Skip to main content

Military Health System

Training for a healthy heart can improve overall health

Image of Military personnel wearing a mask exercising in the gym. Navy Information Systems Technician 1st Class Caleb Womack performs a plank in preparation of the Physical Readiness Test at the Naval Recruiting Command in Millington, Tennessee, in February. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Tyler Priestley)

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Physical Fitness | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Total Force Fitness | Heart Health

Having a medically ready force means ensuring each service member is in optimum physical, mental, and spiritual health to perform at their best throughout their high-stress careers. A healthy heart is essential to service members’ performance because it’s the pump that ensures their bodies get the right amount of nutrients and oxygen to work properly and sustain them.

To do that, the heart itself must work properly, and the lifestyle choices service members make contribute to their hearts’ health.

“A healthy heart not only is important for how your body performs in the present, but also contributes to your longevity,” said Tim Bockelman, supervisory physical fitness advisor and sports medicine and injury protection coordinator for the Recruit Training Regiment at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in Parris Island, South Carolina.

Exercise is one important aspect to achieving a healthy heart, but there are specific ways to exercise to ensure your heart is protected to allow for optimum performance. However, exercise is not the only way to achieve heart health.

“A good combination of healthy behaviors include exercise, recovery, nutrition, sleep, limiting alcohol use, smoking cessation, along with decreasing amount of inactivity, such as sitting at the game console or watching television, can positively impact heart health and performance,” said Bockelman.

And though all types of exercise contribute to good health, certain types of exercise contribute most to a healthy heart.

“For heart health, the recommendation is moderate intensity activities for 2.5 hours per week,” said Bockelman.

“Moderate exercise activities increase your heart rate and cause you to sweat, but you’re still able to talk,” he said. Hiking, brisk walking, biking on a level surface, water aerobics, etc. are some examples of moderate intensity activities.

And if you plan to engage in higher-intensity activities, the recommended time decreases because they engage your heart more.

“If you ramp up the intensity to something vigorous, such as running, circuit training, biking faster or with hills, or swimming laps, the recommended time decreases to 1.25 hours per week,” said the recruit trainer.

During vigorous activities, your heart rate increases and your ability to talk is limited to a few words between breaths. These higher-intensity activities are cardiovascular strategies that alternate between shorter bursts of intense anaerobic exercise with less intense recovery periods.

A large group of military personnel wearing face masks, listening to someone speak
Recruits with Lima Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, participate in the Initial Strength Test at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, on Feb. 12. To officially begin training, each recruit must successfully pass the test, which is a combination of pull-ups, crunches, and a 1.5-mile run. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Zachary Beatty)

“Research using high-intensity interval training has moved past just providing performance benefits to where it is also providing heart health benefits,” said Bockelman.

Studies show the shorter duration, but more intense workouts result in an increased supply of oxygen to the muscles and improved lung, heart, and metabolic health. They also result in improved exercise tolerance, or how well the heart responds to exercise.

Marine Corps recruits, for example, must pass physical and combat fitness tests and be ready for the rigors of other training events and follow-on training, said Bockelman. “We’ve looked at those physical demands and developed a progressive regimen in balance with total body high-intensity interval training, strength conditioning, mobility, and flexibility.”

The conditioning program is designed to improve their physical performance, but it also provides general health improvement to include heart health. However, there are other aspects to heart health that contribute to overall health for optimum performance.

Proper sleep and a healthy diet, for example, allow the body to recover and withstand high-stress and high-performance careers such as those of service members.

“A diet with high levels of fat, especially saturated fats, cholesterol, sodium, and alcohol has been linked poor heart health,” said Bockelman. “High-performing service members need to look at foods to fuel their body for performance and health.”

A calorie intake over your daily needs will lead to obesity, which increases the risk for a cardiac episode, he said. And combining this with a high-stress lifestyle is not a good combination for optimum performance.

Likewise, “poor sleep patterns disrupt the resting heart rate and can increase blood pressure,” he said. “Restful sleep is vital to daily performance and health.”

Spiritual and mental health also contribute to a healthy heart. In turn, a healthy heart impacts mind and spirit for optimal performance.

“Sound spirituality can provide a sense of purpose,” said Bockelman. “This can lower stress levels and can help service members cope with stressful situations. In turn, cardiorespiratory stress and blood pressure can stay low.”

Service members can “work out” certain aspects of their life to contribute to keeping their heart healthy by making sound lifestyle choices to ensure they attain overall health. Today, technology provides tools to help individuals help themselves achieve and maintain optimum health.

“There are a multitude of smartphone apps to help lead you through brief mindfulness and relaxation techniques,” said Bockelman. “Even watches are now providing stress evaluation and recommendations. A couple minutes a few times a day with these techniques can bring a significant calm and stress reduction to your life.”

