If you’ve wanted to eat better, get fitter, feel less stressed, or take any other steps toward living a healthier life, odds are you’ve looked to brands or personalities to help guide you on your journey. And there’s a very strong chance those people are on our annual list of the most influential people in health and fitness.
The Honest Food Blogger
For nearly a decade, Liddon has opened up to a growing audience about her struggles with an eating disorder, her journey to health, and her growing interest in cooking nutritious, delicious food. Today, Liddon’s Oh She Glows is an award-winning blog and the inspiration for 2014’s NYT best-selling Oh She Glows Cookbook, 2016’s Oh She Glows Every Day, and the Webby award-nominated Oh She Glows app.
The Real Love Relationship Advisor
Most people wouldn’t think to ask a former drug dealer for relationship advice, but Gaskins has made a career out of his personal comeback story and his heartfelt insights into love, life, and business. The motivational speaker, author, and life coach is committed to changing lives wherever he goes, whether by serving as a life coach for NBA teams or preaching to his millions of social media followers.
The Battle-Prepping Trainer
In addition to being an internationally recognized trainer, speaker, and author, Rooney is the founder of Training for Warriors—a hard-core strength and conditioning program originally designed for MMA fighters that’s now popular among everyday fitness fanatics. When he’s not consulting with professional sports teams or training Olympians, Rooney can be found delivering lectures around the country or sounding off on his popular Into the Roar podcast.
The Anxious Meditation Specialist
A few years ago, Harris made headlines after having a panic attack on live TV. He bounced back by turning lemons into lemonade and becoming an outspoken advocate for mindfulness meditation. Harris is now the creator of 10% Happier, a meditation platform and podcast for the rest of us. He’s also written two NYTbestsellers: 10% Happier and (most recently) Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics.
The Feel-Good Social Media Maven
At a time when Instagram empires are built and shaped by Facetune and Photoshop, Gray is on a mission to keep it real. She speaks openly and honestly about anxiety, sexual harassment, and the pressure to seem perfect online. And she uses her social platforms, her DiveThru app, and her business, Way of Gray, to encourage everyone to adopt a mindset of body positivity and unabashed self-love.
The Most Authentic TV Trainer
This Biggest Loser trainer has one big heart. Instead of fixating exclusively on calorie counts and fitness regimens, Widerstrom also embraces her clients’ emotional relationships to weight. In the process, she paves the way for a more holistic (and sustainable) transformation. The weight-loss expert has had another banner year, appearing on the cover of several glossies and releasing her book Diet Right for Your Personality Type.
The Strongman Champion
Smith could rest on his laurels as one of the biggest names in powerlifting. After all, he’s got multiple Top 10 totals all-time and a 2012 North American Strongman Championship under his belt. But Smith isn’t one to coast. He’s also the founder and owner of Juggernaut Training Systems and a coach to world-class athletes in the NFL, UFC, MLB, and more.
The SUPer Instagram Yogi
Stand-Up Paddle Board (SUP) Yogacontinues to be all the rage—and Brathen (a.k.a. Yoga Girl) is one of the innovative yogis to thank for that. Not only is Brathen a leader in the SUP Yoga community (and the yoga community at large), but she also hosts regular yoga classes, retreats, and workshops. Can’t make it to an in-person event? Not to worry: Brathen shares yogic wisdom and inspiration online with her millions of Instagram followers.
The Next-Gen Wellness Guru
Tilghman is living proof there’s always room for more beautifully curated food photos on Insta. The speaker, author, workshop leader, and self-professed food lover (who goes by Lee From America) is passionate about sharing healthy, plant-based recipes. She also opens up about toxic relationships, alcohol, and lighter fare such as camping and music. Her down-to-earth vibes help explain why her following is steadily taking off.
The Juice Man
The juicing industry has Cross to thank for the ongoing popularity of juiced produce. He developed a large following years ago thanks to his documentary Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead. Since then he’s released another film (The Kids Menu, which addresses childhood obesity), a juicing book (Juice It to Lose It), multiple juicing recipe apps, and a certification program for juicing fanatics who want to spread the good word.
The New Arnold
Bodybuilder, fitness/fashion model, and speaker, Von Moger skyrocketed to fame with his 2014 crowning as Mr. Universe, and he hasn’t slowed down since. In 2017, he ticked off another major milestone when he was cast as Arnold Schwarzenegger in the film Bigger. Through his film, social platforms, and fitness and nutrition app (Building Von Moger), Von Moger inspires millions of bodybuilding devotees around the world.
The Raw Food Proselytizer
Raw and vegan foods have found their influencer in Carrillo-Bucaram, a.k.a. Fullyraw Kristina. She gained a following after sharing her story of overcoming diabetes with a raw diet. Now, the health science expert has got more than a million followers who flock to her site, social media platforms, and book (The Fully Raw Diet: 21 Days to Better Health) for insights into eating raw.
