60 Must-Read Health & Fitness Blogs for 2013
Blogging: Everybody’s doing it. So we decided to round up our favorite blogs from around the Web to help motivate anyone to stay fit, healthy, and happy in the real world. As far as picking our favorites, we looked at a few factors, the main one being quality of content. We looked for bloggers who write actionable, useful, and positive posts that reflect Greatist’s mission of living a healthy and happy life.
We also looked at comments and engagement with readers, social media followers, quantity of posts, and design. (They’re also in alphabetical order by topic.) So remember: These aren’t the only 60 blogs you should read. But they’re 60 we’re currently digging and think deserve some extra love in 2013.
News and Tips
1. The Body Odd Being human, as the Body Odd says, can be “wonderfully weird.” That’s why this blog, courtesy of MSNBC, covers studies that are as strange as they are fascinating. From items you’re most likely to swallow (coins) to rare tumors that can cause hairy eyeballs (gross), The Body Odd reminds people how unusual and fascinating the human body can be.
2. Breaking Muscle There’s nothing a strength and conditioning junkie can’t find here. Created and managed by a team of fitness professionals, the brains behind Breaking Muscle know what content their audience wants and delivers it daily: bodyweight workouts, gear reviews, martial arts videos, and more.
3. Dr. Frank Lipman Dr. Lipman’s philosophy revolves around “Good Medicine,” using a combination of Western and Eastern health practices for a healthier lifestyle. His blog covers all points of fitness, health, and happiness; whether you want to read about practical ways to fight the flu, feel compassion, or meditate right, you can trust this blog’s short, actionable posts.
4. Food Politics Marion Nestle, a food science and public health professor, is known for filling shelves with books including “Food Politics,” “Safe Food”, and “What to Eat.” Yet she also finds time to blog about food safety, socioeconomic influences on food choices, and the obesity epidemic. She never fails to add a touch of sass to her work, either. Her response to the Coca-Cola ad that fights obesity? “Oh, please.”
5. Jay Parkinson The “Doctor of the Future” writes about present-day health care issues while posting fun and thought-provoking graphics and videos on his tumblr. Whether people want to read about pertinent health topics or learn more about his healthcare startup Sherpaa (or just see cool photos of their office), his blog gives readers an inside look at the life of a social-minded doctor.
6. Mark Bittman He never stopped at “How to Cook Everything.” A regular New York Times columnist, Bittman never turns down the chance to write about topics near and dear to his foodie’s heart. The problems with subsidizing obesity and 12 ways to prepare potatoes are just the beginning.
7. Mark’s Daily Apple An apple a day (the Mark’s Daily version) may do more than keep the doctor away. Sisson, the author of “The Primal Blueprint Cookbook” and “The Primal Connection,” writes about nutrition, the evolution of the human diet, and how to reclaim your life. There’s no shortage of scientific studies in his posts either (cheers to that!) so readers can really trust his stuff.
8. NPR Shots Not only for long car rides, NPR also has a health blog that covers some of the most relevant, interesting heath news from around the world. Whether it’s public health information, food politics, or synthetic poop that treats infections (yeah, it’s a thing), we promise you’ll learn something new and fascinating every single day.
9. New York Times Well Tara Parker-Pope’s New York Times health blog is a one-stop shop for all things health and fitness. On a blog that covers exercise science, the latest on heart health, and how to become a vegan, there’s something for everyone to read. The Well column features insights from Pope, a science journalist, as well as other bloggers and medical experts.
10. Precision Nutrition Want to learn the real facts about nutrition without all the fluff? Then turn to this blog that provides top-notch diet and sports nutrition strategies and information to improve overall health. With articles written by athletic coaches, doctors, and other health professionals, there are must-reads everyday that could seriously change people’s health habits.
11. Quantified Self Blog If you’re going to track your health, you may as well read up on the movement, too. “Quantified Selfers” collect data about their bodies, from heart rate to sleep patterns to stress levels, to achieve better health. But the QS site does more than just show people how to crunch numbers — they also suggest new tools, share success stories, and teach how to cultivate the right mindset for quantifying health.
12. Q by Equinox It’s not fitness, it’s life… and it’s a blog, too. Beyond the super-sleek design, Equinox’s blog covers nutrition philosophies and health news and runs Q & A’s on common exercise questions. Oh, and that steamy bedroom yoga video? Courtesy of Q.
Running and Strength Training
13. Ask Lauren Fleshman Have you ever wanted your pressing running questions answered by a real person? (And a professional, at that?) Then head over to NCAA Champion Lauren Fleshman’s blog, where readers submit questions and she provides the answers. The coolest part is the obvious effort on her part; each answer is detailed and thought-out, showing she really cares about other runners, regardless of their mile time.
