Supporting health, fitness and wellbeing after transition

Supporting health, fitness and wellbeing after transition

DVA funds a 12-month general health and fitness program called ‘Heart Health’.

23 October 2020

Transition to civilian life is something every Defence member will go through. Ex-service personnel can find it difficult to integrate into the wider community. Focusing on your health, fitness and wellbeing can sometimes take a back seat.

There is a well-established link between a healthy lifestyle and improved mental health, physical health, and social connection. DVA has funded and supported a 12-month general health and fitness program called ‘Heart Health’ for more than 20 years. 

Initially started for those who returned from Vietnam, the Heart Health Program is free and open to all returned veterans and peacekeepers with overseas operational service who have not previously completed the program.

Heart Health focuses on providing healthy lifestyle advice and coaching along with practical exercise resource support. Program delivery is flexible and can accommodate participants living in metropolitan, rural or remote areas, those working or retired, studying or with other time constraints. 

Each participant receives a year of healthy lifestyle coaching from a highly qualified and dedicated allied health professional via fortnightly health coaching calls with advice tailored to your circumstances. The health coach uses extensive knowledge along with health surveys and food diaries to guide you through the program.

The program covers topics including:
•    setting healthy goals
•    nutrition and diet advice 
•    developing better sleep patterns 
•    stress management 
•    diabetes 
•    taking care of your body 
•    managing your weight
•    maintaining a healthy heart.

A resource can be provided to help support you with existing exercise activities or provide an opportunity to try something new. A resource can take the form of: 
•    assistance with the cost of a gym or pool membership or
•    accessing a small piece of exercise equipment for use at home or
•    assistance with accessing new exercise or training gear. 

Registering your interest or checking eligibility is easy – visit the Heart Health website and follow the steps. Medical clearance is required before starting the program, which is managed on behalf of DVA by Corporate Health Management. Please call 1300 246 262 to speak to one of the Corporate Health Management team.

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