The Unretouched Model
Lawrence made headlines last year thanks to her modeling in Aerie’s unretouched ads, and she’s since gone on to become a major voice in the body-positivity movement. She’s also become a positive exercise inspiration thanks to everyBODYwithIskra, a formerly paid subscription service that Lawrence recently converted to an entirely free YouTube channel. As she puts it, “everyBODYwithIskra will now truly be for everyBODY!”
The Self-Taught Fitness Expert
You may know this fitness model and athlete as Buff Bunny, which also happens to be the name of her apparel line. Somers shares glimpses into her daily health and fitness routines via her popular Instagram account and YouTube channel, where she uploads daily vlogs about everything from workouts to money to what’s in her fridge. She’s also created several workout and meal plans.
The Recovered Fitness Junkie
Harper has long been a familiar face in the fitness world thanks to his lengthy stint on The Biggest Loser. That role earned him equal parts accolades and criticism, but in 2017 he became known for something quite different: He suffered a heart attack that nearly cost him his life. Now, Harper has stepped into a softer spotlight, where he advocates for a more balanced approach to wellness.
The Ballerina to the Stars
Ballet-inspired fitness classes continue to spread across the country, and much of that popularity can be attributed to Bowers. The former New York City Ballet dancer is the creator of Ballet Beautiful, a fitness method that can be enjoyed via in-studio classes or online workouts. In 2017, Bowers applied her years of dancing experience to the page with the release of her book, Ballet for Life.
The (Former) Fittest Woman on Earth
Leblanc-Bazinet is one of the fittest women on the planet. For proof, look no further than her 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games win, which literally earned her the title of “Fittest Woman on Earth.” Not only does Leblanc-Bazinet continue to be a dynamite CrossFitter, but she’s also a member of the Canadian National Team in Olympic Weightlifting, the best 58 kilo lifter in Canada, and a model for countless magazine covers.
The Comedian Who Likes to Move
You might not know it from Hart’s film appearances or social media, but the comedian is seriously into fitness. He’s also serious about inspiring other people to get moving, which is why he’s teamed up with Nike to create a fitness app. Run With Hartenables users to participate in training sessions, share their active experiences, and listen to the Move With Hart podcastfor fitness inspiration. Hart also recently debuted What the Fit, a YouTube comedy series in which he invites his celebrity friends to tackle different workouts, be it goat yoga with Khloé Kardashian or gymnastics with Terry Crews.
The Supercharged Trainer
Horton has been a big name in the world of fitness for decades, and he continues to reign over a veritable fitness empire. Not only has he iterated on his viral P90X workout with P90X2 and P90X3, but Horton is also an accomplished motivational speaker and author who continues to develop new fitness programs and has launched his own line of skin and hair care products.
The Funny Woman Who’s Getting Fit
You probably know Jones from her knee-slapping stints on SNL and in films such as 2016’s Ghostbusters reboot. She’s also made headlines for addressing racism like a boss. More recently, she’s become a bona fide fitness addict. Jones is committed to working out and eating well in spite of her hectic schedule, and her unretouched gym selfies serve as motivation for her growing legion of fans.
The Intervention-Loving Talk Show Host
Humans have a seemingly endless capacity for creating drama-filled relationships, and it feels like Dr. Phil has always been there to help us sort through them on live TV. Dr. Phil still pulls in millions of viewers and top ratings at a time when cable television as a whole is struggling to sustain people’s interest. Those stats suggest this prolific author and mental health guru isn’t going anywhere.
The Standing Evangelist
This big-time CrossFit coach and physical therapist has made a name for himself through his focus on functional fitness, especially his emphasis on posture and mobility. Case in point: He’s written hit books such as Becoming a Supple Leopardand Deskbound and co-founded the wildly popular MobilityWOD site (which provides educational resources about body mechanics and mobility).
The Personal Trainer to the Stars
Peterson has reclaimed a spot on our list thanks to his current stint as the Kardashians’ personal trainer, but he’s hardly a newbie to the fitness world. The Beverly Hills-based trainer is also the LA Lakers’s director of strength and endurance, trainer to countless professional athletes, creator of a DVD fitness program dubbed Core Secrets, founder of the Gunnar Gym Design company, and a regular contributor to health and fitness magazines.
The Renaissance Man
Schwarzenegger is a veritable legend, and it seems no amount of unseemly behavior is going to erase that any time soon. The bodybuilder-cum-actor/politician/TV host continues to cash in on his fitness-related fame with his #AskArnold hashtag (where Schwarzenegger answers people’s fitness questions), his large YouTube channel, and his ubiquitous “Come with me if you want to lift” t-shirt line.
The Multitasking Bodybuilding Pro
In 2013, Drain Kagan decided to change her life. She switched up her training and diet plan and transitioned from an amateur CrossFit competitor to a WBFF Bodybuilding Pro in the process. Now she’s a fitness model, WBFF Bikini Pro, personal trainer, creator of several online fitness programs (including the ever-popular Booty Building Guides), and a NYT best-selling author—all while holding down a job as a registered nurse.
