You are probably bored of your fitness routine and looking for excuses to wriggle out of your regime or you need to try a really good fitness program to get into shape. Whatever be the case, these Top 30 Health and Fitness Influencers in India might just be your answer to get back to your fitness routine and step up your workouts. These men and women prove that when you set a goal, they are simply not talking lightly. These leaders live and breathe good health and fitness and, yes, it definitely shows.
GOQii, released the list of India’s Top 30 Health and Fitness Influencers, which includes healthcare professionals, celebrities, chefs, fitness bloggers and the Prime Minister of India. Mr Narendra Modi has been named as the No. 1 fitness influencer in India followed by Baba Ramdev and actor Akshay Kumar. GOQii had earlier released the GOQii India fit report that found in an unaided survey that 75% respondents named Baba Ramdev and Akshay Kumar as someone they would trust for health advice. The team undertook further surveys and research, to reveal other influencers whom people look up to when it comes to health and fitness.
The following names have emerged as influencers who are truly inspiring to look good, feel good and be healthy and fit.
1. PM Narendra Modi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is one of the most admired personalities globally. While he has been mocked time and again for having been a tea seller, he has also been praised for his economic politics and the various political decisions. He is definitely one of the most energetic and fit prime ministers that India has seen. His secret to health and fitness is nothing but just being disciplined and waking up early in the morning and practising Yoga. He practices yoga daily for an hour every morning irrespective where he is. This improves both his physical and mental well-being. He is the brains behind proposing an International Yoga day. His fitness mantra can surely be a lesson to many.
2.Baba Ramdev-Yoga Guru
Born as Ramdev to parents who were farmers in a small village in Haryana. He became popular and a populist hero by advocating Yoga. According to Baba Ramdev health is a way of life. He shot to fame with his institute Patanjali Yogpeeth for the promotion and practice of Yoga and Ayurveda. The brand Patanjali has today become a household name and it’s given the MNC FMCG companies a run for their money.
He is probably one of the healthiest and fittest superstars of Bollywood. His mantra is ‘health matters the most.’ His fitness regime started even before he entered Bollywood. He is a black belt in Taekwondo and he learnt martial arts in Bangkok. Akshay Kumar follows a disciplined life and likes to mix different workout routines to avoid boredom. He believes that one should give at least one hour to one’s body to keep fit and healthy. Irrespective of his shooting schedules, he does not miss out on his workout regime. He finishes his last meal around 7 in the evening and likes to go bed at least two hours after the meal.
4. Deepika Padukone, Actress
Deepika Padukone, the long-legged beauty is one of the leading ladies of Bollywood today. Born with an athletic body, Padukone was active during her school days as she played Badminton in the morning and after school. Despite being into modelling and now in Bollywood, her daily fitness workout routine continues. She starts her day with yoga as it improves concentration and strength and keeps her mind calm and active throughout the day. Her workout routine is a mix of yoga, pilates, dance, and weights. She hates running and prefers freehand weights to conventional gym exercises. Her daily diet includes a lot of foods rich in dietary fibre, proteins, omega-3 fatty acids, complex carbs, vitamins, and minerals. And, she has 6 meals daily and does not believe in crash dieting. She has a good metabolic rate because of she never starves herself.
5. Virat Kohli: Sportsman (Cricket)
Captain of the Indian Cricket Team, Virat Kohli is an inspiration for everyone when it comes to fitness. To maintain his awesome performance, this ace cricketer trains as hard as possible and tries to keep a check on his diet. It would come as a shocker that back in 2012 Kohli was 10 to 12 kgs overweight than his current weight. However, he soon realized that this had to change if he was to achieve his mark in Cricket. Hence, he committed to a much stricter workout schedule and diet regime which helped him to be where he is today. When he is home, Kohli works out for five days a week for at least two hours. His usual workout routine includes both cardio and weightlifting. Squats are a part of most of his workouts. He also sticks to home cooked food and avoids junk food as much as possible. His diet focuses on having fewer carbs and having more protein. Being a thorough sportsperson, his ultimate aim is to have a sporting culture in India where people are able to follow each sport equally.
