The Holy Grail of Men's HealthNov 14, 2013
If you could only concentrate on just one thing to live a healthier life, what do you think that one thing would be? According to Dr. Tom Miller at the University of Utah Hospital, so many other health issues revolve around this one aspect of men’s health, he says this is that one thing. Find out about the holy grail of men's health and how it impacts so many areas of your well-being.
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Scot: It's the month of November or, as some people know it, Movember. Have you heard of Movember, Dr. Miller?
Dr. Miller: No, Scot. What is Movember? That's a new one to me.
Scot: Movember is where men go clean-shaven on November 1st, and then they grow mustaches throughout the month, and it's to raise awareness for men's health issues. Why am I getting this look from you?
Dr. Miller: Well, I think I was watching the Boston Red Sox, and all those guys have beards so maybe it's Sox month. I don't know. All I know is if I try to grow a mustache I get told to shave it by the weekend or so.
Scot. Most guys do, and that's the whole point. It creates conversation.
Dr. Miller: All right. Okay.
Scot: Today I wanted to talk about . . . It's all about raising awareness of men's health issues. I want to talk to you about, as a physician, what do you think is the most important men's health issues are men should know about? This is stuff we don't talk about it so we're going to talk about it now.
Dr. Miller: Yeah, on this show we've talked about high blood pressure and we've talked about cholesterol. But I guess if there was one thing for men to think about from a health perspective this month, I would say think about B.M.I.
Scot: B.M.I., body mass index.
Dr. Miller: Body mass index. What is body mass index? Body mass index is a good way to assess your proper weight given your height. You can go online and Google "B.M.I." and a number of websites will come up so you can quickly calculate your B.M.I. Now normal B.M.I. is between 18 and 25. And if you're in that range, in general, that is a healthy weight for you. So what's the problem with having a high B.M.I.?
Scot: Yeah, what's the big deal? This seems kind of boring.
Dr. Miller: Do you know there's an epidemic of obesity in this country?
Dr. Miller: And so, when B.M.I.s are above 30, 35, 40, as they increase so do your health problems. Hypertension increases. Your risk of diabetes increases. It's really tough on your joints, your hips and your knees over long periods of time. So for many reasons, I think men, if they want to focus on one thing to stay healthy in the long run, track your B.M.I. If you're not between 18 and 25, find ways to get into that range, meaning usually a good weight loss program.
But then the second thing would be to exercise consistently. Shoot for seven days a week. If you get five in, that's perfect. And then work out a half hour to forty-five minutes a day and even more, if you have time. Meaning you can walk, you can trot, you can swim. You don't have to be a marathoner. You don't have to do ultra sports to meet that definition, but you should do something active.
Scot: I think a lot of people, men especially, think there's the two extremes, like there's the guys who are sitting on the couch, and then there's guys that think in order to be healthy and in shape you've got to do all this.
Dr. Miller: That's the man thing. If I don't do it 100%, then it's not worth doing.
Scot: But a walk is great.
Dr. Miller: A walk is great.
Scot: Go for a walk. Take your dog out.
Dr. Miller: That's terrific. It's easy on the joints. If you have joint problems and it still counts, so I would say, I could say, well, you should check your blood pressure. We talked about that. You should know what your cholesterol count is. All true, but tell you what? You should keep your weight within the right realm between that B.M.I. of 18 to 25. You know, the one thing I tell people is or I ask them, "What did you weigh in high school? In general, what you weighed in the first or second year in high school is generally what your B.M.I. should be.
Dr. Miller: Yeah.
Scot: Not plus a few extra pounds?
Dr. Miller: Yeah, maybe a little bit. For some people it's on the outside, but in general. So I would say track the B.M.I.
Scot: All right. Question about B.M.I: is it accurate in so far as what if somebody is really muscular and dense?
Dr. Miller: That's a really good question. So that's true. If you're really muscular, if you're a muscular athlete and you're working out a lot, then . . .
Scot: Then you kind of know anyway.
Dr. Miller: You kind of know anyway. On the other side, it's for ethnic grace groups that have thin bones, or they tend to be a little smaller, it over estimates sometimes, so you have to make considerations for that. But in general, it's a pretty darn good measure, and it's a simple measure to do.
Scot: Pretty decent and accurate.
Dr. Miller: Given the fact that 30% of our country is now obese or 25 to 30%, you really should know your B.M.I. You should target yourself to a B.M.I. between 18 and 25.
Scot: All right. There you go, Mo bros. That's what they call them.
Dr. Miller: You can't count the weight of your mustache toward the B.M.I. So if you shave your mustache, it's not going to cut your B.M.I. very much.
Scot: All right. There you go from Dr. Tom Miller from the University of Utah Hospital. The thing you should be most concerned about as a man: your B.M.I. because so many other health concerns revolve around it.
Dr. Miller: Revolve around it.
Scot: All right. Thank you very much. Appreciate it.
Dr. Miller: Good enough, Scot. Thank you.
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