The Fittest Couple in America
You may recognize this popular husband-and-wife duo from ABC’s Extreme Weight Loss series, which chronicled the Powells as they assisted participants in losing hundreds of pounds over the course of a year. The show received its fair share of criticism, but that didn’t stop the Powells from creating a wedding-themed spin-off series, writing several weight-loss themed books, and developing an app.
The Happiness Guru
This former Supreme Court Justice clerk quit her job to pursue work as a writer, and she’s never looked back. Now she’s known as one of the foremost voices on what it takes to enjoy a happier life. Rubin shares her insights via her blockbuster books, including the newly released The Four Tendencies: The Indispensable Personality Profiles that Reveal How to Make Your Life Better (and Other People’s Lives Better, Too, and her award-winning podcast, Happier.
The Queen of Squats
Frank, funny, kind, and down-to-earth: That’s the kind of fitness advice you’ll get from Gallagher, a record-holding powerlifter who’s the CEO at Megsquats YouTube channel. She’s a go-to resource for folks in the strength community who are looking for a dose of empowerment along with sound training advice.
The Master Bulker
The first thing many people notice about Buendia is his topless photos on Instagram, and those photos drive an entire business devoted to helping people achieve a similarly muscular figure. From coaching services to ebooks, challenge programs, and an exclusive membership plan, Buendia is all about helping people bulk, shred, and transform their bodies.
The Clean-Eating Sisters
This dynamic duo have already spread their clean-eating message all over the U.K. (thanks in part to their London café), and now the sisters are starting to take the international food scene by storm. The former elite-level caterers are making it happen by way of their TV series (Eating Well With Hemsley + Hemsley), product line, whole-food cookbooks, and international speaking gigs.
The Controversial TV Doc
In spite of regular criticism for shilling questionable products and health fads, Dr. Oz continues to attract millions of followers seeking easy weight-loss tips and digestible health info. While it would be easy to coast on the success of his long-running, Emmy award-winning TV show, Dr. Oz also continues to publish books such as 2017’s Food Can Fix It.
The Insane Trainer
Whether in the form of his wildly popular workout programs (which include Insanity and Hip Hop Abs), his Trust and Believe podcast, his line of apparel, or his newly released book, T Is for Transformation, T has been producing hit after hit for years. He also became an advocate for survivors of sexual abuse in early 2017, when he revealed his own experiences with molestation.
The Original Paleo
The Paleo diet skyrocketed in popularity in part because of Robb Wolf, and he continues to be an outspoken advocate for the benefits of the diet and an all-around healthy lifestyle. The former research biochemist, powerlifting champion, and review editor for the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism published his best-selling follow-up to The Paleo Solution last year in the form of Wired to Eat: Turn Off Cravings, Rewire Your Appetite for Weight Loss, and Determine the Foods that Work for You.
The Queen of Workouts
The self-titled “Queen of Workouts” has earned her 1.3 million Instagram followers thanks to her no-nonsense workouts and relatable perspective on living a healthy lifestyle. (To wit: “Why does cooking take like 6 hours and eating like 3 seconds and washing dishes like 7 days and 7 nights?”) The personal trainer and nutrition specialist also shares healthy living tips via a series of digital workout plans.
Roll has single-handedly transformed what people think is possible on a plant-based diet. The self-proclaimed former “fat dad” is now an ultrarunner with multiple World Championships under his belt—and he’s also a vegan. The plant-based nutrition advocate spreads the good word through speaking gigs; his popular Rich Roll podcast; a Plantpower Meal Planner; and several best-selling books, including the newly released Plantpower Way: Italia.
The A-List Body Sculptor
Anderson made it big training some of Hollywood’s biggest names. (Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Lopez, and Kim Kardashian are all devotees.) So it’s no wonder die-hard admirers flock to the founder of the Tracy Anderson Method’s online and in-person studios for a dose of positive energy and some seriously tough workouts.
The Minimalist Baker
For nearly a decade, Schultz has been blogging about food, taking gorgeous photos of it, and developing delicious (and refreshingly simple) recipes that highlight plant-based ingredients. Her site, Minimalist Baker, is a powerhouse resource and has earned her more than a million followers on Instagram. Those followers enjoy a growing collection of cooking resources in the form of cookbooks and courses on food blogging, video, and photography.
The Wellness Starlet
Paltrow’s company, Goop, regularly makes headlines—and usually not in a good way. Whether it’s for advocating the (debunked) jade eggs for vaginas or telling women to get as skinny as they can without dying, the Hollywood starlet’s business seems to court controversy. Nevertheless, Paltrow remains a big name in the wellness space on account of her popular cookbooks and her staunch defense of unusual wellness practices.
The Fat-Burning Man
The self-proclaimed “Fat-Burning Man” transformed his health (and his body) when he stopped taking his doctors’ advice and began eating what he now calls The Wild Diet, which embraces foods like butter and steak, in the pursuit of fat loss. James takes a similarly contrarian approach to exercise, and his unsanitized perspective has launched his chart-topping Fat-Burning Man Show podcast, Caveman Feast app, and best-selling book, The Wild Diet.
