Fitness influencers today generally speak of self-love, self-worth and the importance of health over image. There are thousands of influencers these days doing brilliant work for women, both inside and outside of the gym. They use their stories to encourage and empower, and they all work for different women in different ways. These are just four of these many powerful women who inspire us to work out for our bodies, not against them.
Jessamyn Stanley is a yoga teacher, an author and an inspiring public speaker. Yoga is supposedly for everyone; one of the most inclusive and modifiable forms of exercise, working for all from the elderly to the pregnant. Yet, the vast majority of ‘Instagram Yogis’ in our feeds today are young, white, slim women. Jessamyn drives body positivity and inclusivity with every post, she holds all the challenging postures that we long to manage, and she isn’t a size 6 white girl. Whilst covering all the essentials of a yoga-blogger, she also speaks powerfully and openly about life on and off the mat. Her book, ‘Every Body Yoga’, neatly sums up what makes her empowering to so many: “Let go of fear, get on the mat, love your body”.
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Brooke Ence is just a total badass. She smashes any preconceptions of how women should look, act or exercise. With so much of the gym considered a gendered zone, Brooke encourages women to get involved with heavy lifting and serious strength training. Endlessly cool, Brooke flips from Red Carpet to Amazonian warrior to Cross Fit athlete. Follow her if you want incredible displays of strength and cute pics of her Labradoodle.
Kaisa Keranen has taken the US by storm. Insanely strong and agile, she smiles through every one of her workouts, which is simultaneously impressive and terrifying. Her focus is on feeling, and being, powerful ahead of aesthetic considerations (of course she still looks incredible, but that’s not really relevant). Her whole ethos is just to get moving, and she provides plenty of inspiration to get others doing the same. Her workouts are incredibly varied, from short moves you can do in the office, to full resistance sessions. Kaisa almost never mentions physique, which is incredibly refreshing, and her feed is totally free of posed mirror selfies. A win-win for proper fitness inspiration.
Natacha Oceane is primarily a YouTuber, which is where she does her best work and best workouts. She’s known for her cheat day ‘10,000 calorie challenges’ and insane 2000 calorie workouts. She brings a playfulness and curiosity to her work, devising experiments to answer some of our longest held fitness questions. From her journey, as a girl with a severe eating disorder, to studying for her PhD, her content is endlessly interesting, and definitely one to binge-watch on YouTube. Also, she’s pretty incredible in the gym and doesn’t look like she’s slowing down anytime soon.