Three women — ages 41, 55 and 64 — share their secrets to better health and longevity

For an increasing number of women over 40, age really is just a number.

It may not be possible to stop the passage of time — but certain healthy habits can help slow down biological age, experts say.

“As we age, our abilities to perform certain physical and cognitive tasks decline, while our risks for disease and ultimately death increase,” Chris Mirabile, CEO and founder of NOVOS, a longevity supplements company in New York, told Fox News Digital.

“Although these changes are correlated with chronological age, biological age is a more accurate predictor, because it looks at individuals and how well – or poorly – they are aging.”

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If a 40-year-old woman has a biological age of 35, it implies that she is biologically in the same place as an average 35-year-old, Mirabile said – which means a significant reduction in risk for disease and death, plus an increased capacity for activities associated with a high quality of life.

For Women’s Health Month, three mothers at three different stages of life shared how they are defying age through simple lifestyle practices and interventions.

The women all participated in a six-month-long trial of NOVOS Core and Boost, supplements that are designed to slow down the aging process. Over the course of the study, they took three epigenetic tests, which analyzed DNA via a small blood sample to measure their “pace of aging.”

Lil Eskey, 41, is a stay-at-home mom and former fitness instructor in Phoenix, Arizona.

Growing up, she frequently had allergies and a constant sore throat. 

“The way that my mom handled it was to put me on antibiotics so many times when I was a kid,” she told Fox News Digital. 

“I also had gut issues most of my life, so my path into health and wellness stemmed from trying to figure out what was going on with my body.”

Prioritizing her sleep is the biggest thing Eskey does for her health, she told Fox News Digital. 

“Good sleep is so underrated,” she said.

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“Having a consistent bedtime and wake-up time is so important for overall wellness. Everything works so much better when you’re well-rested, including any stressors in your life or anything going on with the mind.”

Eskey also tries to incorporate movement into her life wherever possible. 

“When my son goes to preschool, I pull him on a bike trailer. The same goes for anything that’s a few miles away, like grocery shopping.”

After dinner, the family often goes out on bike rides or jumps on the trampoline. 

“We do anything to make it fun,” she said.

When it comes to mental health, Eskey has made the decision not to use social media.

“I hear about anything that’s super important, and I’ll check the news occasionally to see what information I need, but to me, social media just seems like an additional stressor on the body,” she said. 

Eskey and her family often experiment with different health practices, she said. 

“I listen to different podcasts on health and fitness to hear about new science or new ideas, and then we’ll test it out to see what works,” she said. 

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“For example, I realized I feel way better when I have a couple of hours between having my last meal and going to bed.”

She’s also experimented with using a continuous glucose monitor to track her blood sugar.

“We’re always just doing different experimental things to see what makes the biggest change,” Eskey said.

She has also been using anti-aging supplements from NOVOS. During the course of the study, Eskey’s biological pace of aging was reduced from .99 to .77.

“The time we’re here on this earth doesn’t always have to reflect the cumulative stress on our bodies. Rather, it’s stress that causes aging,” she said. 

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“It’s more important now than ever, with all the toxins and stressors we’re facing.”

Maintaining a more youthful energy level is important to Eskey, as she is still raising young children, she said.

“The biggest thing is being able to keep up with my kids and be totally active,” she said. 

“When my kids want to play at the park, it’s important to me that I’m not just sitting on the bench watching them. I want to be completely present for my kids and maintain a level of energy and vitality in life.”

A recruiter who lives in Phoenix, Arizona, Julie Gibson Clark said she focuses on seven key areas to help slow down biological aging.

The first is movement, both strength and cardio. “I focus on full-body strength training twice per week and a mix of zone 2 and Vo2Max training the rest of the week,” she told Fox News Digital.

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In her diet, Clark focuses heavily on veggies.

“I mix cooked greens and veggies, about 1 pound total every day,” she said. “I started small (about 4 ounces) and added about 1 ounce per week.”

Clark also prioritizes 90 to 100 grams of healthy protein each day: a mix of vegan protein, collagen and healthy, pasture-raised meats and eggs.

Sleep is also a big priority for Clark. “It’s hard to perform well at anything without proper sleep,” she told Fox News Digital.

Saunas and cold showers are another part of Clark’s regular routine. “This is my natural antidepressant and helps with focus during the day,” she said. “For anyone struggling with low mood or stressful times, I highly recommend trying this.”

Clark also began meditating in 2019, which she described as “a game-changer for stress and sleep.” 

“Twenty minutes every afternoon improves my sleep and allows me to recalibrate stress levels during the day,” she said.