The Affirmational Trainer
The way Lewis sees it, fitness isn’t about being skinny or curvy—it’s about being the best version of yourself. That means standing by yourself through life’s challenges just as much as it means celebrating your physical abilities. The motivational speaker and life coach is all about building strong minds and bodies via her boot camps, training programs, and inspirational social media presence.
The Powerhouse Weightlifter
Rogers made headlines in 2017 when she won Team USA’s first Women’s Weightlifting World Medal in more than a decade. As it turns out, earning a title as one of the greatest U.S. women’s lifters of all time is a good way to build a following. Rogers keeps her hundreds of thousands of social followers motivated with regular documentation of her seriously intense workouts.
The Queen of At-Home Workouts
More than 1 million Instagram followers aspire to Babe’s level of fitness, and she offers a ticket in the form of her popular 21-Day challenges and BrittCamp programs. The latter offers four programs targeted at different goals, such as “Bigger Booty,” “Amazing Abs,” and “Super Strength.” The programs focus on bodyweight and dumbbell moves, so they’re accessible to folks who want to get fit but don’t necessarily go to the gym.
The Wellness Satire King
In the description for his popular YouTube account, Sears declares that “Satirical and serious are two parts that make the whole of… what I do.” That sums up the emotional healing coach’s approach to personal growth. He’s part playful (his satirical videos poke fun at everything from veganism to yoga photos on Instagram) and part serious (his emotional coaching practice). These parts merge in Sears’s new book, How to Be Ultra Spiritual.
The Soulful Vegan
After growing up on Pop-Tarts, cookies, and Kool-Aid, Claiborne discovered healthy eating in college. Not only did that improve her health, but it also launched her career. Claiborne is the progenitor of Sweet Potato Soul, where she shares hundreds of simple, tasty vegan recipes along with cooking videos and healthy-eating tips. She published her first cookbook, Sweet Potato Soul, in February of this year.
The (Self-Proclaimed) Beast
Eddie Hall’s site cuts right to the chase: “I am the World’s Strongest Man,” he writes. “The number one.” Hall isn’t wrong—he’s deadlifted a whopping half ton to become the deadlift world record holder. His feats of strength have attracted a cadre of fans, who closely follow Hall’s training and accomplishments on social media and via Hall’s new book, Strongman: My Story.
The Creative Fitness Junkie
#JustMove. That’s what personal trainer Keranen asks of her Instagram fans (all 715,000 of them). She helps them do it via KaisaFit, her own method of movement. Keranen shares her creative methodology via free videos and her premium workout program, #TeamKaisa. She’s also graced the cover of fitness mags and was tapped by Michelle Obama as one of the trainers for the Let’s Move digital campaign.
The Organized Entrepreneur
Johnson made a name for herself thanks to her massive collection of fitness DVDs. (She holds the Guinness World Record for the most fitness videos produced by an individual.) Now she’s focused on self-help and business coaching with an emphasis on achieving goals while avoiding burnout. That’s the mission of her popular SmartLife Push Journal and her two top-ranked podcasts, The Chalene Show and Build Your Tribe.
The O.G. Primal Eater
This former elite endurance athlete was touting the benefits of eating Paleo long before most people were willing to listen—and he ultimately helped popularize the diet via his Primal Blueprint book series, Primal Health Coach program, Primal Kitchen restaurants, Primal Blueprint podcast, and Mark’s Daily Apple blog. Now he’s shedding similar light on eating keto with his latest book, The Keto Reset Diet.
The Relatable Digital Darling
Jill is a seriously fit personal trainer who stays relatable thanks to her personal comeback story. Years ago, Jill lost her house, retirement savings, and marriage all at once. She turned to fitness to get her life back on track, and now she uses her online training programs, YouTube show, and book (Natalie Jill’s 7-Day Jump Start) to inspire others to transform their lives via healthy living.
The Prolific Professor
Gay’s thoughtful, hard-hitting, and at times painfully funny writing has earned her a spot on several bestseller lists and provoked countless conversations about feminism, race, bodies, and politics. In her latest highly acclaimed book, Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body, Gay dives into the intimate realm of food, bodies, and emotion to start a national discussion about discipline, self-care, beauty standards, and health.
The Health-Obsessed Quarterback
One of the best quarterbacks of all time is also making waves for his TB12 method, which his team disseminates via a meal plan, app, pricey cookbook (TB12 Nutrition Manual), and book (The TB12 Method). The method emphasizes pliability, no-load strength training, brain exercises, anti-inflammatory practices, and healthy nutrition. That might sound pretty straightforward, but Brady and his trainer Alex Guerrero have been at the center of several health-related controversies both in and outside the locker room.
