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Bloggers making a difference in fitness, health, and happiness

The Internet is a beautiful thing. Everyone and anyone can have a slice of the pie, which means there are hundreds of thousands (if not millions!) of blogs cropping up every day. The number of fitness, health, and happiness blogs out there can be overwhelming: How’s an average Joe or Jane supposed to separate the good ones from the garbage (you know, those “blogs” loaded with ads and made-up info)?

Luckily, we’ve done the legwork for you. Here are 50 sites run by inspirational, creative, knowledgeable, and innovative bloggers. From running, to yoga, to Paleo eating, to gluten-free goodness, to meditation, to self-improvement, these bloggers cover every subject under the sun — and they do it darn well. We only chose sites with one or two authors, since there's a big difference between a small, personal blog and a website with multiple influences and voices. 

But we didn’t select them just because they produce great, helpful, inspiring blogs. In addition to smart content, gorgeous photography, and actionable tips, each of these 50 bloggers is making waves in the health and wellness space. Each blogger is pursuing new topics and angles, finding new ways to innovate online and off the Web, and becoming a fitness, health, or happiness influencer in his or her own right.

A note about selection: The Greatist editorial team (with welcome input from Greatist readers via Facebook and Twitter) chose these 50 bloggers based on qualitative, not quantitative measurements. We looked for blogs with one or two writers who express themselves well, engage with their audience, and find ways to innovate and encourage growth in the health and wellness space, even outside of their blogs. Since the criteria were largely subjective, these are by no means the only 50 blogs on the Internet worth reading — rather, it’s a list of our favorite bloggers in the space. The entries are ranked alphabetically, not numerically (meaning #1 is no better than #34).

(A selection of some of the 50 blogs is below. For all 50 blogs, go to Greatist.com.)

Fitness

1. Dorothy Beal

Dorothy Beal

The journey is part of the story for Dorothy Beal, who has overcome OCD, Oral Allergy Syndrome, and Gilberts Syndrome to become an accomplished runner and blogger. The mom of three is a marathon powerhouse, with 23 races under her belt and a 3:11 PR. Regardless of her impressive stats, Beal’s blog, Mile Posts, is full of down-to-earth musings and thoughts on running (for example: “Should You Carry Your Own Water During a Marathon?”), race recaps, and snapshots of her life. Beal is also a certified running coach and brand ambassador for Nuun and SauconyPhoto: www.mile-posts.com

 

2. Carla Birnberg

Carla Brimberg

Birnberg’s blog Miz Fit Online is about fitness and health, but it’s much more than that. She writes about motivation, inner (and outer) struggles, self-acceptance, spirituality, and the mind-body connection. Her posts are occasionally a bit rambling, her photos are sometimes not perfect, but Birnberg’s motto (“unapologetically myself”) says it all. Between videos, podcasts, and personal blog entries, Birnberg shows readers that it’s okay (and often helpful) to share your vulnerable, less-than-picture-perfect side —a mentality that can be hard to come by on many fitness-focused blogs. Photo: www.mizfitonline.com

 

3. Adam Bornstein

Adam Bornstein

The photo of a dude swinging a tire, bold graphics, and capital letters set the tone on Adam Bornstein’s blog, Born Fitness, from the get-go. Bornstein — who formerly helmed the editorial teams at Livestrong and Men’s Health — is all business. In addition to consulting and coaching, Bornstein writes blog posts that challenge fitness myths and encourage readers to question what they know about exercise and strength training. Even though he no longer works at a major fitness publication, Bornstein’s voice resonates throughout the fitness and health space — check out his bookscolumnsguest posts, and various contributions on other sites if you don’t believe us. Photo courtesy of Adam Bornstein. 

4. Brian Call

Brian Call

Daily Cup of Yoga, a site that began as one man’s online journal chronicling his yoga practice, has become a crossroads for all yogis. From meditation, to gear, to poses, to apparel, Call’s blog discusses all elements (and styles) of yoga in a non-judgmental, inclusive way. The blog provides readers with yoga resources, challenges, and awesome visual aids while cultivating an online yogi community. Call also curates the latest in yoga duds, gizmos, gadgets, and other accoutrements so busy yogis can get right to the good stuff. Photo:www.facebook.com/dailycupofyoga

5. Jason Fitzgerald

Jason Fitzgerald

Strength Running is the #1 blog for runners looking to bust through plateaus, achieve speedier finishes, and get all-around stronger. In addition to writing his blog, authoring books, and coaching, Fitzgerald is a 2:39 marathoner with experience (and advice) in spades. Whether you’re a beginner or a veteran marathoner, Strength Running is a veritable treasure chest of info. Fitzgerald has created training guides for every running distance and level, so athletes can take his Strength Running advice to the streets (or trail, or track).