14. Born Fitness Adam Bornstein, former editorial director of LIVESTRONG.com and now the brains behind his own brand, takes a no bull-sh!t approach to living well. His blog has the straight facts on whether carbs really make you fat and provides inspiration for anyone who wants to transform their health. We dare you not to be motivated to focus on your health for the long haul.
15. Bret Contreras The Glute Guy has more to show than a nice butt. (Yeah, we said it.) Contreras is a strength and conditioning specialist known for spicing up muscles with special hip-strengthening exercises, a glute-strengthening machine, and his own workout technique called “load vector training.” He's also part of the team over at Strength and Conditioning Research, and his posts and podcasts reflect a strong command of the latest in fitness science. With his tips, those hips really wont lie. Or stop burning.
16. Eric Cressey Eric Cressey is the brains behind Cressey Performance, the go-to performance and rehab facility for professional athletes. Readers will find an array of fitness advice on everything from Olympic lifting moves to simple tips on how to move and feel better. With no shortage of text or videos, readers know they’re getting a lot of solid information.
17. iRunnerBlog One of the masterminds behind the popular #runchat is Scott Miles, a self-described “average Joe” who goes above and beyond the blogging standards. Along with a team of athletes, physical therapists, and nutritionists, iRunnerblog delivers advice and inspiration for runners around the web.
18. Girls Gone Strong This blog is on a mission to empower women to get stronger — both mentally and physically. They write about how to perfect the push-up, nail a kettlebell swing, and stop stressing out. Their positive, friendly voice makes any challenge seem possible, as they pledge on their site that anyone can commit to being the strongest versions of themselves.
19. Lean Gains If looking for solid information on the world of intermittent fasting, look no further. Martin Berkhan’s your man for learning how to fast safely and see the most benefits — from muscle gain to fat loss. Plus, he claims to have unlocked the secret on how to look awesome everyday. What else could people want?
20. Mother Fitness Being a busy mom, wife, and Greatist contributing writer doesn’t stop Kellie Davis from staying healthy and fit — and sharing it with the world. With the mission to help all women lead healthier lives and reach optimal health, Davis writes about goal-setting, fitness tips, and even offers personalized online coaching with the promise of attaining a “powerful, perky, and enviable booty.” (Excuse me as I go sign up…)
21. NerdFitness Move over quarterbacks and weekend warriors — 9-5’ers, nerds, and “average Joes” can be fit, too. Kamb writes detailed posts (often featuring Legos and robots) to help readers make daily progress toward getting and staying in shape. From a beginner’s guide to paleo to productivity ninjas and why Oregon Trail can teach you important life lessons, there’s something to keep everyone interested.
22. No Meat Athlete Matt Frazier, the founder of No Meat Athlete, runs on plants. Franzier, who ditched the meat and still manages to be a speed and strength demon, writes how athletes can fuel up and lean out without animal protein. Probably the coolest recent post from one of his writers? The Paleo diet for vegetarians.
23. The Renegade Rules Jason Ferrugia, the Chief Training Adviser to Men’s Fitness and boss of Renegade Fitness, also finds time to empower people with stories of fitness struggles and strength-training tips. From transformation tales, motivational quotes, and tips on how to eat dessert every night without a worry, everyone can learn a little from Ferrugia.
24. Roman Fitness Systems John Romaniello hates wearing shirts, and we don’t mind. But beyond that, Romaniello (aka Roman) is a personal trainer, coach, author, and model who provides his readers with zombie apocalypse survival guides and fitness tips for men and women. His wit and humor makes him super-relatable, while his smart writing style reminds us he truly knows what he’s talking about.
25. Strength Running There’s running, and then there’s strength running. Jason Fitzgerald dives into all things running on his blog, with a focus on strength training to help enhance running performance and reduce the risk of injuries. He writes about creating running habits, increasing mileage the safe way, and what gear and books are best. Anyone can learn from Fitzgerald’s philosophies on how to run faster, the smarter way.
26. Tony Gentilcore A co-owner of Cressey Performance, Gentilcore is a certified strength and conditioning specialist who loves lifting heavy things and telling other people to do the same. His blog includes training tips, nutritional advice, and other cool stories from around the Web that he stands behind (and we can read at work).
27. Art of Less Doing Ari Meisel may be the most efficient guy on earth, and has the site to prove it. On his blog of “productivity hacks,” Meisel discusses ways to outsource, optimize, and automate nearly anything in our lives. Learn how to get rid of clutter, what helpful apps and tools will help people get more sh!t done, and more, to find out how to do a little less for an easier life.
28. Daily Cup of Yoga For early birds, it’s a cup o’ Joe. For yogis and heath gurus alike, it’s a cup of yoga. Blogger Brian uses the daily cup to share his personal experiences learning yoga. Posts range from how to fit yoga into a busy lifestyle to inspirational poems.