The “Do You” Yogi
What happens when you combine the principles of classic ballet, traditional yoga, and the latest in mind-body medicine? You get Strala Yoga, Stiles’s now-ubiquitous brainchild. Strala is practiced in more than 100 countries and taught by thousands of certified Guides, and the practice has morphed into a variety of tailored class types including Strala Strong, Relax, Energize, and Core.
The (Self-Professed) Fitness Diva
From Venezuela to Florida and from exercise newb to one of the most recognized figures in fitness, Lewin has had quite the ride. After immigrating to the U.S. in 2012, Lewin began taking the fitness scene by storm. Now she’s known to more than 12 million Instagram followers as a fitness model and bodybuilder who dispenses honest and inspiring fitness and nutrition advice online and via her Fitplanand Mealplan apps.
The Paleo Kitchen Blogger
For years Tam has been helping people create healthy Paleo recipes at home thanks to her wildly popular blog, Nom Nom Paleo. She’s gradually expanded that empire to include a NYT best-selling cookbook, a podcast, and a meal plan program that makes it even easier to go Paleo. Through it all, Tam makes primal eating both trendy and accessible.
The Alternative Medicine Evangelist
Mercola has been both embraced and shunned for his alternative approach to health and medicine. Even as some folks have side-eyed Mercola for endorsing homeopathy and various health supplements, he’s spent decades growing Mercola.com into a treasure trove of alternative health information for the whole family. One glance at his more than a million Facebook followers suggests people are hungry for more.
The Timely Mindfulness Teacher
Sunim is new to this list, and boy is he making a splash. In 2017, the Zen Buddhist teacher released The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down: How to Be Calm and Mindful in a Fast-Paced World. The book—which offers strategies for finding inner peace in all aspects of life—struck a major cultural chord. It sold more than 3 million copies and cemented Sunim as one of the most influential teachers of mindfulness.
Since leaving behind a successful law career to enter the fitness scene, Arzon has quickly made up for lost time. In 2016, she released a best-selling book, Shut Up and Run. The certified personal trainer and running coach continues to build a name for herself as VP of fitness programming and head instructor at the industry-disrupting cycling brand Peloton, the global brand ambassador for Adidas, and co-founder of Undo Magazine (which merges Arzon’s passions for fitness and fashion).
The Celebrity Trainer
Calabrese has spent a lot of time at the top. She trains major celebrities, launched a No. 1 workout program (21 Day Fix), and wrote a best-selling cookbook (Fixate). Her focus is helping her followers attain their healthiest bodies without spending hours in the gym or feeling deprived in the kitchen. In that spirit, she recently launched the at-home 80 Day Obsessionprogram on Beachbody On-Demand.
The Community-Minded Trainer
Better fitness through friendship? It’s possible thanks to Dunlop’s Love Sweat Fitness, which builds community among women striving to attain their healthiest, happiest bodies. The community’s 400,000 women turn to Dunlop for dynamic workout programs (such as 2017’s 8 Week Hot Body Sweat Guide), balanced eating plans, and a consistent dose of positivity. As Dunlop says, “Good things come to those who sweat!”
The F.I.T. Phenomenon
The Australian fitness pro and 2016 Reebok Global Ambassador sticks to what she does best in the form of her Emily Skye FITlifestyle program, which offers her 14 million users a balanced approach to wellness in the form of body-sculpting workouts, nutritionally balanced meal plans, beauty classes, and mindfulness exercises.
The Barrier-Breaking Model
Last year, we celebrated Graham for being the first plus-size model to grace the covers of Vogue and Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue and for helping to bring body positivity into the mainstream. Graham continued to advocate body-positivity in 2017 thanks to her inclusive swimwear line, her affirming messages on Instagram, and her book, A New Model: What Confidence, Beauty, and Power Really Look Like.
The Fit Cook
Years ago Curry realized he’d been trying to “out-train” his poor diet—and it wasn’t working. So he read up on diet and nutrition and got himself into the kitchen. He shared his cooking exploits on his blog, FitMenCook, and quickly amassed a following of both men and women. Readers turn to Curry’s apps and monthly challenge programs for easy, affordable, and healthy meal-planning ideas.
The Healthy-Eating Maven
Mills is better known as Deliciously Ella, a healthy-eating advocate who dishes up whole-food, plant-based, and eco-conscious meals. Thanks to beautiful photos and a willingness to share her personal story (she embraced a plant-based diet after dealing with a taxing illness), Mills has amassed more than a million Instagram followers. They head to the Deliciously Ella blog, app, deli, and best-selling cookbooks for compassionate insights into healthier eating.
The Female-Empowerment Advocate
If this list came with a bravery award, it would go to Kesha. In 2017 the famous singer made headlines for reasons other than her music: She went public about her struggles with an eating disorder and body image and stepped into a prominent role in the #MeToo movement as she pursued a legal battle against Dr. Luke. Her message of female empowerment is represented in her latest album, Rainbow.