You also may be interested in...

MSMR Vol. 4 No. 2 – February/March 1998

Report
1/1/1998

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Back pain hospitalizations among active duty soldiers, Part 1; Selected sentinel reportable diseases, January 1998; Selected sentinel reportable diseases, 2 year trends; Reportable sexually transmitted diseases, January 1998; Reportable sexually transmitted diseases, 2 year trends; Leprosy in an active duty soldier; Influenza outbreak, U.S. Navy, Hawaii; ARD surveillance update; Transfusion-transmitted P. falciparum malaria.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 4 No. 6 – September 1998

Report
1/1/1998

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Morbility surveillance, field training exercise, Thailand; Selected sentinel reportable diseases, August 1998; Selected sentinel reportable diseases, 2 year trends; Reportable sexually transmitted diseases, August 1998; Reportable sexually transmitted diseases, 2 year trends; Outbreak, rapidly-growing mycobacterial infection; ARD surveillance update; Foodborne outbreak, Salmonella gastroenteritis.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 4 No. 5 – July/August 1998

Report
1/1/1998

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Late presentations of vivax malaria of Korean origin; Selected sentinel reportable diseases, July 1998; Selected sentinel reportable diseases, 2 year trends; Reportable sexually transmitted diseases, July 1998; Reportable sexually transmitted diseases, 2 year trends; ARD surveillance update; Hyposmolality related to excessive water consumption; Trends in hospitalizations due to mental disorders; Supplement #1: Update: HIV-1 testing in the Army; HIV-1 testing, Active duty , 1988-1998; HIV-1 testing, Reserve , 1988-1998; HIV-1 testing, National Guard, 1988-1998; HIV-1 testing, civilian applicants for service; HIV-1 tests, summary, U.S. Army, 1997; Supplement #2: Reportable diseases; All reportable conditions, 1998; Sentinel reportable diseases, 1998 (vs. 1997); Sentinel reportable STD's, 1998 (vs. 1997); Active duty force strength (March 1998).

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 4 No. 1 – January 1998

Report
1/1/1998

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Fevers of unknown origin among active duty soldier; Selected sentinel reportable diseases, December 1997; Selected sentinel reportable diseases, 2 year trends; Reportable sexually transmitted diseases, December 1997; Reportable sexually transmitted diseases, 2 year trends; Visceral leishmaniasis, Sigonella, Italy; ARD surveillance update; Supplement: Notifiable conditions Jan - Dec 1997; Notifiable conditions reported through MSS; Sentinel reportable diseases, 1997(vs 1996); Sentinel reportable STDs 1997(vs 1996); Heat / cold injuries; Notifiable sexually transmitted diseases; Force strength (September 1997).

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 4 No. 7 – October/November 1998

Report
1/1/1998

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Norwalk-like viral gastroenteritis outbreak, Fort Bliss; Selected sentinel reportable diseases, October 1998; Selected sentinel reportable diseases, 2 year trends; Reportable sexually transmitted diseases, October 1998; Reportable sexually transmitted diseases, 2 year trends; Hospitalizations and outpatient visits, musculoskeletal disorders; ARD surveillance update; Heat-related outpatient visits, 1997-1998; Supplement #1: Reportable diseases; All reportable conditions, 1998; Sentinel reportable diseases, 1998 (vs. 1997); Sentinel reportable STD's, 1998 (vs. 1997); Active duty force strength (June 1998).

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 4 No. 4 – May/June 1998

Report
1/1/1998

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Completeness and timeliness of required disease reporting; Selected sentinel reportable diseases, May 1998; Selected sentinel reportable diseases, 2 year trends; Reportable sexually transmitted diseases, May 1998; Reportable sexually transmitted diseases, 2 year trends; Elevated blood lead, Fort Campbell; ARD surveillance update; Infant botulism, WRAMC.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 3 No. 8 – November 1997

Report
1/1/1997

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Febrile acute respiratory disease; Selected sentinel reportable diseases, October 1997; Selected sentinel reportable diseases, 2 year trends; Reportable sexually transmitted diseases, October 1997; Reportable sexually transmitted diseases, 2 year trends; Arthropod, lizard, and snake envenomations; ARD surveillance update; Completeness and timeliness of required disease reporting; Army reportable disease system site survey.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 3 No. 9 – December 1997

Report
1/1/1997

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Spontaneous fractures of the femur; Selected sentinel reportable diseases, November 1997; Selected sentinel reportable diseases, 2 year trends; Reportable sexually transmitted diseases, November 1997; Reportable sexually transmitted diseases, 2 year trends; Injury incidence among advanced trainees, Ft. Sam Houston; ARD surveillance update; Measles, Madigan Army Medical Center; Carbon monoxide intoxication, Ft. Hood and Ft. Campbell; U.S. Army Hearing Conservation Program (HCP).