29. Danielle Laporte Giving a good interview. Learning to let go. Avoiding the comparison trap. These are just some of the topics Laporte dives into. She’s a confident, inspirational thinker and author who writes about everything from self-help to business strategies, and how to live a more fulfilling life.
30. Elephant Journal Founded by Waylon Lewis, this blog features everything that makes people think about mindful living. There are opinions on yoga, recent scientific research, and an answer to the meaning of true love. (Finally.) Writers aren’t afraid to get a little edgy, too. Don’t believe us? Just check this out.
31. The Happiness Project Best-selling author Gretchen Rubin has taken her Happiness Project beyond the bookshelf. Her daily posts provide practical advice on clearing clutter, improving relationships, and the secrets to adulthood. A true “happiness expert,” Gretchen is sure to brighten anyone’s day — and lifestyle.
32. Lululemon This apparel company is more than sexy tank tops and form-fitting yoga pants. A community of bloggers at Lululemon share their ideas on goal-setting, innovative gear and gadgets, and why we should do yoga in the dark. It’s a perfect way to get off the mat and on the Web for some healthful inspiration.
33. MindBodyGreen For your guide to wellness, insert MindBodyGreen. Chock full of tools to make people’s lives healthier and happier, the site has quirky titles and killer content on how to fight the flu and turn your shower into a spa.
34. Tara Stiles A former dancer and model, Tara Stiles is now one of the world's best-known yoga instructors and authors. Beyond Yoga Cures and her New York City studio, Strala Yoga, Stiles also finds time to share videos, recipes, and a series called the 7 Week Bliss-In Program, an alternative to resolutions where readers learn new ways to be calm, stay focused, and gain strength.
35. Tiny Buddha Life can be complicated, so Lori Deschene, the creator of Tiny Buddha, breaks it down for us. Many of the posts have roots in Buddhism, yet cover universal topics ranging from happiness to inspiration, love to letting go. For that warm and fuzzy feeling (not to mention some killer photos), Tiny Buddha’s the place to visit.
36. Zen Habits For the best content on living in the present, reducing stress, and learning everything, Leo Babauta is your man. Every post features simple, actionable steps readers can take to change bad habits, stop overindulging, and start exercising. Babauta says it’s as simple as taking time to breathe, so inhale, exhale — then check out Zen Habits.
Healthy Recipes and Diets
37. 101 Cookbooks Anyone will be converted into a healthy eater once they explore Heidi Swanson’s blog and recipe journal. Filled with vegetarian recipes — arranged by course, ingredient, season, and geography — people can find a perfect meal to make that’s as gorgeous as it is delicious. (When has pasta looked this good?)
38. Choosing Raw Vegan and raw food never looked this good. Gena Hamshaw, a nutritionist and pre-med student, doesn’t only make delicious dishes like dinosaur kale-slaw with cashew hemp dressing. She also writes about wellness and learning to love your body — which can go hand-in-hand with her healthful recipes.
39. EatLiveRun Crockpot spinach lasagna? Chicken chickpea soup? There’s nothing Jenna Weber, the adorable and talented blogger behind EatLiveRun, can’t tackle. She brings her readers recipes, travel stories, and experiences becoming certified to teach yoga. Weber’s approach is all things in moderation, and she’s not afraid to bake a batch of butter cookies right after a Mediterranean lentil salad.
40. Elana’s Pantry When both Elana and her son were diagnosed with Celiac disease, she was on a quest to make gluten-free food for her family that everyone would enjoy. Inside her online “pantry,” she creates delicious-looking desserts and green smoothies, and caters to people with all kinds of dietary restrictions: agave-free, paleo, dairy-free, and more.
41. Gluten Free Goddess Karina can make the best meals without gluten, which makes her a goddess in our eyes. We’re talkin’ Irish soda bread, hearty soups, and colorful quinoa dishes. She also writes to her readers, calling them “darling” and “Dear Reader,” making her recipes feel a little closer to our home.
42. Katie at the Kitchen Door Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner, Katie Morris has a hearty, healthful recipe with beautiful photos and fun commentary. (Seriously, who can make spinach salad look so beautiful?) Katie’s also a recipe contributor on Greatist, spreading her love and lovely recipes all over the web.
43. Lunch Box Bunch A healthy, happy life can be done the vegan way. Kathy Patalsky, who’s behind the kitchen counter on this blog, writes vegan recipes that are for anyone — meat lovers included. Just try out her spaghetti and no-meatballs and see who doesn’t fall in love.
44. My New Roots Sarah is a holistic nutritionist who wanted to share what she learned with the wider world. So she launched My New Roots, a food blog that’s just as much an assortment of recipes as it is a collection of art. Each recipe is accompanied with a light-hearted story, information on the ingredients, and oh — gorgeous pictures.
