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The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness

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By Leah Rocketto and The Greatist Team

There was a time when local food was largely a foreign idea. When people spent longer than four hours perfecting their bodies. When happiness only came on birthdays. Michael Pollan, Timothy Ferriss, and Gretchen Rubin are just three examples of leaders who are revolutionizing the way people think about fitness, health, and happiness. In order to determine the most powerful innovators in this space, we looked at a few factors: the trends they’ve set, the products they’ve created, and how long they’ve worked in their area of expertise. We also considered their presence on social media as well as any formal recognition they’ve received. Here’s our final list of the 100 most influential figures in fitness, health, and happiness:

 

1. Jillian Michaels Fitness, Trainer
It’s hard to turn on the TV, walk into a bookstore, or pass a newsstand without seeing Jillian Michaels. Over the last decade, “American’s Toughest Trainer” has become a household name when it comes to fitness. While the fitness expert no longer trains contestants on The Biggest Loser, she continues to help people shed pounds on her own show, Losing It With Jillian. And if her schedule wasn’t packed enough, Michaels recently joined CBS’s panel-discussion show The Doctors. Between her many TV appearances, best-selling books, video games, and more, Michaels is inspiring people everywhere to lead healthier, happier lives. It’s no surprise Michaels has earned the spot of top influencer for fitness, health, and happiness. Photo: jillianmichaels.com

2. Bob Harper Fitness, Trainer
Although he’s best known for his work on The Biggest Loser, Bob Harper has been in the training game for nearly 20 years. After moving to Los Angeles to follow his dream of becoming a fitness instructor, the Nashville native wasted no time landing his first celebrity clients. Harper’s next claim to fame: the Contour Kettlebell, a redesign of the kettlebell that reduces strain on the forearm. But you don’t need a six-figure salary or a spot on TV to get this mega trainer’s help. Harper recently launched MyTrainerBob.com, a website that offers free fitness and nutrition advice from the expert himself. Log on for a healthy dose of fitness and nutrition guidance. Photo: mytrainerbob.com

3. Jamie Oliver Health, Chef and Advocate
He may not be from this side of the pond, but that hasn’t stopped Jamie Oliver from helping America’s children. In 2010 the young chef produced and starred in Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, a show that followed Oliver’s mission to transform the eating habits of children in the U.S. The series was a major success and inspired Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution campaign, dedicated to improving lunchrooms across the country. But Oliver hasn’t forgotten his British roots. In 2010 he launched Jamie’s Home Cooking Skills, a program that teaches nutrition and essential cooking skills to high school students across the U.K. It seems Oliver won’t stop until he’s influenced every country’s cafeteria. Photo: David Loftus

4. Tim Ferriss Fitness, Author of The 4-Hour Body
Four hours. According to Tim Ferriss, that’s all it takes to achieve the ultimate body. In his book The 4-Hour Body, Ferriss lays out more than just the typical weight loss manual. Ferriss’s book offers shortcuts to life’s trickiest goals— from feeling energized on just two hours’ sleep to fitting in 30 miles of running each week. The best-selling author also penned The 4-Hour Workweek, a guide to making the most of a job, and will soon release The 4-Hour Chef. Perhaps The 4-Hour Influencer will follow soon. Photo: fourhourworkweek.com

5. Tony Horton Fitness, Creator of P90X
No gym. No problem. Thanks to Tony Horton, the idea is to achieve a better body in 90 days— without leaving the house. In 2003 Horton launched P90X, a workout program that’s designed transforms the body through a combination of cardio and strength training. Horton guides users through the three-month exercise program while also advising them on food and nutrition. In addition to his work with P90X, Horton has shared his fitness expertise through personal training, television shows and magazines. With his first book Bring It! in the works, and a new P90X routine tailored to soldiers, airmen, and sailors, we salute Horton as a top-notch influencer. Photo: tonyhortonsworld.com

6. Dr. Wayne Dyer Happiness, Self-Development Speaker
Known around the world for his motivational techniques, Dr. Wayne Dyer’s goal is to help people achieve their dreams— something he holds close to his heart. As a child, Dyer moved from foster home to foster home throughout the Detroit area. But Dyer hit the books, eventually earning a Doctorate in Educational Counseling from Wayne State University. Dyer went on to work in a private therapy practice, but eventually took his advice public. Now known to fans as the “father of motivation,” the renowned speaker uses his education and experience to help others’ dreams come true. Photo: drwaynedyer.com

7. Dr. Stephen Covey Happiness, Motivational Speaker
For straightforward guidance, look no further than Dr. Stephen Covey. Voted by Time magazine as one of the 25 most influential Americans, Covey has made a career out of helping others. After earning an MBA from Harvard and a doctorate from Brigham Young University, business consulting seemed like a natural fit. In 1989 Covey released The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, a best-selling book that guides readers toward success. Covey has since taken his advice on the road, promoting more recent projects, including The Eighth Habit: From Effectiveness to GreatnessPhoto: franklincovey.sk

8. Bethenny Frankel Health, Natural Foods Chef
Most housewives are known for their fashion and foul mouths. But Bethenny Frankel has made a name for herself beyond reality TV. Before her television days, Frankel studied at the National Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts. There, she learned how to create the healthy and delicious food she’s known for. In 2009, Frankel released Naturally Thin, a guide to eating what you want without gaining weight, followed by the recipe book Skinnygirl Dish. Frankel is currently expanding her line of pre-made, low-calorie cocktails, including the famous Skinnygirl Margarita. For her many health-conscious contributions, Frankel deserves a “bravo” and a spot on our influencer list. Photo: bethenny.com