12. Steve Kamb

Steve Kamb

We’re always a fan of anyone taking the macho out of fitness and health. Steve Kamb’s tongue-in-cheek posts on his blog Nerd Fitness prove that it’s possible to be serious about wellness and crack a smile every once in a while. Nerd Fitness is almost more of a database than a blog — although Kamb regularly shares his thoughts and ideas, the site has tons of free resources, training guides, product reviews, and even a tremendously active community forum. Photo:www.nerdfitness.com

 13. Peter Larson

Peter Larson

Since launching Runblogger in 2009, Peter Larson has become something of a pro when it comes to running and running equipment, and a leader in the space. His blog is a virtual meeting place for athletes looking for information on gear, sneakers, and running science. Larson isn’t preaching to an empty congregation — his posts are flooded with comments and the “forum” section of Runblogger is remarkably active. Photo:www.runblogger.com

 Health

20. Mark Bittman

Mark Bittman

Calling Mark Bittman a blogger is kind of like calling Michaelangelo a doodler, but this list would be incomplete without Bittman’s blog. An accomplished cookbook author, New York Times columnist, and food activist, Bittman is famous for his commitment to advocating a plant-based diet. The prolific writer is also renowned (some might say infamous) for his attacks on factory farms, love of local food, and participation in the Slow Food movement.Photo: www.markbittman.com


21. Lisa Cain

Lisa Cain

Who doesn’t love a snack? Cain, a biologist by training, writes about nutrition, new food products, and, perhaps best of all, snack recipes. The extensive recipe index is broken down by Weight Watchers points values, allergies, type of meal, and so on to make it super easy for readers to find what they’re looking for. Unlike many food bloggers, Cain often taste-tests and reviews food productsand pre-packaged snacks, proving that you don’t have to cook every meal from scratch to still be healthy. Photo: www.snack-girl.com 

22. Sean Croxton

Sean Croxton

The man behind Underground Wellness is a Functional Diagnostic Nutritionist and a Certified Metabolic Typing Advisor. What the heck does that mean? It means Croxton isn’t afraid to dig deeper into health and nutrition, and is obsessed with discovering the root causes to common health woes. Underground Wellness focuses — via blog posts, guest bloggers, videos, and podcasts — mainly on how we can use diet to improve overall health.Photo: www.foodandfamconference.com

 23. Julie Fagan

Julie Fagan

Julie Fagan is a certified personal trainer, a curious home cook, and an avid traveler and adventurer. Her blog, Peanut Butter Fingers, is a well-rounded snapshot of all of these pursuits and passions. Fagan writes about food, running, racing, and her life in general with personable, fun, and down-to-earth flair. After becoming a certified trainer with the National Academy of Sports Medicine, Fagan added a “study tips” section to her blog as a resource for other readers hoping to get certified. Photo: www.pbfingers.com

 24. Matt Frazier

Matt Frazier

Frazier isn’t afraid to shout his message from the (Internet) rooftops! On his site, No Meat Athlete, the runner details his plant-based diet and explains (quite convincingly) how it’s possible to be a vegetarian and a serious athlete at the same time. Best of all, Frazier explains his point of view in an open, inclusive, and entirely non-judgmental way. In addition to writing blog posts, Frazier’s penned a book and multiple training guides, as well as a regular podcast and an online training coursePhoto: www.nomeatathlete.com

 25. Gena Hamshaw

Gena Hamshaw

Raw food goes way beyond nuts, berries, and plain lettuce, and Gena Hamshaw is out to tell the world about it. Her popular blog, Choosing Raw, includes information about deciding to pursue a vegan or raw lifestyle, tons of raw, gluten-free, and vegan recipes, and thoughts on overcoming eating disorders. Hamshaw is an outspoken advocate for a plant-based lifestyle and has contributed to publications like Food52, O Magazine, and Whole Living Daily. Photo:www.facebook.com/choosingraw

