Expensive creams, laser treatments, and supplement are anti-aging treatments being promoted worldwide and work for a lot of people. But, what if it we are approaching aging from the wrong direction?

Certified Nutrition Specialist, Fitness Hall of Famer and 4 time NYT bestselling author JJ Virgin says making three simple shifts can make a dramatic difference in our biological age.

Virgin said “I love my serums and supplements but if that is your primary anti-aging strategy you are missing the big picture.” She went on to say, “Starting at age 40, we lose 1% of our skeletal muscle mass per year and this doubles at age 60. Muscle is our key to staying young so our first priority should be building muscle.”

Virgin says one of the ways we can measure overall strength is through grip strength and said a recent meta analysis of 2M participants found that those with higher grip strength have lower risk of all cause mortality.

She pointed to  Age and Ageing, Volume 51, Issue 5, May 2022, which focused on a meta-analysis with 2,000,000 participants and found higher levels of handgrip strength to be associated with lower risk of all-cause mortality, irrespective of age and length of follow-up.

JJ Virgin shared these 3 simple tips to start building muscle now:

Eat Protein First

Lift Heavy Things

Sleep Like a Baby

“First, you need to fuel your muscles and that means eat protein first. As we age we can become anabolic resistant. It is harder for our body to utilize dietary protein to build muscle through a process called muscle protein synthesis so we need more protein as we age, not less.” Virgin said.

Virgin suggest doing more than what you are used to doing.

“You have to overload your muscles, this causes micro damage and your body rebuilds and gets stronger.” she said.

Virgin went on to say, “You can do this with your body weight with things like push-ups, with free weights with things like Bent over Rows or squats or with a TRX trainer.”

“The key is that you are doing multiple sets of big functional multi joint exercises. A bent over row rather than a bicep curl that use more muscles and ideally some core muscles as well.  And, you push to a point of near failure, If you are new to this you will want to work with a certified personal trainer or take a class to ensure that you have your form right. You can make a big impact in just 30 minutes twice a week.” Virgin said.

When it comes to sleep Virgin points to the fact that we don’t need less sleep as we age, we need more.

“Sleep is when your growth hormone raises, this is when your body is repairing and rejuvenating so don’t steal from it!” She said.

Virgin recommends wearing sleep monitors so you can track your sleep, and reminded viewers to set themselves up for a great night sleep.

“Some of my favorite strategies are stopping eating three hours before bed, dimming the lights, taking a hot epsoms salt bath or sauna and cooling down the room to 65-68.  If you don’t have a pitch black environment wear an eye mask.” Virgin said.

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