The best websites, blogs, and communities to inspire you to hit the gym, try something new, and change your life
Healthy Sites You Need to Bookmark
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We were excited to see Forbes magazine's list of the 100 best websites for women last week. Whether in fitness, food, fashion, business, or entertainment, there's nothing we at SHAPE like more than seeing other savvy, fierce women disrupting the status quo, making you think, or getting things done. And to be sure, there were dozens of fantastic choices on the list—The 30-Nothings, Babble, BlogHer, The Bump, and 85 Broad are just a few examples of how Forbes got it right, and you certainly should check out the rest of the list if you have a spare moment.
But (you knew there was a "but" coming!), we couldn't help feeling a little disappointed when we noticed that no health and fitness sites made the cut. The brand decided that it didn't feel comfortable acting as an authority on women's bodies, which we respect—and totally get! We just couldn't let it go completely, so we put together our own list of the best websites for women, with a focus on health and fitness. Most are organized by women for women, though a few are spearheaded by men, and all provide accurate, entertaining, and informative takes on the latest in today's health and fitness news.
Note: This is not a rank-order list, so the slides aren't listed in any particular order.
Photo: Getty Images
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The POPSUGAR franchise describes itself as the place where "content and commerce" collide. Delivering some of the biggest and best moments when it comes to entertainment and fashion (as well as where to shop for everything you see on the site), it also includes POPSUGAR Fitness, a vertical dedicated to all things health, nutrition, and, naturally, fitness. From easy recipes to simple, everyday tips on how to beat stress, lose weight, or get fit, POPSUGAR Fitness is your one-stop shop for the 18-34 group.
Photo: POPSUGAR Fitness
Fit Bottomed Girls
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Step aside, Queen, this is a job for Jennipher Walters and Erin Whitehead, the founders of Fit-Bottomed Girls. Originally conceived as a blog idea, the two women have turned FBG into a mini-empire that includes the sister site Fit-Bottomed Mamas, weekly newsletters, online fitness classes, videos, and more. The FBG team believes that fit bottoms come in all shapes and sizes, and that good health is about more than just losing weight. If you get out there and get moving, you're a Fit-Bottomed Girl. We like the way they think!
Photo: Fit Bottomed Girls
The New York Times Well Blog
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What list is complete without the NY Times Well Blog? Run by New York Times columnist and author Tara Parker Pope, the blog covers disease, healthy living, fitness, and more, and features expert advice from the world's leading medical professionals.
Photo: The New York Times
The Happiness Project
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Writer Gretchen Rubin wrote The Happiness Project after she realized the "days are long, but the years are short." She set out to spend a year trying to see if she could "change her life without changing her life" and discover the real, lasting secret to happiness. After the book became an instant best-seller, Rubin turned her attention to her website, and from there, The Happiness Project has evolved into an entire movement dedicated to helping people get more out of their everyday lives by setting specific goals (for example: Instead of deciding you want to "get more fun out of life," make a goal to play with your dog for 20 minutes every day). Bookmark this site so you can visit it any time you need an instant dose of inspiration. If you're feeling ambitious, contact Rubin to get and tackle your own "happiness project starter kit."
Photo: Happiness Project
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A little bit snarky, a little bit biting, and a whole lot of funny and informative, Blisstree aims to sift through the endless cycle of information noise and bring you the all the most up-to-date, entertaining, and interesting health, beauty, fitness, and food news that you need for living well.
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This one's for all you aspiring chefs and home cooks out there! TheKitchn, a companion site to Apartment Therapy, is a daily web celebration of all things food and drink. Featuring pin-worthy recipes, cooking lessons, product reviews, renovation tips, and more, TheKitchn embraces the tactile joy in getting your hands dirty in the kitchen.
Q By Equinox
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One of the most highly rated gyms in the country, Equinox's official motto is "It's not fitness, it's life," so it's no surprise that the fitness fiends behind the brand are constantly trying to change the health and fitness conversation. The Q editors believe that your body is the best investment you'll make—so treat it well, and you'll be rewarded in spades. To that end, the site is updated daily with fitness, nutrition, and healthy living news, and everything you see on Q By Equniox is vetted by industry experts.
Photo: Q by Equinox
The Great Fitness Exeriment
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Writer and fitness junkie Charlotte Andersen spent a year trying every single workout trend she could get her hands on and documenting what worked, what didn't, and what she learned. The ensuing result? The Great Fitness Experiment, a hilarious, fresh, in-your-face, and completely honest outlook on the health and fitness industry that's rarely seen.
Photo: The Great Fitness Experiment
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Darya Rose, a self-proclaimed Ph.Dork with a background in biology and an interest in degenerative diseases, founded Summer Tomato after she dove into the world of scientific research and realized that food could be the cure to almost every disease that ails society today. Now she focuses on bringing you the freshest new recipes and healthy eating news since, as she says, "life should be awesome."
Photo: Summer Tomato
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While it may not be as popular as CrossFit or P90X, Bodyrock.TV is taking the fitness world by storm. The founders have been slowly and steadily cataloging a huge inventory of workout videos that you can do at home. Consisting mostly of 12-minute, no-equipment HIIT circuits, Freddy Light and the other founders know that you don't have to spend hours and hours working out as long as you can fit in one really intense, efficient session. That's exactly what you get with their 600-plus videos. And unlike YouTube or other video channels, these clips are shot professionally and with fitness models. Oh, and did we mention they're all free? If you're not sure where to start, you can always check out one of the site's ongoing 30-day challenges.