6. Shilpa Shetty, Actress
Bollywood diva, Shilpa Shetty Kundra, follows a thorough healthy living practice be it yoga, healthy eating or workout. She starts her day with functional training and ends it with yoga. According to her, Yoga inculcates a sense of discipline and self-control. On days when she isn’t able to work out, she does pranayama. Her diet consists of small healthy meals spread across the day, including a hearty breakfast and a light dinner. Being a health enthusiast, she decided to foray into the health and wellness space with the simple aim of spreading awareness. Shilpa’s Yoga DVD was a huge success and her YouTube channel is a one-stop shop for all fitness enthusiast across the globe. Her first book ‘The Great Indian Diet’ went on to be an award-winning one and it still remains one of the bestsellers in the health segment. Her second book, The Diary of a Domestic Diva, aims to share quick and hassle-free methods that lead to cooking healthy, nutritious and delicious meals. Being an actress, she has always strived to stay.
7. PV Sindhu-Sports Woman (Badminton)
Ace shuttler P V Sindhu, who picked up the sport when she was seven years old, became the first Indian woman to win an Olympic silver medal and fitness definitely plays an important role in her overall game. The professional badminton player follows a strict fitness regimen which includes 8 hours of training. Her daily schedule also includes yoga, pranayama, running, and swimming, along with push-ups and sit-ups. In nutrition, she eats a zero sugar and high protein diet. Although she has sworn off all kinds of junk food from her diet, she usually cheats on her diet after she is done with a tournament which is like once a month. She also lays emphasis on mental peace and likes listening to music, which helps her relax and stay calm.
8.Sanjeev Kapoor- Chef
He is a chef who knows the alpha and omega for cooking and someone who has cooking tricks and tips up his sleeves. Some 10m of his cookbooks have been sold; there are 25m hits a month on his website, plus he has his own 24-hour TV channel. Being a chef he travels a lot and that definitely means trying new food. Having said that Chef Kapoor is conscious of what to eat, how much to eat and how to balance it out. In addition to that, he also understands the importance of working out to burn the calories and most importantly, the importance of good sleep. Chef Kapoor is a focused person and so meditation comes naturally to him. To add to it he also does pranayama daily and climbing stairs to keep himself fit is his mantra.
9. Milind Soman- Ironman and Ultraman
This 52-year-old model, actor, TV host can give any guy half his age a complex due to his fitness. A national swimming champion, Soman started when he was just 9 years. But, he stopped exercising when he was 23 and didn’t do anything till he was 38. His weight hasn’t changed from what it was when he was 19 years old. He decided to bring about a balance in his life by quitting smoking and starting to run. Running barefoot became his addiction and when he was 49 and going on 50 he completed one the world’s most challenging races -the Ironman Triathlon in Switzerland, which consists of a 3.86 km swim, a 180.25 km cycle race, and a 42.2 km run – he managed all this in 15 hours 19 minutes and 29 seconds. In 2017, he completed Florida’s 3-day ‘Ultra-Endurance Event’ of 517.5 km called Ultraman. Soman was the only one who ran barefoot and completed the activities in 34 hours and 46 minutes. He follows a diet regime where he does not eat refined sugar and over- processed and packaged foods. As for his fitness regime. He does not run every day. He runs 3-4 time a week and rest of the days he does nothing. He believes that one needs to be active all the time. Soman says that the gym just doesn’t work out for him. Since a gym workout focuses on different muscle groups in isolation, Soman feels that exercising within the four walls of one can only take you so far because you’re unable to work on your body as a whole.
Hard work and discipline are the secrets behind this former model and Bollywood actress, Bipasha Basu’s super toned body. Bipasha has always been vocal about her dedication to fitness and a healthy diet. Even though she is a self-proclaimed foodie, she believes in moderation and tries to eat as many home-cooked meals as possible. She tries to take out at least 2 hours from her day for a workout. She is obsessed with cardio exercises and is passionate about yoga. She also drinks a variety of green juices and snacks away on green veggies in salads whenever she can. She has launched three fitness DVDs and a Fitness workout video. She also promotes a no sugar diet and Zumba. According to her, in fitness, you need to challenge yourself every day. Do not fall into a comfort zone. Do something different, learn something new. And, after a tiring day, if you can keep a smile on your face, that’s a great achievement.