9. Dr. Oz Health, Host of the Dr. Oz Show
Move over, Wizard of Oz. Dr. Mehmet Oz has a real knack for fixing hearts and brains. For five years Oz consulted as the health expert on Oprah, educating people on health issues like diabetes and heart conditions. During this time, Oz also appeared on The Today Show, Good Morning America, and The View, among others. Then, in 2009, the doc earned his own self-titled talk show where he continues to help guide people toward healthier lifestyles. In addition to the Oprah seal of approval, Oz’s credentials include a joint ND and MBA from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Wharton Business School. Smart and successful— what more could people want from an influencer? Photo: doctoroz.com

10. Dr. Drew Pinsky Happiness, Internist and Addictionologist
Before helping famous B-listers clean up, Dr. Drew Pinsky was helping everyday people overcome everyday challenges. After working as chief resident of Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena, Pinsky decide to open a private practice. During this time, Pinsky began hosting MTV’s relationship advice show, Loveline. Appearing on the show earned the doc popularity among a younger generation seeking guidance on healthy relationships and safe sex. Eventually Pinsky moved from sex to drugs, writing books and articles about chemical dependency. In 2008 he added rock-and-roll to the mix with the launch of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. A true rock star, Pinsky is now the host of the daytime talk show Lifechangers on the CW and Dr. Drew on HLN. Photo: lctv.com

11. Jack Canfield Happiness, Motivational Speaker
From young children to high-powered CEOs, Jack Canfield has helped all comers. For more than 30 years, Canfield has acted as a consultant, trainer, and authority on peak performance. Through his organization, The Canfield Training Group, Canfield trains entrepreneurs, educators, and corporate leaders to accelerate their performance and achieve a range of professional goals. Beyond corporate America, Canfield and co-author Mark Victor Hansen are the men behind the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, books that inspire and motivate millions of people. Photo: jackcanfield.com

12. Jane Fonda Fitness, Fitness Icon
Anyone who worked out in the 80s knows the name Jane Fonda. After suffering from a foot fracture on the set of The China Syndrome, Fonda began participating in aerobic classes with Leni Cazden, a famous fitness instructor. Under Cazden’s training, Fonda soon launched a second career as an aerobics instructor (not like she’d exactly failed in her first career as an award-winning actress). In 1982 Fonda released her first fitness DVD and continues to create workout videos to this day. Photo: janefonda.com

 

13. Jackie Warner Fitness, Trainer
For Jackie Warner, tough love is the only love when it comes to personal training. Warner began her career at 22, after assisting her friends through some serious weight loss. In less than a year she opened Lift, the first fitness facility in Southern California to accept health insurance for exercise. Years later Warner co-founded Skylab, a luxury fitness retreat. The Bravo network heard about Warner’s work and created a show around her called Work Out. Today, Warner runs multiples facilities while training contestants on Bravo’s show Thintervention with Jackie WarnerPhoto: bravotv.com

14. Dan Savage Happiness, Humanitarian
In 2010, a rash of teenage suicides occurred as a result of harassment and bullying. While many sat on the sidelines, writer Dan Savage decided to do something. Through It Gets Better, a campaign that offers support to the bullied teens of the world, Savage advises them on how to better handle their pain. With help from celebrities and politicians, including President Barack Obama, the campaign has quickly become a national phenomenon. And now, with a book by the same name and many fundraisers, Savage has raised millions for LGBT youth charities. Photo: indianapublicmedia.org

15. Dr. Andrew Weil Health, Doctor
According to Dr. Andrew Weil, people don’t need pills to achieve a healthy life. All they need is solid state of mind. After receiving his medical degree from Harvard University, Weil pursued the study of psychoactive drugs. But it was only after traveling throughout the Americas and Africa that Weil discovered psychological wellness can be achieved without medication. Through his many books and lectures, Weil encourages people to live a healthy, drug-free lifestyle. Photo: healthjourneys.com

 

16. Brian Tracy Happiness, Self-Help Author
There’s nothing typical about Brian Tracy’s success story. After dropping out of high school, he spent years working on a tramp steamer, and eventually became a salesman. But with little experience in the field, Tracy had troubles keeping up. He sought advice from fellow salesmen and became the top salesman by the end of his first year. A year later, he was made vice president of the company. To share his success secrets with others, Tracy developed The Phoenix Seminar in the 1980s. These self-help speeches eventually became Brian Tracy International, a place where people across the world can turn to for advice on achieving success. Photo: thegrablegroup.com

17. Lisa Lillien Health, Author
Author of the Hungry Girl cookbooks, Lisa Lillien has made it her mission to create delicious, low-calorie versions of America’s favorite dishes. Having tried every fad-diet on the planet, Lillien knows what fails when it comes to weight loss, like depriving yourself of the foods you love. And though Lillien lacks the dietetics degree of many of her contemporaries, her passion for food and real-life approach to healthy eating more than make up for it. Photo: ondemandweekly.com

 

18. Tara Stiles Fitness, Yoga Instructor
Many models may be the face of a brand, but with the right moves, Tara Stiles created her own brand of fitness. During her modeling days, Ford Agency asked Stiles to film a series of promotional yoga videos for YouTube. Stiles fell in love with the practice and decided to pursue it as a full-time career. She completed the necessary courses to become a certified instructor and eventually opened Strala Yoga, a successful New York studio that teaches everyday people and stars like Jane Fonda (our #12 pick!). Photo: tarastiles.com

 

19. David Zinczenko Health, Editor-in-Chief of Men’s Health
As editor-in-chief of Men’s Health and editorial director of Women’s Health and Prevention, David Zinczenko has guided people of all ages and genders down the paths of health and fitness. More recently, Zinczenkco took his advice from magazine stands to bookshelves. As the author of Eat This: Not That, Zinczenko helps people make healthier food choices, be it at the supermarket or McDonalds. Photo: menshealth.com

 

20. Michael Pollan Health, Author
Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. That’s the simple message Michael Pollan shares through his work. Pollan first appeared on bookshelves in 2002 with The Botany of Desire, a book exploring the roles humans have in the production of produce. Since then, Pollan has written several other books exploring the relationship between people and food. Through these works, his readers have learned how eating natural, locally grown products can improve their bodies and their world. Photo: Ken Light