45. Nom Nom Paleo Cavemen probably didn’t have food blogs… but people who eat paleo certainly can. So enter Michelle Tam, who chronicles her culinary adventures posting recipes and writing how to stay paleo while on-the-go. She’s currently on a 30-day culinary kick, writing daily healthy recipes for people to start 2013 off right.
46. OhSheGlows If you thought being vegan couldn’t be delicious, think again. Angela Liddon’s blog glows from the inside out, featuring step-by-step vegan recipes that are fun to make and almost too pretty to eat. She also writes a bunch of how-to’s for stuff like homemade oat milk and coconut whipped cream. (Woah.)
47. The Paleo Solution On The Paleo Solution, Robb Wolf, a former research biochemist, and his team of writers explore all things Paleo: advice, recipes, and scientific research. From fitness tips to resting faster, there’s a read in here for anyone — Paleo or not.
48. Sodium Girl Jessica Goldman maintains a salt-free, low-sodium diet for her own personal, optimal health. Her blog features a bunch of tasty recipes — check out this salt-free soup— while reminding people to hold the salt.
49. Sprouted Kitchen Sarah Forte believes food should taste good, and to her that means seasonal, healthy foods: whole grains, unsaturated fats, and natural sugars. Her blog is a beautiful collection of recipes for every occasion accompanied by stunning photos that transform food into artwork.
50. Best Body Fitness Tina Reale is a mom, a personal trainer, and the voice behind one of the best health blogs around town. On her blog she shares workouts, videos, and fitness tips, along with her personal health struggles and accomplishments. She’s also created her own fitness program, Best Body Bootcamp, an online community with daily workouts adapted for all fitness levels.
51. A Black Girl's Guide to Weight Loss Erika Kendell is going from 330 pounds to becoming a personal trainer — and has the blog to prove it. Beyond her incredible transformation, she writes about important health issues, from portion control to how to save money when grocery shopping. Follow along for entertaining, fun reads, including her quest to get Michelle Obama arms.
52. Carrots n Cake She runs, crushes CrossFit WODs, and has a love for iced coffee and her adorable pug. This is just a glimpse of blogger Tina Haupert’s life, where she posts daily updates full of fitness, food, and most importantly balance. Whether you’re looking for dinner ideas, running motivation, or a review of the latest fitness gear, Tina has your back.
53. Fannetastic Food Anne P. is probably the most positive healthy blogger around, with a smile always on her face and enthusiasm in each post. Having recently graduated with her MPH in nutrition, Anne shares nutrition tips, fun fitness adventures, and awesome recipes that are as simple as they are delicious. Check out this four-ingredient quinoa salad or five-minute no-bake granola bars. Now that’s healthy food made simple.
54. Fit-Bottomed Girls Dynamic duo Jennipher Walters and Erin Whitehead share clever insights on everything from sports bras to active recovery days. Their blog is full of a little bit of everything: nutrition advice, fitness gear reviews, and nine things you probably don’t know about Jillian Michaels.
55. Fitnessista Gina makes workouts and eating healthy not only approachable, but fun. She shares her latest food obsessions (kale salads and protein pancakes), five-minute core workouts, and thoughtful posts on what the heck is up with gluten. For some inspiration on how this personal trainer, wife and recent mom balances a healthy lifestyle, Fitnessista is a good place to turn to.
56. Healthy Tipping Point For Caitlin Boyle, a healthy tipping point is when people stop struggling to live healthy lives and have it come naturally. Balance is also key as you follow her life of training for triathlons, delicious BBQ butternut pizza dinners, and the challenges and rewards of being a new mom. Caitlin’s also the creator of Operation Beautiful, a movement to end negative self-talk through post-it notes.
57. The Lean Green Bean Lindsay’s a dietetics student and knows a thing (or a thousand) about what good food should look like. She shares her weekly eats filled with fun recipes and pretty pictures, and finds time to blog about her workouts on her Fitness Friday posts — a great source of motivation when looking to hit the gym.
58. MizFit Online Carla Birnberg is no ordinary blogger, which is why we adore her. She’s a bodybuilder, personal trainer, writer, and mom with a quirky sense of humor and opinions on all things fitness. She’s also as friendly and funny as they come, sharing her thoughts on processed foods, fitness motivation, and the simple act of hope.
59. Peanut Butter Fingers Julie Fagan is a writer who loves experimenting with food and creating new recipes. We also get a glimpse of her workouts, whether it’s treadmill intervals or a walk in the park with her dog Sadie. Oh, and she also has a soft spot for peanut butter. (And we don’t blame her.)
60. Roni’s Weigh What began as a weight-loss journey has turned into a resource for anyone looking for a little healthful motivation. From her experience becoming a Tough Mudder to inspirational questions of the week, Roni reminds us all that anyone can live a healthy and happy life.