“I actually feel better than I did at 30!” says Lauren Piskin, co-founder of ChaiseFitness, a boutique fitness company based in New York City.
It’s no wonder.
Piskin is one of many women who have made careers of their wellness passions and, as a result, have maintained healthy, vibrant lives as they’ve gotten older — toned limbs and glowing skin included. Sure, their jobs are often physically demanding, and helping other women find good health isn’t easy, but their expertise has allowed them to identify the habits that keep them strong and energized over the long-term.
Here, six of these inspiring ladies share insights on their age-defying healthy habits, including how they’ve evolved with their bodies’ changing needs.
Lauren Piskin, co-founder, ChaiseFitness
Piskin, 55, presents as a petite, bubbly bundle of energy, and she uses that vigor to teach eight to ten workout classes a week. The Reinvention Method she created for ChaiseFitness is particularly great for women over 50, she says, since it emphasizes strength with little impact. “It’s truly the reason I stay happy and healthy!” she says.
Piskin says she eats healthy but doesn’t believe in deprivation and “cheats” often. However, her most unique secret is more psychological than physical. “Teaching and training young people keeps me very young,” she says. “I get to live my passion every day and work hand-in-hand with my daughter [her ChaiseFitness co-founder]. That’s youth in a bottle.”
Suze Yalof Schwartz, CEO/founder, Unplug Meditation
“Meditation has been the key to keeping my brain strong. I am much sharper than I have ever been and have fewer wrinkles than most people my age,” says Schwartz, 49. It’s one of many reasons she created Los Angeles’ first chic, drop-in meditation studio, often referred to as the “SoulCycle of meditation.”
Though Schwartz works out at home regularly and trys to eat “real foods,” sitting in stillness is what truly allows her to thrive. “Stress is the ultimage ager,” she explains. “When you meditate, you delete stress and amplify purpose. It is the best thing that has ever happened to me.”
Patricia Moreno, founder, intenSati
Moreno, 52, created a workout that is both a physical and spiritual practice, so it makes sense that her own routine includes both exercising and meditating (and teaching!) nearly every day.
As she got older, she gained weight more easily, retained less muscle, and slept less — until she shifted her routine to what her body needed. “I believe weight training and meditation are two of the lifestyle habits that have made me feel stronger and more youthful,” she says.
Moreno also swears by hydration, daily green juices, visualization practices, and “a healthy dose of forgiveness. Nothing ages a person more than resentment. A daily reflection and forgiveness practice to myself and others has helped me stay excited about life and infinite possibilities,” she says. “I highly recommend it.”
Elisabeth Halfpapp, executive vice president of Mind Body Programming, exhale
Just. Keep. Moving. would be one way to sum up the approach to youthful vibrancy that Halfpapp, 58, advocates. “My regular fitness habit gives me continual energy. Moving in a class is energy, and energy produces energy. If I feel tired, I move,” she says. “This also gives me mental clarity and balance. Move a muscle, change a thought.”
Halfpapp created one of the first barre workouts, Core Fusion, with her husband, Fred DeVito, and she still takes five classes a week at exhale, where she focuses on keeping muscles balanced with strengthening and flexibility exercises, and core work to keep the spine “strong and supple.”
Other secrets? Sleeping a minimum of seven to eight hours every night and getting outside to experience nature and fresh air. Most of us could use a lot more of that.
Ursula Braeger, partner, Gloss Moderne
A luxury beauty and brand developer, Braeger, 45, helps women make their haircare routine healthier via Gloss Moderne’s clean, chic line of sulfate- and paraben-free products.
“I really believe in eating clean, keeping active, and focusing on good mental energy to keep yourself feeling young,” she says. “I feel like you have to be able to nurture yourself from the inside to keep yourself looking healthy on the outside.”
Braeger does that by working out every day (alternating cardio and strength training with yoga), eating a Mediterranean diet based on greens and fish, and going on spiritual retreats about twice a year. “I also work with a life coach on a weekly basis to keep my life streamlined and emotionally balanced,” she says.
Antonia DeSantis, director of Peloton Cycling, Studio Three
Desantis, 46, has a hell of a lot of stamina. A lifelong athlete, she worked in finance for 15 years before pursuing her passion in fitness, which eventually led her to the Peloton cycling studio within Chicago’s Studio Three.
“When I worked in finance and began working out consistently to relieve stress, I noticed how young the fitness professionals seemed. Most were way older than I ever imagined, but they had energy, looked youthful, and could keep up with all of us. I was so impressed,” she says. “The opposite was happening in my office at work. Younger people were looking older and getting sick. I realized that exercise and taking care of yourself is the ‘fountain of youth.’”
Now, DeSantis teaches six classes a week and exercises on her own four to five of those days, working in hot yoga, swimming, weight training, and Pilates to prevent injuries and promote balance. “I have more energy, flexibility, and strength than most people my age,” she says, because she makes sure to listen to her body and adapt to how it’s changing.
Gratitude and laughter don’t hurt, either. “Taking a step back to say thanks for the good in your life, while letting go and laughing throughout the day helps you stay grounded and reduces stress.”