 31. Marion Nestle

Marion Nestle

Nestle has been paying attention to food and nutrition since before the Internet existed (think about that for a second). Her focus is public health and nutrition, which she teaches at New York University. Nestle has written eight books about food production and nutrition in the U.S., so she probably knows what she’s talking about! She also regularly weighs in about the food industry and health on her blog, Food Politics. Photo:www.foodpolitics.com

 32. Kathy Patalsky

Kathy Petalsky

Powerhouse food blogger Patalsky operates not one, but two popular vegan recipe blogs. She founded Healthy. Happy. Life. in 2007 and created Finding Vegan, a Tastespotting-inspired online community for vegan eating, in 2011. In both projects, Patalsky sticks with her trademark style — a fun, casual writing voice, a love for bright graphics, and above all, a dedication to living an animal-friendly lifestyle. Check out her book 365 Vegan Smoothies for some snacktime inspiration.Photo: Caroline White Photography

 33. Mark Sisson

Mark Sisson

Mark’s Daily Apple is a go-to site for anyone interested in the Paleo diet or primal lifestyle (just check out that active discussion forum!). Sisson’s company, Primal Blueprint, offers coaching, nutritional counseling, supplements, and educational materials for Paleo devotees. Sisson’s main inspiration is “Grok,” a fictional caveman persona who inspires the blogger throughout all his hunter-gatherer pursuits. Photo:www.marksdailyapple.com

Happiness

37. Leo Babauta

Leo Babauta

Babauta’s blog, Zen Habits, is one of the most popular and widely read sites on the Internet dedicated to minimalism, self-improvement, and simplicity. With clear, well-phrased prose, Babauta explains the benefits (and nitty-gritty how-tos) of living a simplified lifestyle. He’s super-honest about his past struggles with his weight, smoking, and debt, and his content is actionable, motivational, and aspirational, all in one easy to read package. Plus, it’suncopyrighted, because he believes that everyone should have the opportunity to reprint and improve his words. Zen indeed. Photo:

 38. Ragen Chastain

Ragen Chasta

Chastain is an outspoken advocate for Health at Every Size (HAES) who also happens to be an incredible writer and dancer. She’s out to prove that skinny doesn’t necessarily mean healthy, and that we all need to learn to love and appreciate our bodies (no matter our size). Chastain isn’t afraid to question or challenge the status quo on her blog, Dances With Fat. She’s dedicated to proving that “fat” isn’t a dirty word — it can also mean healthy, athletic, happy, and awesome. Outside the blog, she has written a book, created dance videos, and is an accomplished speakerPhoto: Richard Sabel

 39. Jay Fields

Jay Fields

Success, failure, everyday life… Jay Fields has wise words to say no matter the occasion. Throughout her blog, Grace & Grit Yoga, Fields’ experience as a yoga instructor, writer, and all-around teacher is apparent. Her blog posts explain real-life situations, draw conclusions, and turn each vignette into a teachable moment. Grace & Grit is all about finding and nourishing the inner “you.” To that end, Fields also offers a 28-day, onlineHomeBody Yoga course so people can jump-start their yoga practice, both mentally and physically. Photo:www.graceandgrityoga.com

 40. Jonathan Fields

Jonathan Fields

It’s hard to pigeonhole Jonathan Fields. His eponymous blog covers creativity, positive thinking, business and management strategy, motivation, leadership, conscious living, parenting, writing, and public speaking. Phew! Fields is always looking for a new strategy or line of thinking that will yield higher fulfillment, success, and happiness. That perspective is evident in The Good Life Project, an inspirational movement Fields created to share stories of people living meaningful lives and to inspire viewers to do the same. Photo:www.jonathanfields.com

 50. Colin Wright

Colin Wright

Every four months, writer and entrepreneur Colin Wright moves to a new country after tallying up reader votes (Yep, he just goes wherever they tell him to.). Wright has been documenting his travels on his blog, Exile Lifestyle, since 2009, when he moved from LA to Argentina. He shapes his life and adventures around a set of philosophies: humanism, minimalism, entrepreneurship, sustainability, open-mindedness, self-improvement, living, and travel. Sounds good to us! Photo: Adam Dressler

(For all 50 blogs, go to Greatist.com.)

 

 


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