Tips for Men’s Health Month

Associate professor and strength and conditioning specialist Todd Miller discusses fitness.

Associate Professor Todd Miller explains how men can stay active. (GW Today/William Atkins)
June 20, 2016

June is Men’s Health Month, a national education program marked by health screenings, fairs and other outreach activities to encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.

One major preventive measure men can take is increasing physical activity and remaining active. Todd Miller, associate professor and director of graduate studies at the Milken Institute School of Public Health, is a certified strength and conditioning specialist and a USA Level 1 weightlifting coach whose research has revolved around muscle physiology. He spoke with George Washington Today and shared some tips to stay heart-healthy and prevent obesity.

Q: What are some facts we should know about men's health?
A: The biggest issue I see facing men (and everyone else) are the complications associated with being overweight and obesity. These problems are almost completely preventable through modification of lifestyle. While most experts recommend aerobic exercise as the most effective method for weight loss, we routinely see men doing lots of cardio with little results.  

Q: Your research focuses on how Americans can increase their physical activity levels. What are some fitness tips you'd recommend specifically for men? 
A: In my opinion, an effective approach is to use weight training as the primary mode of exercise for decreasing fat and building muscle with cardio as a secondary (if not optional) form of exercise.   

Too often people combine calorie restriction with aerobic exercise, and this results in losses in both fat and muscle, which we consider to be detrimental to optimal body composition. We find that our clients have much better results when they eat a calorie appropriate diet combined with heavy resistance training.  

Q: What are some other steps men can take toward leading healthy lifestyles?
A: Some basic guidelines are as follows:

Exercise: Perform full body weight training workouts three days per week on non-consecutive days, focusing on large muscle exercise (chest, back, shoulders, legs). Perform two exercises per body part for three to four sets of 10-12 reps, ensuring to go to muscular failure on every set.  

Do aerobic exercise, if desired, twice per week on your off days for 30 to 60 minutes at a moderate intensity.

Diet: Estimate your caloric needs by multiplying your bodyweight by 12. This is your daily calorie intake. This can be adjusted up or down depending on hunger, activity level, etc.  Eat 20 percent of your calories from fat, 35 percent from protein and 45 percent from carbs.