Michelin Star Chef Vikas Khanna is an internationally acclaimed Indian chef, an award-winning author, poet, filmmaker and a humanitarian. He has cooked for the likes of Barack Obama, Queen Elizabeth II, etc. and has authored over 25 books on food. Despite his busy schedule, he manages his day pretty well. He eats a very healthy breakfast, does not smoke or drink and never eats late. He also doesn’t skip exercising. He heads to the gym every day and does, cardio, pull-ups, and other bodyweight exercises. Khanna also stresses on the fact that the healthiest part of the body is the mind. According to him, you can eat the healthiest food but if the mind is not content and you are not happy then you are not healthy. Khanna is the founder of Cooking for Life and SAKIV Organizations, which raise funds for emergencies and World Hunger.
12.Madhuri Dixit-Actress and Dancer:
She is still the dhak-dhak girl of Bollywood and an epitome of beauty and grace. Madhuri Dixit’s strict exercise regimen along with a balanced diet is the secrets behind her youthful looks and good health. Being one of the first Bollywood celebrities to have a personal trainer, Madhuri has often stated that fitness is responsible for what she is today. She also credits her beauty to her dancing, which she says makes her feel positive and happy. She has her own website Dance with Madhuri, where she has integrated dance and fitness. As for her diet, she eats five small meals and drinks plenty of water every day to stay healthy.
13.Mandira Bedi-TV Host and Actress
She is instrumental for getting a lot of women inspired by her and also interested in Cricket when she first started hosting IPL in a saree flaunting her chiselled body, a confident stance and an attitude inspiring. Mandira Bedi has no doubt emerged as a fitness icon in the recent years. When she was unable to shed 22 kgs after her son’s birth, she took to fitness seriously and within 6 months shed all that weight and achieved her health goal. For her workout is not just about physical fitness but it is also a great stress buster. She indulges a lot in functional training -a mix of weights and cardio, and core training four to five times a week. She works out six days a week and runs as well. If she can’t make it to the gym, she does timed exercises at home like squats and lunges. When it comes to her diet, Bedi sticks to simple, home-cooked food. She also confesses that her diet goes for a toss on the weekends but she more than makes up for it on the weekdays with her exercise routines. Mandira Bedi often shares fitness tips with her fans online. One such tip is “Give yourself small goals. Don’t think about losing 20kg at once. Focus on losing a kilo in one week, and so on. Also, eating clean is a way of life. Adopt a sustainable diet because you can’t beat what you eat.”
A nutrition and exercise science expert, Rujuta Diwekar is a vocal champion of using our common sense and uncomplicating the act of eating. In a career spanning more than 15 years, Rujuta Diwekar has worked with clients from all walks of life, from businessmen to homemakers, students, celebrities and sportsmen including Kareena Kapoor and Anil Ambani. She emphasizes on a blend of traditional food wisdom and modern nutritional science for a healthy body and mind, best reflected through the mantra – Eat local, think global. She is also the author of 5 best-selling nutrition books. “When we go through nutrition transition and give up on our local, native, regional food and we begin to adopt a food system, which has no resonance to our region, culture, that’s when our waists start spilling out in a protest for you to go back to your more local diet.”
15.Rajiv Makhni, Journalist and a Gadget Guru:
A former model, tech Guru hosting multiple TV shows on technology including Gadget Guru and Cell Guru, Rajiv Makhni is also a columnist and writes for major publications in India and abroad. While he himself maintain a fitness routine, he also writes on fitness through his columns. He reviews various fitness gadgets and gets people to follow the right things. His columns are engaging and extremely informative. His show Gadget Guru on NDTV has also won several awards. His current project is the super hit show ‘The TechGrandmasters”- Indias first Tech Quiz cum Game show.
16.Luke Coutinho M.D.- Integrative lifestyle Expert and Nutritionist
Apart from being a published author of the globally acclaimed book, ‘The Great Indian Diet ‘(with Shilpa Shetty) and ‘Eat Smart, Move More, Sleep Right – Your Personal Health Coach’, Luke Coutinho practices in the field of Integrative and Lifestyle Medicine, Holistic Nutrition, Exercise Physiologist and is a motivational speaker. Luke’s practice revolves around holistic health, nutrition and lifestyle medicine. He currently works with cancer patients around the globe and uses an ‘integrative healing’ model to bring about the best and most effective results. According to Luke, being healthy isn’t a goal, it’s a way of living. If only we preach this, half the health problems we face will be resolved without needing doctors, treatments and medication. It’s all about the everyday choices and alterations you make.”