Clark also takes NOVOS supplements, which she credits with increasing her energy levels and slowing her pace of aging by 8%, according to the study results.

“I like to think of longevity practices like a braid with three strands — exercise, eating right and prioritizing sleep,” she told Fox News Digital. “And there’s an extra colorful strand in there: supplements. Each of these works together to help the others.”

She added, “When you start moving, you’ll likely be more motivated to eat well, and your sleep will be better. When you sleep, it’s easier to stay on track with your diet and fitness plans. They all work together.”

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Clark said she adheres to the motto, “It’s not the years in your life, but the life in your years.”

“I want all the years I have to be full of mobility, vibrance and vitality.”

A writer and grandmother of 11 in Mesa, Arizona, Amy Hardison has always had consistent health and exercise habits.

“I have exercised aerobically an hour a day, six days a week for 50 years and have rarely missed a day,” she told Fox News Digital. 

“I always listen to an audiobook while exercising, making it even more fun.”

Hardison’s favorite exercises include swimming and working out on the elliptical. 

“I love working out at home — other people love going to a gym and having a trainer. Do whatever works for you and then do it consistently,” she advised.

Regarding nutrition and exercise, Hardison’s philosophy is to find something you love that you can stick with long-term. 

“Some people totally cut out sugar from their diet, often because they tend to eat too much once they start,” she said. “Others, like me, eat small amounts each day.”

Hardison had never been into vitamins and supplements until she got involved in the NOVOS study.

“I really liked that the study included bloodwork at the beginning, middle and end of the year-long trial,” she said. 

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“My bloodwork revealed that at the beginning of the study, I was aging at .86 biological years for every chronological year.  At the end of the study, I was aging at .74. That is compelling empirical data.”

Although Hardison does what she can to stay physically healthy and mentally sharp, she acknowledges that there is a limit to what she can control. 

“There is even a limit to how much I am willing to invest in longevity,” she said. “Life is to be lived and enjoyed.”

“Aging will take you places you have never been,” Hardison continued. 

“There is so much to learn and experience. Embrace the normal and natural decline with humor and perspective. Thank your body for taking you on the journey.”

Melanie Avalon, health influencer, entrepreneur and host of The Intermittent Fasting Podcast and “The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast,” agreed that women can take proactive steps to slow their pace of aging.

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“The ever-growing online bloodwork and genetic platforms allow women access to personal data, providing a deeper view of their aging on a cellular level, including monitoring their biological age, which may differ from their chronological age,” she told Fox News Digital. 

“Women can then make dietary and lifestyle choices to optimize these markers.”

One of the biggest issues aging women experience is restless sleep, often characterized by tossing, turning and hot flashes, according to Avalon.

“Women can implement a ‘sleep sanctuary’ to best support a restorative night, including sticking to a consistent wind-down routine and sleep schedule, in a cool, dark environment,” she advised.

Using a cooling mattress, avoiding late-night blue light exposure, and finding the optimal sleep position are some ways women can achieve better sleep quality, Avalon advised.

“Women often dread the perimenopausal years for their seemingly inevitable rollercoaster of hormonal issues,” Avalon said.

“Women can support healthy hormonal levels and natural transitions into the menopausal years by nourishing their bodies with micronutrient-rich whole foods, getting ample sleep, addressing stress levels, and reducing their exposure to toxins.”

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For some women, hormone replacement therapy may be an option.

“Many women may find that the benefits outweigh the risks,” Avalon noted.

Maintaining muscle mass is crucial for healthy aging, according to Avalon. 

“Declines in muscle mass and strength are intrinsically tied to mortality, playing a causative role in falls and metabolic issues,” she said. 

“Aging typically leads to reduced muscle protein synthesis,” Avalon noted.

“Women should pay careful attention to getting ample protein as they age, with a particular focus on the amino acid leucine, which stimulates muscle protein synthesis.” 

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Aging women should aim for a gram of protein per pound of body weight, Avalon recommended. 

“Women can also engage in strength training to further support muscle growth and maintenance,” she added.

“Aging women should embrace the agency to take their health into their own hands,” Avalon said.

She recommends working with conventional doctors to regularly check key health metrics, such as blood pressure, blood sugar levels, cholesterol and bone density, along with other markers of disease.

Poor glycemic control is linked to a myriad of degenerative diseases, from prediabetes and diabetes to cardiovascular disease and cognitive decline, according to Avalon. 

“Aging women can implement an unprocessed, whole-food-based diet, low to moderate in carbs, depending on their tolerance,” she said. 

Women can also opt to wear a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) to monitor their blood sugar levels.

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