The Food-Is-Makeup Artist
The most effective way to look and feel more beautiful, says Snyder, is to optimize your digestion through proper food combining and a plant-based diet. The nutritionist and speaker preaches her philosophy via her blog, podcast, TV appearances, and best-selling books. In 2017, she partnered with the Environmental Working Group to announce the 2017 Shopper’s Guide and was featured in a new health documentary, What the Health.
The Celebrity Chef With a Cause
Oliver has long been on a mission to make the world healthier through actionable nutrition and cooking guidance. Whether via his TV shows, best-selling cookbooks (including 2017’s 5 Ingredients: Quick & Easy Food), or social media presence, Oliver dispenses healthy-eating advice to millions of followers and has helped inspire a generation of healthier eaters. Unfortunately, he most recently made headlines for accruing an enormous amount of debt and needing to close 12 restaurants as a result.
The Lifelong Meditation Evangelist
A prolific author, speaker, and podcaster, Salzberg is devoted to spreading the good word about the power of meditation to overcome personal suffering. The mindfulness expert shares the insights she’s gained from decades of study via her Metta Hour podcast, On Being column, meditation challenges, video series, and best-selling books, including 2017’s Real Love: The Art of Mindful Connection.
The Post-Pregnancy Fitness Pro
Like many new mothers, Wells found herself trying to “get her body back” after birth. What transpired was a total life overhaul: Wells is now a personal trainer with expertise in postnatal training. (She’s also a bona fide Instagram star.) Her PWR Post-Pregnancy program is designed to help moms feel more confident in their bodies, while her 12-week PWR program helps women of all stripes sculpt lean muscle.
The Weight Watchers Media Mogul
For decades, the Mother of Daytime Television has spoken openly about her relationship to her body and weight—and these days, she’s taking a more holistic approach. In teaming up with Weight Watchers, Oprah’s become an outspoken advocate for incorporating the foods you love into a healthy meal plan. Meanwhile, she partners with Deepak Chopra, M.D., to advocate for meditation and mindfulness in the quest for total well-being.
The Thriving Media Mogul
Huffington has two major media accomplishments under her belt as the creator of both Huffington Post and Thrive Global. The latter exclusively dispenses healthy-living advice for when you’re at home and in the workplace. Much of that advice centers on the importance of sleep; Huffington further explores this topic in 2017’s NYT best-selling book, The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time.
The New King of CrossFit
At the 2016 and 2017 CrossFit Games, Fraser wasn’t competing against anybody but himself. Not only did he break records to become the 2016 CrossFit Games Champion, but he bested his own record by a whopping 19 points in 2017. The Fittest Man on Earth has amassed major brand partnerships and a giant social following; more than a million people follow Fraser’s Instagram for a serious dose of strength inspiration.
The Seriously Strong Athlete
Not only is Brian Shaw one of the largest athletes in the world, but he’s also the only person to ever win the World’s Strongest Man (four times!), Arnold Classic Strongman, and America’s Strongest Man competitions. The Professional Strongman competitor and strength and conditioning coach offers training and nutrition advice to strength athletes around the world via his Strongman Academy.
The O.G. CrossFit King
Froning remains one of CrossFit’s biggest legends. The four-time winner of the “Fittest Man on Earth” title now focuses on sharing his knowledge to uplift future CrossFit champions. He makes it happen by dispensing training plans on his Froning & Friends site, sharing tips on his popular social platforms, and going in-depth on all things strength and conditioning on his Froning & Friends podcast.
The Better-Headspace Advocate
Puddicombe followed the usual career trajectory: He trained briefly with the Moscow State Circus before becoming a leading meditation and mindfulness expert. After studying meditation in the Himalayas and becoming ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist monk in Northern India, Puddicombe co-founded Headspace, a digital platform and app that uses guided meditations to teach hundreds of thousands of people how to incorporate more mindfulness into their lives.
The Vulnerability Expert
Before Brown gave her landmark TED talkon “the power of vulnerability,” the world didn’t know vulnerability experts existed. Today the research professor is making a name for both herself and her profession as the authority on courage and living an authentic life. Her 2017 book, Braving the Wilderness, was a No. 1 NYT bestseller, and Brown is a sought-after speaker and self-help expert.
The Relentlessly Dedicated Bodybuilder
Nearly 5 million people follow Ulisses Jr. on Instagram, where he posts shirtless photo after shirtless video. Ulisses Jr.’s impressive form hasn’t just earned him a major social media following. His dedication in the gym has also made him a popular strength and conditioning professional and drawn a large audience to his Ulisses World site, where he disseminates training and nutrition advice to anyone hoping to transform their body composition.
The Unapologetically Strong Athlete
Not only is Williams one of the best athletes of all time, but she’s obtained this success while dealing with more criticism than most athletes face in a lifetime. The tennis pro, businesswoman, and UNICEF ambassador has amassed even more fandom for handling those sexist and racist critiques with remarkable grace. More recently, she’s trained her eye on discussing pregnancy and postpartum complications in a refreshingly candid way—all while battling her way back up the ranks to reclaim her No. 1 spot.