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The Precision Nutrition Coaching Company includes some of the top diet and nutrition experts in the world. Among the 19 experts on staff, they've published hundreds of articles and books, provide individual nutrition coaching, and hold certification programs for fitness professionals. That said, the people behind the site really made our list for the number of great free resources they provide on their blog. Even if you're not interested in getting coaching or becoming a nutrition coach, any health-conscious consumer can take advantage of the videos, articles, and columns.
Photo: Precision Nutrition
Time Magazine's Healthland Blog
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Hailed as a "healthy balance of the mind, body, and spirit," Time mag's Healthland blog goes beyond diet and fitness to cover all things health- and news-related, including the latest research in happiness, work-life balance, technological updates, the health care system, mental health, love and relationships, and family and parenting.
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Adam Bornstein's "about me" page reads, "You may not know my name, but you've certainly read my work. If you've ever searched for health, fitness, or nutrition information, there's a good chance I've played a role in creating the content you read. I'm the guy behind the guy. The person who interviews all the experts, works with all the smartest people in the industry, and turns the thoughts of the best minds in the world into information that you can use to lead a healthier life." Confident? You bet. Does he have a right to be? No doubt. Bornstein has worked in the health and fitness industries for years, first as an editor and now as a fitness professional, and you can be sure he knows his stuff.
Photo: Born Fitness
Girls Gone Strong
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What does strong mean to you? To Neghar Fonooni, Molly Galbraith, and Alli McKee, it means embracing your inner strength, mind, body, and character. They're out to prove that strong and feminine aren't oxymorons, and that in fact, strong is feminine. With their manifesto ("Thou shalt not need assistance moving furniture"—who doesn't love that?), the three fitness fanatics at Girls Gone Strong are on a mission to become the women's fitness authority. We think they're well on their way!
Photo: Girls Gone Strong
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Overall health is about more than just hours logged at the gym and calories counted—what's a healthy life without relationships? Whether you're looking for love, looking for friendship, or looking for yourself in some way, Mark Manson has the no-nonsense, no-holds-barred advice and information you need. With articles like "6 Toxic Relationships Habits Most People Think Are Normal" and "Why People Are Such Assholes On the Internet," his work isn't for the faint of heart (okay, some of his writings can be downright abrasive), but we guarantee, if you're willing to keep an open mind, you just might learn something from him.
Photo: Mark Manson
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Who hasn't seen at least one TED Talk? (And if you haven't, check out the top 12 healthy living TED Talks given—they'll be sure to inspire you to look at things in a new way.) TED started as a nonprofit in 1984 dedicated to "ideas worth spreading" and has since grown into a worldwide phenomenon that invites some of today's biggest influencers, speakers, and movers to give the "talk of their lives" in 18 minutes or less. In 2005, the organization started putting the most popular TED Talks on YouTube and TED.com, and they blew up in popularity. Now there are more than 1,500 TED talks available online from such influential people as Sheryl Sandberg, Steve Jobs, Elizabeth Gilbert, Shawn Achor, and Tony Robbins. The talks span topics from women in the workplace and what you didn't know about orgasms to how to live a creative life before you die and trying something new every day.
Mind Body Green
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Mind Body Green founder Jason Wachob is a big believer that no matter how physically fit you are, if you're not connected spiritually to yourself, then you're not being the best you can be. Unlike most of the other sites on this list, Mind Body Green includes a specific section dedicated entirely to green living to help you marry your fitness, healthy eating, and eco-friendly habits to truly live a stress-free, fulfilling life.
Photo: Mind Body Green
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Up top to all the yogis out there! Written by and for yoga experts and fans, the site aims to connect yogis from around the world to each other. Whether you're looking for the nearest yoga class to you, breaking yoga news, or beginner yoga tips, Alignyo has everything you need to encourage you to get out on your mat.
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Post a note, take a picture! That's the premise behind Operation Beautiful, a website dedicated to ending negative self-talk or "fat-talk," and helping women and girls see that they are beautiful the way they are. Some notes on the site include "The way you think makes you beautiful" and "There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." If you want to be a part of Operation Beautiful, simply post a note somewhere (it can be in your apartment, in a public restroom, anywhere) and send to Caitlin, the woman behind the site, and you may see yours show up for thousands of others to see!
Photo: Operation Beautiful
Eat, Lift & Be Happy
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We're cheating, kind of, because the girl behind Eat, Lift & Be Happy, Neghar Fonooni, technically already made our list as one of the founders of Girls Gone Strong. However, we couldn't help but be so impressed with her personal blog and site that we just had to include her. As a personal trainer and coach, Neghar has spent 13 years teaching clients (through her ladies-only coaching program) how to change their lives. She doesn't offer any quick fixes or fast weight-loss programs. Instead she gives you the tools you need to create the healthy lifestyle you want, one that's tailored to your specific needs. Plus she lends her expertise to her personal blog, offering amusing anecdotes, tips, tricks, and stories to help you eat right, optimize every training session, and get healthy more efficiently.
Photo: Neghar Fonooni
Thrive with Jen Sinkler
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On her personal website Thrive with Jen Sinkler, the self-described "fitness writer and editor, workout connoisseur, meditator, proponent of spandex, former rugby player, and never, ever without lip gloss" serves up fitness advice, healthy eating tips, and more to help women be "unapologetically strong." Not a little bit strong. Not strong for a girl. Just strong. A girl after our own hearts!
Photo: Jen Sinkler