 

21. Dr. Phil McGraw Happiness, Psychologist
Helping people achieve happiness runs in the family. After earning his Ph.D., Dr. Phil McGraw joined his father’s private psychology practice in Texas. Years later, Dr. Phil began appearing on Oprah as a relationship and lifestyle expert. Following the success of his Oprah appearances, he released his first book, Life Strategies. Eventually Dr. Phil upgraded form a weekly segment on Oprah to a daily show of his own where he helps people overcome everyday obstacles. Photo: celebrityimage.info

 

22. Tom Venuto Fitness, Trainer
Since the early 90s, Tom Venuto has been transforming physiques across the nation. A man of many talents, Venuto is best known for his book Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle, a nutritional guide to losing weight. But Venuto is more than just a nutritional consultant. Venuto has also found success as a personal trainer and motivational speaker, making him a triple threat in the wellness world. Photo: bodybuilding.com

 

23. Brett Hoebel Fitness, Trainer
For a trainer who literally kicks butt, look no further than Brett Hoebel. Trained in Afro-Brazilian capoeira and Muay Thai kickboxing, this trainer uses martial arts exercises and a positive mindset to help clients stay in shape. Hoebel’s degrees in psychology, biology, and biomedical science only add to his already impressive resume. Looks like you can have brains and brawns after all. Photo Courtesy of Brett Hoebel.

 

24. Waylon Lewis Happiness, Founder of Elephantjournal.com
Raised as a Buddhist, Waylon Lewis never forgot his roots. After earning a degree in communications from Boston University, Lewis founded Elephant magazine, which has since become Elephantjournal.com. This website is the go-to guide for the mindful life, including sustainability and spirituality. With his dedicated team, Lewis helps people live happy, meaningful lives through simple choices. Photo: elephantjournal.com

 

25. Daniel H. Pink Happiness, Author
Daniel Pink is trying to change the work world. And so far, he’s been a success. In 2002 Pink released his first self-help book titled Free Agent Nation, which taught people how to stop working for the man and start working for themselves. Since then, he’s written three other books focused on finding success in any career. Given that his last office was the White House, it seems Pink knows a thing or two about becoming a success. Photo: dwell.com

 

26. Mark Sisson Health, Paleo Expert
A follower of the Paleolithic lifestyle, Mark Sisson believes in consuming the so-called “caveman diet,” filled with fresh, organic, unprocessed foods. In an effort to help others achieve primal living in a modern world, Sisson wrote The Primal Blueprint, based on the Paleolithic (or Paleo) diet. The best part: Sisson makes Paleo seem so simple a caveman could do it. Photo: marksdailyapple.com

 

27. Craig Ballantyne Fitness, Creator of Turbulence Training
A busy day doesn’t mean foregoing exercise. Thanks to Craig Ballantyne, even the busiest college student or CEO can fit fitness into their lives. The idea for Turbulence Training came to Ballantyne while studying at McMaster University. He noticed how power sport athletes managed to maintain slim figures without spending hours on cardio machines. By combining short sprints with heavy resistance training, Ballantyne created a workout that creates big results in little time. Photo: menshealth.com

 

28. Suzanne Somers Fitness, ThighMaster Spokesperson
Thanks to Suzanne Somers, home gyms, basements, and attics across the country contain at least one ThighMaster. During the 1980s, Somers appeared as the spokesperson for this thigh-transforming machine. But the actress’s passion for staying fit and healthy goes beyond just exercise equipment. In her book Ageless, Somers lets women in on the secrets to staying young (or at least looking it) as they age. Photo: suzannesomers.com

 

29. Kevin Pho Health, Health Commentator
Very few people know what’s really going on in the health industry. But with the help of Dr. Kevin Pho, they can learn. Through his website, KevinMD.com, Dr. Pho gives a behind-the-scenes look at America’s health care industry. There, he breaks down complicated jargon into something the everyday person can comprehend. In addition to the website, Pho keeps people updated via his Twitter, which CNN.com named one of the top health care Twitter feeds. Photo: kevinphomd.com

 

30. Tony Robbins Happiness, Self-Help Expert
Even famous people need help finding happiness. And when they do, they often turn to Tony Robbins. For over 30 years, Robbins has advised celebrities, corporate moguls, and politicians on living happier, more successful lives. But Robbins doesn’t only help members of the millionaires club. Robbins has reached America’s youth through the Presidential Summit for America's Promise, a program he founded to match mentors with kids across the country. Photo: anthonyrobbins.com

 

31. Kris Carr Happiness, Wellness Warrior
Many of us have had a wakeup call that tells us it’s time to stop worrying and start living. For Kris Carr, that moment came on Valentine’s Day in 2003 when she was diagnosed with a rare, incurable form of cancer. After that day, Carr jumped in her car and hit the road, hoping to heal along the way. She took what she learned from this journey and shared it in a book, Crazy, Sexy Life. Carr encourages people to escape their everyday hassles and find happiness in their lives. Photo: crazysexydiet.com

 

32. Lama Surya Das Happiness, Buddhist
While most babies are born happy, Lama Surya Das was born to make others happy. Unfortunately, it took the loss of a close friend to convince Surya Das that was his destiny. After spending seven years at a Tibetan monastery, he began to share his experience and beliefs with the rest of the world. Currently considered the foremost Western Buddhist, Surya Das hopes to spread the Dalai Lama’s wise words: The purpose of life is to be happy. Photo Courtesy of Lama Surya Das. 

