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Extreme approaches to health arent smart, says Canyon Ranchs medical director

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This podcast is brought to you by the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs at Ohio University Hi Everyone I'm Bev Jones and this is just about work where we talk about everything. That might have an impact on career. Our guest today is Dr Steven Brewer the medical director of Canyon ranch. That's a group of pioneering wellness nece resorts since the ranch was founded forty years ago and Tucson Arizona. It's led the way in crafting vacations that not only are funded fun and luxurious but also offer innovative approaches to supporting your health and wellness sometimes health resorts attract back gas for the kind of people who push themselves to career extremes and then when they get burned out they want to get some balance and so they throw rose himselves into extreme exercise diet programs but Dr Brewer says that doesn't make sense in his latest book what happened to moderation ration- he suggest a practical common sense approach to caring for your well being and today he'll offer us tips for a wellness program program that supports our health instead of challenging us to be Super Human Dr Brewer. I'm excited although maybe more than moderately excited. I'm excited about your new book doc because you are such a a leader as the medical director at Canyon ranch. You're such a leader in the the latest thinking about how to promote a healthy life but I I wanna read the title of the book. It's kind of long and this title it tells the the story itself. The title is what happened to moderation a common sense approach to improving our health and treating common. The illness is in an age of extremes. It is an age of extremes and I. I think that people will be eager to hear what you have to say okay but before we get into the book. Could you tell us a bit about Canyon ranch. It's a place where my husband and I have gone on off and on over the years and it's it's changed our lives but I don't know if everybody else is familiar. What what's the philosophy and what is it that makes it so different from other kinds of resorts. Well Katie ran a lot of people. Don't have a lot of people haven't even heard of it but it's been around for for forty years now. They're actually celebrating their fortieth anniversary this year and it was started by a guy named. Mel Zuckerman who basically was kind of out of control and his life was a developer here in Tucson really bright guy but knew that you know he was not very healthy. Overweight overweight probably doing a little smoke and probably drink a little bit too much alcohol said finally looked in the mirror said I need to do something about this so he goes to a spa in ojai California and he went there for three days. He called his wife up after about a week saying I better stay. I think you ought to come over here with me so he stay for a month and it was so he couldn't even walk one hundred yards analysis running two miles. He's lost twenty pounds feeling the best. He's felt in years. Z. Said I need to take this philosophy back home so he he and his wife looked around and found this old dude ranch here in the Canyon and Sabino Canyon and that's where it started and it was started with this sense of How can we be healthier and that was his philosophy was very different than the typical quote quote unquote spas out there which are wonderful wonderful things feeling waters. Lotta massages if we do that here but it's beyond that I mean he felt it is important to develop this bubble of of of health and what do I mean by that. It's kind of interesting over the years. When I was in private the practice before I came here and I've been here now fifteen years I would see patients and you know. I knew they were overweight. They were out of control. There live live. Maybe doing some things probably habits that we're not good for them and I would advise them to go. See A nutritionist. seeing Z. Get get involved with maybe one of the local fitness centers and also maybe they ought to deal with their berries. It seemed to be falling apart and I see him a year later. Their marriage is still falling apart. They gained ten pounds bore and they're still eating careone going to McDonald's every day and and it was because they went went right back into into their environment the beauty of our places we have this incredible healthy environment but I've got him under the bubble for a for a week or longer and they learned to live this healthy. Lifestyle is not a lot of super rocket science. We know but we do We don't just put what we think is healthy food out. We have nutritious. We we have people that have done. They're all master's above level and their job is to look at all the research and what is the science out there. What is the best diet. And what is the best. That's palatable it. Does you know good to tell somebody discreet food because it's really healthy for you want to eat it in so palatability. I think it's been really important. We try to do things here in terms of exercise with masters and and above educated of people in terms of exercise exercise physiology again we meet you where you are and increase your exercise program and we live in a world of stress now and by dealing with a less stressful events and the counselors helpful so our philosophy is basically putting in in this wonderful healthy scientifically based environment and uh we mix it up and you come out usually pretty good so you move from. I guess starting your career as a family practitioner you describe yourself somewhere as a country doctor and then at some point fifteen years ago after a distinguished career are in medicine you arrived in Canyon ranch in the bubble where there is a whole community of people who are trying to be Helsinki. Did it have an impact on how you manage your own health was so interesting