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Total Force Fitness in a Pandemic

Infographic on Total Force Fitness. Service member running with weapon, with the 8 domains of Total Force Fitness called out around him.  "The 8 domains of Total Force Fitness make up holistic wellness: physical, social, preventive, spiritual, psychological, financial, environmental & nutritional."

COVID-19 changed all of our lives in unexpected ways and made sustaining fitness more difficult. The Total Force Fitness model gives Service Members additional tools to optimize performance and build fitness, resilience, and readiness.

Messages for Communicators:

  • Traditional approaches to maintaining peak performance and mission readiness may not be enough in 2021. Focusing on overall wellness can give your fitness a boost when under stress.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic changed our lives in too many ways to count. Many of these changes either had a direct impact on a fitness domain, or made it more difficult to sustain or build a fitness domain.
    • Things like social isolation, job loss, difficult access to healthy food, and closed gyms, churches, schools, and recreation areas robbed us of many outlets to sustain wellness.
  • These multiplied stresses challenged many people’s ability to perform at a high level and achieve a holistic sense of wellness. 
  • The Total Force Fitness approach to health addresses many additional challenges Service Members and the DoD workforce face during the pandemic.
  • The Total Force Fitness model can be very useful to building and maintaining healthy lifestyles during the pandemic. 
    • Knowing how all areas of our health are integrated helps people make informed health choices.
    • The traditional message of “eat better, exercise more” is not an effective message in the current environment. 
    • Getting enough sleep, reforging social bonds virtually, prioritizing mental health, setting a budget, improving your work environment, and many other holistic wellness steps can have a real impact on your health.
    • Healthy relationships with families, friends, colleagues, and the military community are mutually beneficial to build and sustain wellness.
    • The Total Force Fitness approach to wellness and readiness sustains healthy communities, helps Service Members achieve peak performance, and increases the overall lethality of the Force.
  • Tips for building overall wellness during the pandemic:
    • Control what you can, and establish new routines to relieve stress.
    • Engage in self-care. It can be taking walks, engaging in a hobby, making art, or anything else that lets you take your mind off the stress in your life.
    • Don’t skip on preventive health. Many regular health appointments can be done virtually.
    • Stay active. Even if the gym is closed or doesn’t feel safe, exercise in the home or outside.
    • Maintain a healthy diet and nutrition. Practice self-discipline and avoid “emotional eating” due to pandemic stress.
    • Create a healthy, sustainable work environment in your pandemic circumstances.
    • Get enough sleep, at least seven hours a night for adults.
    • Avoid tobacco, alcohol, and drugs, especially as stress release outlets.
    • Stay connected with friends and family, especially using virtual tools, and check in regularly for your good, and theirs.
    • Meditation, relaxation, quality time with family, and personal care of yourself promotes overall wellness.


Social media graphic on Total Force Fitness in a Pandemic of a masked service staring into the camera wearily.  "Build Fitness in a Pandemic Total Force Fitness for Mind, Body, and Soul To Your Health: Build Your Fitness in 2021."

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