 

33. Deepak Chopra Happiness, Authority in Mind-Body Healing
East meets west at Deepak Chopra’s center for well-being. Considered by some the prophet of alternative medicine, Chopra uses a combination of techniques to help individuals restore energy and rediscover the meaning of life. Chopra’s influence reaches beyond just his center, though. With 14 best-selling books, a weekly wellness radio program, and the newly launched video game Leela, Chopra shows there’s more than one path to healing. Photo: chopra.com

 

34. Joy Bauer Health, “Today” Show's Health Expert
A staple of NBC’s “Today” show, Joy Bauer has become one of America’s favorite health experts. As a result of her television success, Bauer wrote three books— Slim & Scrumptious, Your Inner Skinny, and Joy Bauer’s Food Cures— to help people slim down. But Bauer is more than the face of health for NBC. She’s also the nutritionist for the New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theatre and is an associate faculty member at Columbia University. Photo: dietsuccessstories.org

 

35. Robb Wolf Health, Paleo Expert
One of the world’s leading experts on paleolithic nutriton, Robb Wolf has transformed many lives with this back-to-the-cave lifestyle. A former research biochemist, Wolf studied under Professor Loren Cordain, the original paleo expert. Wolf also has experience in the fitness world and is a former California State Powerlifting champion. Photo: hanksjourney.com

 

36. Jason Ferruggia Fitness, Trainer
It took an illness for Jason Ferruggia to figure out he wanted to work in the fitness field. Ferruggia was forced to stay in bed for three months after a bout with tuberculosis. Since he couldn’t work out, he read everything he could about strength training, which sparked an interest in personal training. When his bed rest ended, Ferruggia started studying to become a personal trainer. Several years and several certifications later, Ferrugia opened Renegade Fitness, which has grown into a major fitness conglomerate. Photo: gymjunkies.com

 

37. Martha Beck Happiness, Life Coach
For Martha Beck, the road to happiness was anything but happy. From childhood to early adulthood, Beck struggled with emotional issues. She looked for satisfaction everywhere, from academic achievements to new relationships and philosophy books. It wasn’t until Beck had a son with Down syndrome that she learned happiness means letting go of the negative and finding the positive. Since then, Beck has been helping others find all the amazing experiences in their lives, with a series of memoirs and motivational books. Photo Courtesy of Martha Beck.

 

38. Rachel Ray Health, Chef
Rachael Ray
is more than a source of quirky catch phrases. The TV-chef-turned-talk show-host has also become an advocate for healthy eating. In 2006, Ray launched Yum-O!, a non-profit organization that helps families develop a healthy relationship with food. The program funds culinary education for children and teaches cooking classes to families. Photo: foodnetwork.com

 

39. Brian Johnson Happiness, Author
Brian Johnson
lives an authentically awesome life. The self-proclaimed “Chief Philosopher” sold his amateur sports site several years ago to go back to school— but not a standard university with professors and papers. Johnson read piles of philosophy books in hopes of learning how to feel happier. He compiled these life lessons in a book called The Philosopher’s Note. Through this book and his website, people can live like Johnson— happy and with fewer worries. Photo: philosophersnotes.com

 

40. Tony Gaskins, Jr. Happiness, Motivational Speaker
No one makes Tony Gaskins smile more than his wife. But years ago, marriage was the last thing on his mind. During his youth, Gaskins’ dangerous lifestyle involved crime and drugs. It wasn’t until a late-night robbery that Gaskin realized the importance of life and making the most of it. He managed to turn things around and wrote about his past in Reclaiming Our Youth. Through his work, Gaskins hopes to help people find love and happiness because, thanks to his wife, he now knows how that feels. Photo Courtesy of Tony Gaskins, Jr. 

41. Tara Parker-Pope Health, Writer
Tara Parker-Pope
may be one of the USA’s top sources for health information. Parker-Pope shares health news daily on the New York Times Well blog. In addition to her award-winning articles, Parker-Pope has also published three books about controversial health issues, such as hormone replacement therapy and smoking. It seems there’s no topic she won’t tackle. Photo: Evan Leslie

 

42. Gretchen Rubin Happiness, Founder of The Happiness Project
Sometimes, great ideas come when we least expect them. For Gretchen Rubin, her brilliant idea came during a bus ride. She realized her career as a lawyer, though lucrative, was not making her happy. So she spent a year doing little things to increase her happiness, from singing in the shower to studying philosophy. Rubin shares this journey in her book and hopes to inspire others to find reasons to smile. Photo: gretchenrubin.com

 

43. Joel Fuhrman Health, Dietician
For more than 20 years, Dr. Joel Fuhrman has been helping Americans maintain healthy lifestyles. Through his books and New Jersey medical center, Fuhrman guides people on picking foods that help them lose and maintain weight, ward off diseases, and more. Fuhrman also partnered with Whole Foods Market, Inc. to create the Health Starts Here initiative, which promotes the health of Whole Foods team members and customers. Photo: drfuhrman.com

 

44. Lisa Cain Health, Blogger
Since snacks are a big part of our daily routines, it would help to have some advice on chowing down. Enter Lisa Cain, the Snack Girl. Through her blog, this mom and natural-food-lover guides people through the grocery store to find the healthiest options for those afternoon munchies. Photo: snack-girl.com 

 

45. John Romaniello Fitness, Personal Trainer
As much as he’d love to be a badass, John Romaniello admits he’s just the opposite. But we think this Star Wars loving fan and self-proclaimed nerd earns some cred for all the work he’s done in the fitness field.  For several years Romaniello has boosted people’s confidence through personal training and positive thinking. Romaniello’s varied client list includes professional athletes, but he’s most proud of his work with everyday people, including kids. Photo: romanfitnesssystems.com 

 

46.  Billy Blanks Fitness, Founder of Tae Bo
Almost everyone who lived through the 90s heard about Billy Blanks’ butt-kicking workout. After studying martial arts since the age of 11, Banks opened a karate studio to make use of the years of lessons. He also developed Tae Bo, a workout that combines the main components of tae kwon do and boxing. Although Tae Bo may not be as trendy these days, Blanks continues to teach classes across the country and help people become more fit. Photo: billyblanks.com