you say that when I came here I have been I I was a country doctor for several years actually went back into education. I was teaching for a while and then went to suburban practice but in the Middle Oh that suburban practice I became a director of integrated medicine for hospital system and that was one of the reasons that I was able to come to Kenya is because of my position there. I I walked in kind of fool myself thinking I'm going to bring in all this great new information and it didn't take me very long to realize that I was going to probably learn more than they were. GonNa Learn for me. Hey because it's it's you go to a higher level. It's not like I okay. I exercise three times a week. You look around you and everybody's exercising four Warren five times a week. You don't think you know like well. Normally in the in the real world got oh gosh was a little ice cream here or there well sure ice cream is five five once in a while but only on special occasions and it's amazing when your place in this environment how much better improve it. I ended up losing ten pounds really it was not the lose ten pounds. I just got did a healthier life and also I think my my mental status seemed to improve better because we focus on the mind fullness here and meditation and relaxation and I didn't realize that my life was kind of a little stressful and by doing doing some very simple techniques that were not extensive. I was able to relax better and sleep better. The things you're talking talking about. don't necessarily sound moderate. I bet to some of our listeners exercising five times a week and trying new things what do you mean by moderate and and what are some keys to a moderate approach and and and what's what's the extreme approach you think that maybe people are going overboard with elsewhere. Well when we look at extremes of versing we think about is politics. Unfortunately fortunately we see the or either extreme extreme writer extreme loud didn't know there seems to be no way between world. It's happened also in terms of our health that our education here. I mean with exercise for example anymore people feel like if you're not running a marathon John if you're not joining the Spartan groups if you're not doing cross fit every day then you must not exercising I get I it's funny. It's all all almost invariably every other day I will get somebody. Come up to me and say Dr Bro. I understand you're a runner well. How many marathons heavy run I said well. I've never run a marathon and they just look at gas. Ask like how can you consider yourself of being an exerciser. If you're not running marathons those are the extremes we it's been shown that if hugh exercise for one hundred and fifty minutes a week okay which is about thirty minutes five times of a week if you exercise get get your heart rate up so you know that you're pushing yourself kind of an easy way of determining whether nine you're getting your heart rate up. It's take your age and subtracted from the number number two hundred twenty and that's kind of a guesstimate maximum ouray and if you can exercise in a brain of keeping your heart rate between seventy percent of that AH in eighty five percent of that you're doing a good cardio exercise and that's and that's not killing yourself not alpher long hours. I get up in the morning five days. A week and I go for a run about three miles which takes about thirty minutes. It's so important because that simple one hundred fifty minutes a week is is probably more powerful than any kind of medication you could ever want to take. It's been shown to decrease the risk of developing at least thirty five have different chronic ailments and so it's it's it's a no brainer and when people look at real athletes people out for hours and hours exercising. They'll think that you know that's what we're comparing ourselves to. I'm talking about a moderate exercises one hundred and fifty minutes a week so I have a lot of coaching coaching clients who have big jobs high stress jobs and I know that there are a lot of guests like that at Canyon ranch people work all the time and when I talk to them about fitness as part of being their best at work they often give me one of two excuses either they say they can't possibly exercise because they are just so busy and they have such big jobs or they say they've already got health problems and they can exercise because their knee as bad or they don't have enough breath and they don't WanNa have a heart attack. Do you hear those two excuses all the time and these are not from the extreme people. These are the people who don't know how to get started. What do you say that tried to move past those excuses. I tell them I I fall. Exercise is just as important as eatings just as important as sleeping for your health and we never think about well. I'm just GonNa Miss my meals for the day because I don't have time for that. I'm not going to sleep because I don't have time for that. We know that those are really important and the the exercise is just as important. I just said thirty five chronic illnesses are decreased by exercising on a regular basis and I just go what you've got to do is figure. We're out of time now. A Lotta people say what is the best time of day to exercise and some people is in the evening but the majority of us if we don't start off amid the beginning of the day and exercise more Alvin. We'll have some excuse just tired by the end of the day so I tell people you know you got to set your alarm and and you're GonNa go for an adult plan on even a half hour. You're not at not exercising plan on just fifteen minutes of exercise program and it's just getting out of the House and walking down the street for fifteen minutes at a pretty good pace. That's something to do but you gotTA. You gotTa have do little tricks. My little trick of course people go. We'll take a break. You're the medical director rates. You must love to exercise in reality. I love the exercise