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 3 No. 3 – April 1997

Report
1/1/1997

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Editorial Comment; Hospitalizations and non-effective days, 1996; Selected sentinel reportable diseases, March 1997; Selected sentinel reportable diseases, 2 year trends; Reportable sexually transmitted diseases, March 1997; Reportable sexually transmitted diseases, 2 year trends; Completeness and timeliness of required disease reporting; Bosnia update: DNBI hospitalizations; Surveillance trends: Hospitalization rates, Bosnia; ARD surveillance update; Supplement #1: Hospitalization Summary, 1996; Active duty hospitalizations; Active duty hospitalization rates; Total active duty hospital sick days; Non-effective rates, active duty hospitalizations; Sentinel reportable diseases, 1996 (vs. 1995); Supplement #2: Reportable Diseases Summary, 1996; Reportable sexually transmitted diseases, 1996; All reportable conditions, 1996; Force strength (December 1996).

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 3 No. 2 – March 1997

Report
1/1/1997

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Pneumonia among active duty soldiers 1990-1996; Selected notifiable conditions; Notifiable sexually transmitted diseases; Group A beta hemolytic streptococcus among trainees; Surveillance trends: Hospitalization rates, Bosnia; Bosnia update: DNBI hospitalizations; Influenza at Aberdeen Proving Ground; ARD surveillance update.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 3 No. 7 – October 1997

Report
1/1/1997

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Selected sentinel reportable diseases, 2 year trends; Reportable sexually transmitted diseases, September 1997; Varicella among active duty soldiers; Selected sentinel reportable diseases, September 1997; Typhoid fever, Tripler Army Medical Center; ARD surveillance update; Adenovirus, type 4, Ft. Jackson and Ft. Gordon; Ross River virus disease, Exercise Tandem Thrust 97; Supplement: Reportable diseases; Sentinel reportable diseases, 1997(vs 1996); Force strength (June 1997).

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 3 No. 1 – January 1997

Report
1/1/1997

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Selected notifiable conditions; Notifiable sexually transmitted diseases; Gastroenteritis outbreaks among military trainees; Surveillance trends: Hospitalization rates, Bosnia; Bosnia update: DNBI hospitalizations; Tetanus, Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Supplement: Notifiable conditions Jan - Dec 1996; Notifiable conditions reported through MSS; Heat / Cold weather injuries; Notifiable sexually transmitted diseases; Cold weather training guidelines; ARD surveillance update; Force strength (September 1996); Cold weather injuries in active duty soldiers.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 3 No. 4 – June 1997

Report
1/1/1997

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Risk factor analysis (part I), hospitalizations, OJE; Selected sentinel reportable diseases, May 1997; Selected sentinel reportable diseases, 2 year trends; Reportable sexually transmitted diseases, May 1997; Reportable sexually transmitted diseases, 2 year trends; Brown recluse spider bites among infantry trainees; STD trends, risk correlates and recurrences; ARD surveillance update.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 3 No. 6 – September 1997

Report
1/1/1997

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Hyponatremia secondary to overhydration; Selected sentinel reportable diseases, August 1997; Selected sentinel reportable diseases, 2 year trends; Reportable sexually transmitted diseases, August 1997; Reportable sexually transmitted diseases, 2 year trends; Hyponatremia outbreak investigation; ARD surveillance update; Risk factor analysis (part II), hospitalizations, OJE; Heat injuries in active duty soldiers; Heat injuries, 1990-1996.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 3 No. 5 – July/August 1997

Report
1/1/1997

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Plasmodium vivax malaria of Korean origin, 1997; Selected sentinel reportable diseases, June 1997; Selected sentinel reportable diseases, 2 year trends; Reportable sexually transmitted diseases, June 1997; Reportable sexually transmitted diseases, 2 year trends; E.coli O:157:H7, Fort Lewis; Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Fort Lewis; Shigella sonnei, Fort Bragg, North Carolina; ARD surveillance update; HIV-2, Walter Reed Army Medical Center; Supplement #1 : HIV-1 in the Army; HIV-1 testing program, 1985-1996; Status of HIV-1 infected patients; Prevalence of HIV-1, civilian applicants; Supplement #2: Reportable Diseases; Sentinel reportable diseases, 1st quarter 1997 (vs 1996); Sentinel reportable STDs, 1997 (vs 1996); Force strength (March 1997).

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Public Health
<< < ... 46 47 48 49 50 > >> 
Showing results 706 - 720 Page 48 of 50
Refine your search
Last Updated: December 28, 2022
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery