masks, holding onto a simulated brain

Every New Year brings resolutions to change or improve our health, fitness, attitudes, or habits.

Recommended Content:

Total Force Fitness | Heart Health Toolkit | Heart Health Toolkit

COVID-19 presents challenges to heart health, physical fitness

Article
2/1/2021
Four military personnel, wearing masks, running on a track

Because of COVID-19 shutdowns, the overall health of both military personnel and beneficiaries has taken a hit over the last year.

Recommended Content:

Heart Health Toolkit | Heart Health Toolkit | Heart Health Toolkit | Coronavirus | Total Force Fitness | Physical Fitness | Heart Health

February 2021 Toolkit

Publication
1/29/2021

Every February is Heart Health Month to raise awareness of heart disease and promote healthy prevention strategies. A healthy heart is vital to overall wellness, and critical to readiness and optimizing performance. Viewing Heart Health through the lens of two Total Force Fitness domains, Physical Fitness and Spiritual and Ideological Fitness, the MHS is taking a holistic approach to the heart this February, to understand how the body and soul impact heart health, and vice versa. The toolkit also contains information on Winter Safety and how extreme cold weather can affect your heart. It also has graphics and messages you can use for holidays and observances during February, notably Black History Month.

Recommended Content:

Heart Health Toolkit | Total Force Fitness
<< < 1 2 > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 2

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.