 

47. Barry Jay Fitness, Founder of Barry’s Boot Camp
During his time in LA, Barry Jay led a pretty unhealthy lifestyle. He worked late nights, dined at fast food joints, and partied with the best of them. But once he started working at a West Hollywood gym, Jay changed his unhealthy habits. Within a year he went from desk duty to personal trainer, creating his own workout that combines drill sergeant tactics with upbeat music and routines. This workout has since gone global, with locations in America and Norway. Photo: barrysbootcamp.com

 

48. Joe Dowdell Fitness, Founder of Peak Performance Gym
Joe Dowdell
has earned multiple fitness certifications, from biomechanics to kettlebells. He’s also become one of the most sought-after personal trainers among celebrities and CEOs. In 2010 Dowdell took his expertise from the gyms to the bookstores with his book Ultimate You.  He continues to guide people through his gym and his contributing role at multiple magazines. Photo: joedowdell.com

 

49. Rick Moonen Health, Chef
Many chefs use only the richest and rarest ingredients. But Rick Moonen uses only the most sustainable. After publishing his first cookbook in 2008, Moonen started speaking to legislators about environmental and sustainability policies. Moonen also works to help end hunger by serving on the advisory board for the Las Vegas Three Square Food Bank. Who knew superheroes wore chef hats? Photo Courtesy of Rick Moonen.

 

50. Rhonda Britten Happiness, Founder of the Fearless Living Institute
Rhonda Britten’s
path to success is anything but a fairy tale. After witnessing the deaths of her parents at age 14, Britten became confused and depressed and made several suicide attempts. Eventually, Britten realized she had to overcome her fear of imperfection in order to live happily. Now, she’s helping people in over 25 countries get rid of their fears through books, talk show appearances, and her own foundation. Now that’s fearless. Photo Courtesy of Rhonda Britten. 

 

51. Marion Nestle Health, Public Health Nutritionist
Since the 1970s, Marion Nestle has been teaching the USA about healthy eating. Specifically, Nestle focuses on how science and society influence dietary habits— and how people can change these habits. She has taught classes at the University of California San Francisco and New York University and published a number of award-winning books. But Nestle’s health concerns go beyond humans. She’s also written two books about getting the right food for our four-legged friends. Photo: foodpolitics.com

 

52. Dr. Sanjay Gupta Health, CNN Medical Correspondent
People
magazine may have voted him one of the sexiest men alive, but Dr. Sanjay Gupta is much more than a pretty face. As the chief medical correspondent for CNN, Gupta informs the world about medical topics ranging from fitness basics to brain development to deadly diseases. As the brain behind Fit Nation, CNN’s multi-platform anti-obesity initiative, Gupta inspires the world by taking on fitness challenges like a triathlon. Photo: cnn.com

 

53. Cheryl Forberg Health, Nutritionist
Becoming The Biggest Loser takes more than intense trainers— it also requires an amazing dietician, just like Cheryl Forberg. Before her appearance on The Biggest Loser, Forberg acted as a private chef for Lucasfilm, Ltd. With degrees in clinical science, nutrition, and clinical dietetics, Forberg is passionate about the importance of food. Photo: nbc.com

 

54. Christabel Zamor Fitness, HoopGirl
Who knew a childhood classic could keep people fit? With the help of Christabel Zamor, people across the country have hula-hooped away the pounds. Before becoming the hula-hoop guru, Zamor studied West African, Afro-Cuban, Middle Eastern, and Indian temple dance. When she’s not teaching classes, she’s traveling across the country and performing with troupes like Cirque de Soleil. Photo: lauramusgrave.co.uk

 

55. Michelle Obama Health, Children’s Health Advocate
With the help of first lady Michelle Obama, kids are taking huge steps to becoming healthier. With the launch of her Let’s Move initiative in 2010, Obama has taught children the importance of eating nutritious foods and doing something active every day. She even brings her work home by growing a garden at the White House. Photo: whitehouse.gov

 

56. Gary Taubes Health, Author
An award-winning author, Gary Taubes has written some of the most popular and most controversial books on nutrition. In Good Calories, Bad Calories, Taubes tries to convince readers food quality— not quantity— leads to obesity. He even suggests exercise may do more harm than good in weight loss. Taubes updates these arguments and raises a few more in his most recent book, Why We Get Fat. Photo: skeptic.com

 

57. Frank Lipman Health, Founder of the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center
Frank Lipman
is a man of many medicines. During his early training in South Africa, Lipman focused on traditional Western medicine. Later on he studied Eastern practices like acupuncture, herbal remedies, and meditation. Lipman combines these methods in what he calls “good medicine” and treats people throughout the USA. Photo: drfranklipman.com

 

58. Art Smith Health, Chef
You have to be an amazing chef to cook for Miss Oprah Winfrey. But Art Smith does more than cook for the famous TV personality. In 2008, Smith founded Common Threads, an organization that teaches kids from low-income families how to cook wholesome, affordable meals. Smith believes simple cooking skills combined with family values can lead to a healthier generation. Photo: resto.newcity.com

 

59. Denise Austin Fitness, Workout Instructor
Denise Austin
uses her sports knowledge and sweet personality to help people lead fitter lives. After earning a degree in physical education and exercise physiology, Austin began co-hosting a fitness show with the famous Jack LaLanne. Eventually she started a solo act with her own fitness show, Denise Austin’s Daily Workout. Austin’s also released over 85 workout videos and over 10 books to keep people fit 24/7. Photo: deniseaustin.com

 

60. Jay Cardiello Fitness, Creater of Cardio Core 4X4
According to Jay Cardiello, there are benefits to being trapped in a box. His workout, Cardio Core 4x4, is performed in a four-by-four-foot space and takes only 20 minutes— the perfect workout for people with little space and little time. But Cardiello can work outside of small spaces. His workouts range from weight lifting to Pilates, depending on the client’s goals. And when your client list ranges from company CEOs to MLB players, variety is necessary. Photo Courtesy of Jay Cardiello.