but I know how important it is so I play the trick of. I put my shoes right beside my tennis shoes right beside my bed and as soon as I wake up in the morning I gotta step my tennis shoes and reminds me. This is what I've got to do do and so. I don't use that excuse anymore. If you've got time to eat. You've got time to exercise because it just it's just so important for your health on the topic of what's moderate I now I love to walk and I've got two Labrador retrievers so that house keeping me walking but the getting your heart heart rate part up. I don't like so much but what I've been reading is that it doesn't have to be that whole thirty minutes that interval training just just a little bit of getting your heart up on a regular basis. A moderate approach is effective. Is that right that inter just some intervals will help you so interval. Training is exercising at a an pushing yourself to the point. Is You get your heart rate up above eighty five percent of that predicted heart predicted heart rate remember. I said for good exercises between seventy eighty five so you've gotta push it up at different intervals ause. There's different ways of doing that. You're on a treadmill for example. You can be going at a normal pace and then a quarter of the time you put your heart rate. you speed it up or you. Increase your clients. You're pushing and you feel your heart rate going up above that eighty five percent. Is there advantages in this doing this versus regular cardio well. Actually you can burn up twice. As many calories you can spend half the amount of time exercising did get the same effect as the cardio exercise so yeah. There's a there's. There's a lot of advantages to it. The only I think Ma that one disadvantaged in the interval exercises. It's not very much fun if you can barely do the Cardio Alexa cise interval training can be sometimes a little more difficult. It all depends on the person's personality myself personally as I've gotten older. I believe I've Ogden less interval training because when you do interval training you have the potential for having more strains because you're really pushing yourself up there a little bit but if you're really limited ended anti certainly you can do a fifteen minute interval training which you can do thirty minutes of a regular cardio exercise and you mentioned carry a minute ago. I so much of thinking about health is related to diet and nutrition and I've noticed that Canyon ranch's changed a bit on that front over time I it feels to me like the varieties bigger. The volume is bigger and some of the dishes you order and you serving coffee now thinks change over time what what is a good moderate under at starting point well life goes on and and the reality is you need to have people. WanNa follow your healthy ways. In what do we know about L. coffee well. If you have a history of high blood pressure. That's uncontrolled. If you very anxious person if you're trying to get to sleep at night if you have any kind of cardiac rhythm disturbances no. I'm GonNa tell you not to drink the coffee. But what do we know if you have one cup of coffee. If you don't have that stuff going on it's probably absolutely fine line. We had to always remember that. The half life of coffee or caffeine is about seven hours so if you had a cup of coffee seven and hours later he's still got a half a cup of coffee in your system. That's why if you're having problems with your sleep. You've got to be wary about what time of the day you take it but so a cup perfect coffee here there and actually there's some good some studies out there that feel maybe good for the brain to making a sharp you know it's always at what is best for you and there's some people are very anxious. Coffee's not a good thing. There are other people that they can drink water two cups of coffee in the morning. They're absolutely fine. There's we see no negative outcomes to that as far as the amount. I think it used to be more spartan here. I think that was even before I got here. It was a much smaller servings. I think we realize is that we can liberalize that a little bit more. I think the bottom line is what's happening to your weight. You know what's happening to your way size. If it's going down your weight's going down your waist. ASSIZES is going to try to maintain its doing fine. Then what you're eating is probably okay but certainly it's if things are going the other direction. That's when and you're GONNA have to start well my porsche. I need to be more concerned about my portion control so again. It's very individualized. We give general healthy recommendations but but we also feel that is the individualization that is is the key to what our success here what about oh vitamins and supplements and herbs and all those kind of things. Is there a moderate approach so so the answer is again. It's very important to go back. There's there's there's two ways of looking at the first way is again the individualization solicitation everybody has different needs okay so this one-size-fits-all for especially vitamins or several. Mrs Just absolutely wrong Let's take vitamin D now. Everybody says everybody needs vitamin. D Now K. and because the majority of people do need vitamin D because they have all to the physicians and they've listened to all the reports that the sun causes skin cancer. The most common cancer we get is skin cancer so where's the most common culprit. It's decide so everybody's lathered up. Put non hats put non blankets. They go outside. They don't get the Senate like they used to so. We're off the vitamin. D levels low but not everybody needs it. I've checked people here in Arizona that live here vitamin. D levels low. I've checked people in Seattle order by the D. level is fine. You need to check the level because this is one of those things that you can get toxic and you can get ill with because it's one of the four fat that's all you will vitamin says K. A. D. and E. and those are