The Weight-Losing Record Producer
Most people know Khaled as an accomplished record producer, DJ, and radio personality. His millions of social media followers also recognize him as Weight Watchers’s newest spokesperson. If that seems like an unlikely pairing, a glance at Khaled’s Instagram reveals just how serious he is about taking charge of his health. In the process, he’s inspiring millions of followers to join him on the quest for a healthier lifestyle.
The Motivational Muscleman
More than 5 million followers flock to Panda’s social accounts. They’re not just there to envy the Musclemania competitor’s incredible figure (which has landed him on pretty much every fitness mag’s cover), but also for his strength of character. The owner of Just Lift and SP Aesthetics sportswear is known for a highly positive, motivational approach that inspires as much as it challenges.
The Productivity Hacker
Not only is Ferris an extremely efficient man, but he’s also keen on health. He frequently dedicates episodes of his top-ranked podcast, The Tim Ferris Show, to topics such as diet, working out, meditation, and the food industry. That show tops 200 million downloads, which means Ferris’s attention to healthy living can have a major effect. In 2017, he published a new self-help book, Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice From the Best in the World.
The Spiritual Guru
The Dalai Lama is a prolific author and speaker who is devoted to helping people enhance their mental and spiritual health. If his 18 million Twitter followers are any indication, the world is plenty hungry for this kind of advice. It’s accessible via the Dalai Lama app, free videos, and best-selling books, including 2017’s timely international bestseller, An Appeal to the World: The Way to Peace in a Time of Division.
The Brains Behind Whole30
Use Whole30 to take a 30-day break from foods that might be negatively impacting your health, and the program’s co-creator maintains you’re liable to feel so much better, you’ll fit some of these habits into your life. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Whole30-approved recipes are delicious—for proof, look no further than Hartwig’s fleet of best-selling cookbooks, including 2017’s The Whole30 Fast & Easy Cookbook.
The New Fittest Woman on Earth
What does it take to become the Fittest Woman on Earth? The 2017 CrossFit Games Champion outlines it all in her new book, aptly titled How I Became the Fittest Woman on Earth. If you’re less interested in reading and more interested in training, check out the star athlete’s informative blog, training program, and personal coaching sessions.
The Women Toning It Up Online
Creating a business with your best friend is most people’s dream come true—and that’s exactly what Tone It Up co-founders Dawn and Scott have achieved. In the process, they’ve developed an extremely popular fitness program, a Studio Tone It Up fitness app and nutrition plan, a devoted community of millions of fit-minded women, and a multimillion-dollar brand.
The Highly Caffeinated High-Fat Exec
The founder of Bulletproof Coffee has spent more than $1 million to hack his own biology. In the process, he’s apparently lost 100 pounds, boosted his IQ by 20 points, lowered his biological age, and began sleeping more efficiently. Asprey shares his know-how via his top-ranked Bulletproof Radio podcast, Bulletproof Training Institute, and books, including 2017’s best-selling Head Strong: The Bulletproof Plan to Activate Untapped Brain Energy to Work Smarter and Think Faster—in Just Two Weeks.
The Relatable Life Guru
Part BFF, part kick-ass entrepreneur, part spiritual advisor (with a whole lot of real talk): The best-selling author and self-help guru continually cranks out insightful, relatable, and actionable life advice via her blog, her books (including 2017’s White Hot Truth: Clarity for Keeping It Real On Your Spiritual Path from One Seeker to Another), and her online courses and apps. She’s also part of Oprah Winfrey’s list of SuperSoul 100 Leaders.
The Body-Positive Yogi
Five years ago, Stanley started sharing photos of her yoga practice online. The photos went viral, and Stanley’s life changed. She’s now a prominent yoga teacher and body-positivity advocate whose approach has inspired thousands of blog and YouTube followers to look at yoga (and their bodies) in a whole new way. This approach is also the inspiration for Stanley’s 2017 book, Every Body Yoga: Let Go of Fear, Get On the Mat, Love Your Body.
The Successful Reinventor
Former professional football player Lewis Howes survived a trying childhood and a career-ending injury before reinventing himself as one of the biggest names in self-help. His podcast, videos, popular books, online courses, and live workshops are all geared toward inspiring and teaching others to pursue their dreams. He’s also taken on toxic masculinity in his latest book, The Mask of Masculinity: How Men Can Embrace Vulnerability, Create Strong Relationships, and Live Their Fullest Lives.
The Positive Spirit Junkie
Need some fresh perspective and a dose of positivity in your life? Then turn to motivational speaker, meditation and yoga instructor, and best-selling author Gabrielle Bernstein, one of the most prominent thought leaders in the self-help space. Whether you prefer your pep talks served up via app, live events, YouTube videos, or books, such as 2018’s Judgment Detox: Release the Beliefs That Hold You Back From Living a Better Life, Bernstein’s uplifting messages will come through loud and clear.