 

61. Heidi Grant Halvorson Happiness, Motivational Scientist
With Heidi Grant Halvorson’s help, many people have found the strength to achieve all their goals. A rising star in the field of motivational science, Halvorson has written several books that lead people to success, including an academic book The Psychology of Goals and the less scientific book, Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals. Halverson also acts as a member of the Board of Advisors for the Motivation Science Center at Columbia University. Photo: heidigranthalvorson.com

 

62. Mari Winsor Fitness, Creator of Mari Winsor Pilates
Mari Winsor’s
passion for Pilates stems from the stress release it provides.  After taking a Pilates class with a friend, Winsor fell in love with the routine. She began studying Pilates and even worked with Romana Kryzanowska, a student of Joseph Pilates. Winsor brings her Pilates know-how to “dynamic sequencing,” the workout she designed. Photo Courtesy of Mari Winsor.

 

63. Dean Ornish Health, Doctor
Dean Ornish
proves many people don’t need fancy surgeries or expensive medications to change their lives. For over 30 years, Ornish conducted clinical research to discover how simple habits, like eating and exercising, can alter severe medical issues like heart disease and cancer. In addition to his research, Ornish has written best-selling books including Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease. Photo: ornishspectrum.com

 

64. Faith Dey Fitness, Fitness Instructor
Faith Dey
empowers women across the country to get fit. As the host of ESPN’s Crunch Fitness and the owner of Faith Dey Fitness Studio, Dey uses various forms of physical activity to transform women’s bodies. But the best part of Dey’s job isn’t transforming someone’s figure: It’s helping someone gain the skills to handle life’s bigger issues, from a health challenge to an emotional problem. Check out Faith’s profile in our Expert Network herePhoto Courtesy of Faith Dey.

 

65. Jared Koch Health, Founder of Clean Plates
Many people dream of being part of a multi-million dollar company. Jared Koch, however, left that dream to pursue a career in health. Koch put off medical school to launch an entertainment company with his brother. Despite the company’s success, Koch knew his heart belonged to the health industry. He returned to school and graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. He now uses his knowledge to help people pick nutritious, sustainable restaurants to enjoy with the online guide CleanPlates. Like Zagat, but healthier! Photo Courtesy of Jared Koch.

66. Harvey Walden Fitness, Trainer
Most may remember Harvey Walden as the hard-ass trainer on VH1’s Celebrity Fit Club. But Walden does more than whip D-Listers into shape. Until 2007, Walden served as a drill instructor in the U.S. Marines Corps. Now that he’s retired from the service, Walden spends his time training Americans through his workout videos and website. Photo: plus-model-mag.com

 

67. Linda LaRue Fitness, Creator of CoreTransformer
Never let an injury hold you back. That’s the lesson fitness pioneer Linda LaRue teaches. Despite suffering serious ski-related injuries, LaRue pushed through the pain to develop CoreTransformer, an ab workout that requires no crunches.  Helping people stay in shape, whether it’s a stay-at-home mom or star player for the L.A. Lakers, is what LaRue loves most about her job. Well, that and being able to go to work in sweats. Check out Linda’s profile in our Expert Network herePhoto Courtesy of Linda LaRue.

 

68. Jenni Schaefer Health, Eating Disorder Awareness Advocate
Jenni Schaefer entered the health field in an unconventional way. Schaefer suffered from an eating disorder for more than 20 years and, until finding a fantastic support system, doubted she would ever get better. Now, Schaefer acts as a support system herself, reaching millions through her books Life Without Ed and Goodbye Ed, Hello Me, as well as her work with the National Eating Disorder AssociationPhoto: jennischaefer.com

 

69. Jeffrey Bland Health, Founder of the Institute of Functional Medicine
Sometimes, the student acts as the teacher. While teaching at the University of Puget Sound, a project studying vitamin E sparked his interest in nutrition. He deepened his knowledge in field and eventually opened the Institute for Functional Medicine, which focuses on how genetics, entrainment, and lifestyle impact health issues. Photo Courtesy of Jeffrey Bland.

 

70. Laura Berman Fortgang Happiness, Life Coach
Known as a pioneer in personal coaching, Laura Berman Fortgang has guided millions on the path to success. Her company, Now What Coaching, works with everyone from suburban housewives to Hollywood stars. She also offers advice through several best-selling books including her most recent, The Prosperity PlanPhoto: dhsliterary.com

 

71. Albert Nerenberg Happiness, Laughologist
A little LOL never hurt anyone. And according to Albert Nerenberg, it may be more than a physical reaction to humor. A self-proclaimed laughologist, Nerenberg believes laughing may be the ultimate key to happiness. In his 2009 documentary, Laughology, Nerenberg traveled the world to study laughter on a global scale. Photo Courtesy of Albert Nerenberg.

 

72. Michelle Allison Health, The Fat Nutritionist
With Michelle Allison’s help, fat may no longer be a four (well, three) letter word. As a nutritionist, Allison advises people on achieving a healthy weight through eating. But it’s her certification with the Association for Size Diversity and Health that makes her an all-star in nutrition, helping people realize that “fat,” “skinny,” and “in between” are all beautiful sizes. Photo: fatnutritionist.com

 

73. Lara Matthews Health, Creator of Lola Lollipop Comics
Adults can learn a thing or two from children— especially when it’s the health-conscious Lola Lollipop created by Lara Matthews. Interested in food and fitness, Matthews wanted a unique way to inform people about healthy living. So she put her design skills to work and created Lola Lollipop, a comic series about a snarky kid trying to live healthier. Looks like kids say the darndest and healthiest things! Photo Courtesy of Lara Matthews.