fat soluble which means they can hang around and if you taking too much they will say round in you. You can get toxic. I actually had a person went into kidney failure and liver failure because they took a excessive amounts of vitamin D so make sure you check with with your doctor before you're taking vitamin. D just check your level in the first place and if you go on it then you should probably check it again in a finite period later depending on what your doctor thanks and recheck level to make sure it's in the right range when I got here to Candy Ranch fifteen years ago. They were advising a lot more supplements. They felt that we that our diets or whatever and probably that talk in fifteen years ago or may not have been as good as they are now but we were advising more more supplementation. We were doing a lot more testing but we've really gotten away from that. Because we really feel you know we were born to eat real food and something that should be used as the term says supplementation. They're individuals that just can't absorb certain B vitamins because of certain physical conditions. They need to be checked by vitamins. If you buy for example in too much alcohol even if you're eating well alcohol hinders the absorption certainly vitamin. It's you probably need more by the vitamins. If you have some of the mallets option syndromes the worst of course ILIAC which we all hear about all the time which which is a sensory sensitivity to gluten those people because they have a really messed up absorptive system across got cut they absorb very few vitamins and minerals and so you have to constantly check and make sure they're getting the appropriate amount those are kind of the extremes. I don't even recommend anymore a multivitamin for everyone because there was a huge study several years ago they looked at thirty eight thousand individuals in Iowa and had two different groups and they looked at the morbidity and mortality associated with those people that took vitamins of all development and those that did not really didn't see any difference so I don't recommend it for everyone. There are certain people that probably need it. What about what about herbals. Do I recommend herbals occasionally. I do and some people are advised bore. Some people like herbals over regular routine pharmaceutical drugs one of the examples I commonly use. I I will use ginger. I really liked ginger because number one it settles down your stomach and I'm using it more or less for people that have arthritis because because it has anti arthritic medicate chemicals in it they're called Cox two inhibitors which are saying chemicals that you find in the prescription Asian drug for arthritis called celebrates and I recommend ginger root to take it every day they it doesn't work as rapidly ascended the arthritis bills. It's not like you take one eight feel better but if you take ginger root taking it on a regular basis it really has been shown to help decrease arthritic pain a word arthritis would have been the best ask for somebody that has a real more aggressive arthritis rheumatoid probably not but but the majority of all of us have some form of arthritis especially as we get older and ginger is fine ginger is an and I use it for even for people that have upset stomach. Would your mom used to give you when you were little. You know they she gave me ginger. Ale your stomach MC L. different cases. I've used different things. We'll be back with Bev after this brief message. Are you ready to make a difference. Send the world. The Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs at Ohio University can give you the skills to do just that the school offers a multidisciplinary approach where Public Policy Environmental Studies in Entrepreneurship come together to educate tomorrow's ars leaders learn more about the master's in public administration or environmental studies by visiting Ohio Dot Edu Bachelor school so you all things in your book go through a lot of topics saying look. There's a middle way. It's not the same for everyone but in all things there's a middle way one. That kind of surprised me when I I look at the table of contents is it you even have a moderate approach to cleanliness you. WanNa tell us about data little bit well. It's interesting. I came from a family where my mother who was born in the twenty. She's ninety five right now. They knew that a that a bacteria caused infections but they didn't have anything really treated except by cleanliness so our arthouse used to be so clean. It's still clorox all the time and then we came along with antibiotics and all my guys it was going to be the cure all wheel for everything everything and so you know we we overused antibiotics. We try to keep ourselves bodies clean and by what happened is now. We have all these resistant bugs out there that because we overused antibiotics and now we've got more the problem than anything it was just just in the past couple of days. There was a great article in the New York Times talking about the the overuse of antibiotics for Urinary Tract Trek Infections and how they're having a really difficult time with all. These resistance funds so yes if you have a strep infection. If you have a true bacterial pneumonia thank God. We still have antibiotics. Those are the appropriate and use them but just because you have stiffly knows a little cold. That's virus and antibiotic is going to work so being more discretionary on the antibiotics. Also I think there's there's there's the hygiene theory which you may have been thinking about. You read that chaff half the hygiene. Theory is the feeling that we have just kept everything so clean that children of you know that in fact is I'm. I probably guilty as anybody because I because I grew up in the antibiotic era now when my daughter was young I will cling clean and sometimes there's a and I adult they. I think they did one study on but you know the Baby Bobber Paulsen Flora Hewlett