The Tough Trainer (With a Softer Side)
Millions of people fell in love with Michaels for her high-powered fitness DVDs and her tough training tactics on The Biggest Loser. (Others took serious issue with some of those tactics.) Michaels has since branched into life coaching, podcasting, and writing. She’s opened up about her personal life in the process, most notably in 2016’s Yeah Baby! pregnancy guide. She also sticks to what she’s always done best with an app that offers hard-core workout programs and personalized nutrition plans.
Chopra has been making a name for himself in the mindfulness space since the very beginning, and in the process he’s helped jump-start a major trend. The meditation guru and alternative medicine advocate reaches his massive audience anywhere he can find them via a cornucopia of apps, books, talk show appearances, videos, and programs, including Oprah & Deepak’s 21-Day Meditation Experience. His latest books include Home: Where Everyone Is Welcome and The Healing Self.
The King of Dance Cardio
Marshall snuck onto 2016’s roundup as a relative unknown, and this year he’s cracked the top 10. That’s a testament to The Fitness Marshall’s skyrocketing popularity: The beloved YouTube personality pairs fun, sexy, and silly dance moves with pop songs to create heart-pounding (and enjoyable) workouts. If his more than 1 million subscribers are any indication, Marshall’s enthusiasm and fun choreography is truly infectious.
The Top Functional Doc
Hyman firmly believes your fork is the key to changing your health (and the world). The food-as-medicine proponent is the director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine, the founder and director of The UltraWellness Center, and a board member of The Institute for Functional Medicine. He distills his wealth of knowledge into digestible info via his site and a long list of best-selling, nutrition-related tomes, including 2018’s Food: What the Heck Should I Eat.
The YouTube Yogi
If you’ve hung around a water cooler or cocktail hour lately, you’ve probably heard someone mention Yoga With Adriene. The actress and yoga teacher has taken the country by storm with her free yoga videos, which offer easy-to-follow instructions and smooth flows geared toward everything from losing weight to being true to yourself. She’s also the co-founder of Find What Feels Good, a yoga video subscription service.
The Internet’s Pilates Princess
An award-winning fitness instructor and creator of Blogilates, Ho has grown her fitness method into an empire complete with 4 million YouTube subscribers, partnerships with 24-Hour Fitness, a new workout program (PIIT28), an activewear line, a new Sheroic podcast geared toward empowering women entrepreneurs, and a best-selling book, Hot Body Year Round. She’s also taken aim at haters with evocative videos such as The Perfect Body.
The Relatable Strong Man
He’s been dubbed The Great One, The People’s Champion, The Man of the Century, and The Sexiest Man Alive. He’s delighted WWE fans, starred in blockbuster films (including 2017’s Jumanji), created a sold-out line with Under Armour, and grossed billions of dollars—not to mention flirted with the idea of a presidential run. Yet somehow, Johnson continues to come across as a genuine, down-to-earth guy (one who isn’t afraid to open up about his battle with depression). That helps explain why 100 million Instagram followers await documentation of Johnson’s hardcore workouts and daily exploits with baited breath.
The Fitness Queen of Instagram
Itsines has appeared near the top of this list for multiple years in a row. That’s because the influential personal trainer continues to up her game in order to educate and support millions of women on their fitness journeys. Itsines is best known for her popular Bikini Body Guides, Sweat app, online community, and books, which include 2017’s The Bikini Body Motivation & Habits Guide.
The Food-As-Medicine Doc
We’re pretty sure there’s not a natural food or wellness trend that Axe hasn’t covered on DrAxe.com. The clinical nutritionist and doctor of both natural medicine and chiropractic uses his health site to cover everything from adaptogenic foods to oil pulling. More than 2 million followers take advantage of his blog, educational programs, and books, which include 2017’s Eat Dirt and 2018’s Essential Oils: Ancient Medicine.
The Man With the (90-Day) Plan
The beloved British fitness coach and TV presenter smartly leveraged social mediato launch himself from near-anonymity to health and fitness superstardom. And we couldn’t be more into it: The Body Coach, as he’s known, never pushes intimidating workouts or extreme dieting tactics in his quest to help people get fit. (There’s not a meal-replacement shake in sight.) Instead, he focuses on shorter, doable routines and 15-minute meals in his 90 Day Plan and series of best-selling Lean in 15 cookbooks.
The Empowered and Empowering Trainer
If you don’t know Arias by name, you may recognize her from the covers of health magazines, in her new role as a CoverGirl, or as a brand ambassador for Target’s Champion C9 line. Or maybe you’re one of the 2.5 million already following her on Instagram. The bilingual personal trainer (who formerly went by Mankofit) used healthy lifestyle habits to recover from depression and physical limitations as a teenager. Since then she’s developed wildly popular challenge programs, lifestyle guides, and a coach network to offer up the same benefits to her followers and advocate for a holistic approach to health. She also keeps it real about family life—this working mom is constantly sharing photos and stories about her adorable daughter and fitness-loving husband.