 

74. Ann Barnes Health, Cookbook Author
Sometimes, health careers start in the kitchen. Ann Barnes began her career as a chef after leaving her legal career. Looking for a way to slow down and work in nutrition, Barnes began working on her first cookbook Better Being, which focuses on how to eat organic, gluten-free, and vegetarian. Barnes also helps people live a “clean” lifestyle as the spokesperson for Mum’s Original SuperfoodPhoto: beabetterbeing.com

 

75. Martin Seligman Happiness, Director of Positive Psychology Center
It’s all about positivity for this influencer. Since the 1960s, Seligman has studied fighting depression. With the support from several institutions, including the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Science Foundation, Seligman became the go-to guy in positive psychology. Between multiple best-selling books and the Positive Psychology Center, Seligman is doing all he can to make the world a happier place. Photo: news.byu.edu

 

76. John Sharp Happiness, Psychiatrist
As a specialist in mood disorders, Sharp studies the things that make people sad, glad, and everything in between. In his book The Emotional Calendar, Sharp discusses the affects seasonal patters can have on a person’s mood and how to escape the related ruts. Photo Courtesy of John Sharp.

 

77. Salome Thomas Happiness, Educator
Considered a national education expert, Salome Thomas has worked for years to create a level playing field of educational opportunities for kids. A former principal, Thomas believes positive influence is essential for success. So he started paying more attention to his students— especially those facing poverty, violence, and neglect. Now, Thomas tours the country speaking to educators and parents about the importance of being a positive influence in a child’s life. Photo: www.prweb.com

 

78. Teddy Bass Fitness, Trainer
Sometimes, the path to personal training takes a different route. Teddy Bass, for example, began his fitness journey as a professional dancer. After taking his final bow on stage, Bass wanted a career just as physically demanding and emotionally rewarding as dance. For Bass, that meant helping people reach their physical best. Photo Courtesy of Teddy Bass.

 

79. Tal Ben-Shahar Happiness, Educator
Success is all about the right attitude— at least according to this influencer. Shahar taught at Harvard University for much of his career, where he taught positive psychology and the psychology of leadership. Recently, Shahar has taken his lessons on the road, lecturing to people on leadership and achieving goals. Photo: talbenshahar.com

 

80. Dr. Jay Parkinson Health, Founder of Hello Health
In today’s fast-paced world, fitting in doctor’s office visits is a hassle. Luckily, Jay Parkinson still makes house calls. After completing his residency at Johns Hopkins, Parkinson started something new: Hello Health. Patients makes appointments through the website and indicate symptoms. With the info in hand, Parkinson makes house calls to diagnose and treat them. Fast Company named Parkinson Doctor of the Future for this new take on an old-school method. Photo: jayparkinsonmd.com

 

81. Dave Schmitz Fitness, Creator of the Reactive Resistance Band Trainer
Although resistance bands have been helping build muscle since the 1960s, Dave Schmitz has brought the band back to life. While most think of resistance bands as a last resort when the weight room is packed, Schmitz and his team think it’s a must-use for high performance athletics. Schmitz offers tips and tricks on his website and also travels the world to teach people how to use this simple (but affective) tool to achieve fitness goals. Photo Courtesy of Dave Schmitz.

 

82. Stacy Kaiser Happiness, Psychotherapist
Stacy Kaiser
has become a household name (or face) from her frequent television appearances. Her work in psychology, however, has made her a success. Although Kaiser’s main area of expertise is relationships, her passion lies in helping the people who really need it— battered women, teen parents, and abused children. Kaiser dedicated the last 20 years to working with Friends of the Family, a California resource center. Photo: stacykaiser.com

 

83. Bob Greene Fitness, Trainer
Best known as Oprah Winfrey’s personal trainer, Bob Greene helps people across the country achieve a fitter life.  After becoming a member of the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Council on Exercise, he has spent the last 27 years getting people on the path to fitness and recently took this guidance online with his website thebestlife.comPhoto: Reggie Casagrande

 

84. Danny Dreyer Fitness, Co-Founder of ChiRunning
There’s more to running than slipping into sneakers— there’s the mindset and the movement, too! For over 35 years, Danny Dreyer has helped runners achieve this specific form with ChiRunning. This specific type of running combines the inner focus and relaxation of Tai Chi with running. Dreyer shares his techniques through books, articles, and speaking engagements across the country. Photo: chirunning.com

 

85. Michael George Fitness, Trainer
For 25 years, Michael George has dedicated his life and career to changing people’s lives. Overweight as a child, George took the pain and despair he felt and turned it into motivation, transforming his body through nutrition and exercise. This developed George’s passion for fitness, which he turned into a career. With a variety of workouts— from martial arts to Yoga to plyometrics and motivational techniques— George helps people reach their fitness goals. Photo: michaelgeorge.com

 

86. Brian Wansink Health, Nutritional Science Professor
In today’s health-conscious world, people talk a lot about what we eat. But no one seems to talk about how we eat. That is, until Brian Wansink published his bestselling book, Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More than We Think. Wansink discusses the tiniest things that affect eating habits, from the type of utensils to the amount of time spent eating. Thanks to Wansink’s revelations, dinner tables will never be the same. Photo: brianwansink.com

 

87. Tenzin Gyatso  (aka the Dalai Lama) Happiness, His Holliness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet
What would a list of influencers be without the Dalai Lama? Gyatso began his monastic journey at the age of six, studying logic, art, and philosophy. By the age of 23, he was awarded the Geshe Lharampa degree, the highest-level degree equivalent to a doctorate of Buddhist philosophy. He has since won the Nobel Peace Price for his non-violent struggle for the liberation of Tibet, and, over 50 years, has received more than 80 awards for spreading his message of peace throughout of the world. What’s more influential than that? Photo: dalailama.com

 