or do you just put disaffected before you put in your child's mouth well. There's a feeling that okay it's okay to have some bacteria in the environment some things in the environment that your body can build up an immunity to it when you don't give it anything to to defend against. Armagh system is not prepared for it and there's actually there's some theories that actually believe that it may be leading to this over more of abundance of people that are terribly allergic because their immune system is turned up so high when they see when it comes in contact with anything so it. Kinda goes down a different the path but keeping things clean is very important but there is there. There might be a little bit and maybe moderation to okay. Let's clean but let's get crazy about this us. It sounds like that getting crazy about anything and really focusing thoughtfully on the middle way is is good general advice but I'd like to to finish up say we have listeners out there and a lot of our listeners pretty career focused and they work pretty hard and maybe they're not taking care of themselves. If we have listeners out there who feel inspired to just do something that's a step in the way okay to healthier living on a moderate path. Where would you suggest they start. I think the first thing they need to start with his little. The structure I think is so interesting. If you look at some of the studies for example in weight loss people go what is better is it better to be on on a low fat diet or low carb. Diet and stays Sean that both diets work fine in terms of weight loss and the reason for that and they actually work if if you grab it out they both lifted the same rate in the same amount out and the reason for that is the person these people are finally giving a structure die. I are relatively healthy. I think having a structure an exercise program not saying okay. I think I need to go exercise next week league. It never works but you need to sit down and plan it out that here's the days I'm going to exercise. Here's what I'm going to do and this is the time. We're going to do it same thing with your food. You'RE GONNA find out a time that you're specifically. When is the best time for food. When am I going to go to the best of the the grocery store is GonNa. Give me the food. That's GonNa give me the healthiest food but giving yourself structure. It is really important and structure for another one that we really haven't talk about the the evidence is overwhelming is daily five or ten minutes a day of meditation. There are a lot of APPs out there. You don't don't have to sit there and meditate for two hours every day to get an effect just ten minutes. A day has been shown to decrease blood pressure decrease this cortisol levels decrease heart rate it's unbelievable and it's just simply five or ten minutes a day and the other really interesting woman. We're all worried about getting getting Alzheimer's is the area of the brain hugger hippocampus which is associated with a clearing house for memory. Its circulation can increase up to and forty percent by daily exercise. I mean daily meditation so my feeling is you gotTa Map it up is sit down at at and make some structure and understand they. You're not going to totally fifth days. When it's going to be rainy you can't go outside. There's going to be days when when when the kids are are are sick and you got to treat them and take them or you got to pick them up at school and those are just. That's just a fact of life but you don't you. You don't throw everything away. Just you KINDA scratch off. This isn't going to be a bad name but the next day I'm going back on my routine. It's a lot like career planning you start by. I- developing some specific objectives about what you what and then you make a plan and you start taking the steps just one by one you just start where you are and and have some charting system or some way of structuring the pattern that you're going to follow issue work toward your objective right absolutely and I totally agree with and and your piece about starting one step at a time I because so many of us will look at these. Oh I have the only way I'm going to be able to exercise. I have to run a marathon. Oh I have to only go to certain these high end. Ah Health Foods to be healthy. No you make some simple steps. Maybe your first step is going out and making doing a ten minute. Walk Okay but then you add on and add on. You're not going to be the marathon runner or maybe you should never even think about doing that but do one simple step at a time and it's amazing how much further early you'll go again. I'm the perfect example when I came mckanie ranch. I thought I was leading a healthy life that I didn't realize I need to go further and I didn't do it. Overnight gradually over four months. I was up to snuff as much as anybody else was doing here cain but it's a slow gradual move well. I think that's a good note to end on. Thank thank you so much for the good advice and I'm going to go back and think about what I can tweak next in. My own passed health. Thank you so much. Thank you so much for having me here today. Today we've been talking with Dr Steven Brewer about about why it's time to reject extreme approaches to fitness and health care and take practical moderate steps to support. Our healthy lives This podcast is produced by W. O. UB Public Media Adam rich is our audio engineer. I'm your host. Bev Jones author of I think like an entrepreneur act like a CEO. Today's career tip is that you can't do your best work if you're not in the best possible shape when you're thinking about your career goals be sure to include goals that will support a healthy life. If you've enjoyed our show please tell your friends and if you have suggestions for making this podcast even better please email me at Beverly Jones et me dot com. That's B. E. V. E. R. L. Y. E. J. O. N. E. S. at M. E. DOT COM

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