88. David Kirchhoff Health, CEO of Weight Watchers International
Diets may come and go, but Weight Watchers has stood the test of time by offering a flexible, variety-friendly diet plan for millions of people. When it comes the company’s success, a lot of the credit goes to CEO David Kirchhoff. As a member of the weight-loss program himself, Kirchhoff experienced its success firsthand. This has helped him adjust and improve the program during his time as CEO. In addition to his work with Weight Watchers International, Kirchhoff also keeps a blog, Man Meets Scale, to chronicle his weight-loss journey. Photo: weightwatchers.com

 

89. Joel Marion Fitness, Fitness Coach
For over ten years, Joel Marion has worked to transform bodies across the country. After winning the Million Dollar Body-For-Life Body Transformation Challenge in 2001, Marion made it his goal to help others achieve the same level of physical fitness. With certification from the Society of Sports Nutrition and the National Strength and Conditioning Association, Marion has been able to help people from all walks of life improve their bodies and health. He also advises people through numerous articles and books, including The Cheat to Lose DietPhoto: joelmarion.net

 

90. Dr. Catherine Birndorf Happiness, Psychiatrist
Dr. Catherine Birndorf
has changed the game of mental health by focusing on women’s issues. Her research inspired her to open two women’s health programs: the Payne Whitney Women’s Program at the New York Presbyterian Hospital, where she works as the senior consultant, and the Women’s Mental Health Consortium, a network of women’s mental health clinicians and researchers in New York city. In addition to all her research and consultations, Birndorf has authored many books and appears regularly on news programs. Photo: self.com

 

91. Dana Zerlin Health, Holistic Health and Wellness Coach
Despite her current lifestyle, Dana Zerlin did not always practice the healthy life she currently preaches. As a child, Zerlin used food to deal with her emotions— both good and bad— by binging on junk. But one day, a yoga class changed her outlook on food and her approach to eating. Since ditching the unhealthy lifestyle, Zerlin has worked to help others overcome similar obstacles. She received certification from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and became a certified yoga instructor. Photo: danazerlin.com

 

92. Dr. Susan Taylor Happiness, Founder of the Center for Meditation Science
For more than 25 years, Taylor has studied the connection between brain and body and, specifically, how the two work together to create a healthier person. Due to her intense research and work in the field, many consider Taylor to be a pioneer in the field of mind-body medicine. Taylor took this passion and founded the Center for Meditation Science, which focuses on healing through western medicines and natural healing techniques. Photo: drsusantaylor.com

 

93. Mark Victor Hansen Happiness, Motivational Speaker
As America’s “Ambassador of Possibility,” Mark Victor Hansen has made it his mission to improve people’s lives. For Hansen, reaching this lofty goal began with the creation of Chicken Soup for the Soul, inspiring and motivating people through real stories. In addition to his literary comfort food, Hansen wrote books like The Power of Focus and Dare to Win, which offer insight into the things that lead to success or failure. Photo: markvictorhansen.com

 

94. Hilderbrand Pelzer III Happiness, Education Advocate
With the help of Hilderbrand Pelzer III, every child may have a chance at a better education. After witnessing the struggles of homeless children, Pelzer wanted to do something to help them achieve a better life. Pelzer works with high schools, community organizations, and local legislation to improve academic achievement in Philadelphia. Photo Courtesy of Hilderbrand Pelzer III.

 

95. Dan Barber Health, Chef
While many chefs rely on international ingredients, Dan Barber believes the best ingredients come for our own backyard. And he practices what he preaches— at his restaurant, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Barber and his team use only ingredients grown and raised on the property. His dedication to the cause has not gone unnoticed— President Obama invited Barber to serve on the President’s Council on Physical Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition. Photo: bluehillfarm.com

 

96. Greg Glassman Fitness, Founder of CrossFit
Greg Glassman entered the fitness field at a young age, coaching local gymnastic teams at age 18, where he learned a great deal about strength and endurance. Glassman realized that combining elements of weight and endurance training could be the secret to a more resilient body. Over the years, CrossFit has grown from a private gym to a national phenomenon, attracting some of the biggest names in the fitness industry. Photo: crossfit.com

 

97. Jonathan Goldberg Fitness, Founder of Spinning
Thanks to Jonathan “Johnny G” Goldberg, studio spinning has become one of the hottest indoor workouts. An ultra-distance cyclist, Goldberg developed the idea for spinning while training for the Race Across America. Since ultra cycling requires ultra training, Goldberg built a prototype spinning bike so he could train at home. Now, gyms across the country offer a wide variety of spinning classes! Photo: crank.co.za

 

98. John MacLaren Fitness, Founder of Elite Fitness
For over 15 years, John MacLaren has shaped bodies across the country. After leaving active duty as a navy SEAL in the 1990s, MacLaren pursued a career in fitness training. Over time, MacLaren earned certification in resistance training, endurance training, CrossFit, post-rehabilitation, and pre- and post-natal health. In the late 1990s MacLaren opened a private training studio, where he helps people achieve various fitness goals. Photo: getfitla.com

 

99. Alberto Perez Fitness, Founder of Zumba
Nothing defines “happy accident” better than Alberto Perez’s creation of Zumba. A former aerobics instructor, Perez arrived at his fitness class one day and realized he forgot his music. With nothing but salsa tunes in his car, Perez created a dance fitness routine on the fly combining Salsa and meringue moves. After the success of this improv class, Perez began formally choreographing the workout we now know as Zumba. Thanks to Perez, women (and even men) have been shaking away the pounds for over a decade . . . and they have fun doing it! Photo: fitcommerce.com

 

100. Tony Hsieh Happiness, Author
It’s rare to see someone give up a multi-million-dollar company for a do-gooder startup. Tony Hsieh, however, had the courage to take on this scary task. After selling his company LinkExchange to Microsoft, he joined Zappos.com. Within a few years, he turned it from a penny-maker to billion-dollar company. After his journey from small town kid to big time businessman, Hsieh wrote Delivering Happiness, detailing his journey to the top and advising people on how to create their own success no matter where they are in life. Photo: inc.com