17.Dr Devi Shetty, Cardiologist
Few if any health-care entities on earth can match the economic and humanitarian achievements of Dr Devi Shetty. The pioneer of low-cost cardiac surgeries in India, he has been called ‘The Henry Ford of Heart Surgery’. He is the founder and chairman of affordable hospital chain Narayana Hrudayalaya, a one-stop healthcare destination for all. Headquartered in Bengaluru, the Narayana Health group operates a chain of multi-speciality tertiary and primary healthcare facilities across a network of primary care facilities and heart centres in India. With these centres, Dr Shetty has brought lifesaving surgical procedures within financial reach of India’s poor. For his ongoing contribution to affordable health care, Dr Devi Shetty has been awarded the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan awards. If Dr Devi Prasad Shetty’s vision comes true, most Indians will have access to quality healthcare.
18.Dr Naresh Trehan-Cardiologist
Dr Naresh Trehan is one of the most celebrated cardiovascular surgeons in India, being phenomenal in taking the field of medicine to the next level in terms of treatment, training and research. Dr Naresh Trehan has received the Padma Shri Award in recognition of distinguished service in the field of Surgery, and the Padma Bhushan Award in recognition of distinguished service in the field of Medicine. Trehan has also set up Medanta TM (The Medicity) in Gurgaon, Haryana which is one of India’s largest multi-super speciality institutes. Medanta’s aim is to bring India the highest standards of medical care along with clinical research, education and training. As being a surgeon needs unlimited stamina and Dr Trehan gets him by starting his day with 30 minutes each of yoga and cardio. For his diet, he has small and frequent meals or snacks every 3 hours, which include nuts, fruits, salads and small low-fat meals. He believes that after a hard day’s work, listening to music and spending time with friends and close family are great stress-busters.
19. N Chandrasekaran, Chairman-Tata Group
Natarajan Chandrasekaran (53) is Chairman of the board of Tata Sons, the holding company and promoter of more than 100 Tata operating companies with aggregate annual revenues of more than the US $100 billion. He joined the board of Tata Sons in October 2016 and was appointed Chairman in January 2017. Chandra is not all about work. He is also an avid photographer and a passionate long-distance marathon runner. In April 2017, he ran the London Marathon, thereafter completing the World Marathon Majors. The World Marathon Majors include the marathons in New York, Boston, Chicago, Berlin, Tokyo and London. In Oct 2017, He completed his first 30-kilometre Lidingöloppet run, supposed to be the world’s largest cross-country run on the Lidingö Island.
Nutritionist to stars like Deepika Padukone, Sonam Kapoor, Ranbir Kapoor and Sushmita Sen, celebrity dietician Pooja Makhija has, to date, transformed the bodies – and the lives – of thousands of people. For Pooja, it’s not about weight loss as much as it is about nourishment. She believes that food is fuel and should be treated as your friend, not your enemy. She has published two books- eat Delete and Eat Delete Junior. She feels that people are not seeing food for its true value, but just for calories. According to her, most think food can make them fat, it can give them high cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes. What they don’t understand is that the wrong food can do that or not be eating the right food can do that.
21.Yasmin Karachiwala, Fitness Trainer
Yasmin Karachiwala is the fitness guru Bollywood swears by. From Katrina Kaif to Deepika Padukone and Alia Bhat all have Yasmin to thank for their svelte figure. Karachiwala, who owns a gym — Body Image was the first BASI certified Pilates instructor in India and established the first Pilates studio in Mumbai. She thinks Pilates is more beneficial than other exercises as it helps you achieve results in a much gentler way because it does not injure your muscles. It works your core with every exercise, which means that even if you are working on your biceps, you still have to engage your core for stability. She often shares workout videos with her followers and fitness enthusiast on social media. She has also co-authored a book on Pilates. Yasmin follows a clean diet largely consisting of low-calorie foods and drinks to stay fit and give her body so much energy as to power through all her workouts. She doesn’t believe in the word diet and prefers making smart food choices. She believes that one should never compromise on health for fitness. Strive to be the best version of yourself.
22.Anant Ambani-Scion of Mukesh Ambani Empire
Created a lot of buzz for losing an immaculate amount of weight. By following a strict diet and exercising regularly he lost a staggering 108 kg in just 18 months. Being highly asthmatic during his childhood, doctors prescribed him with steroids that made him gain weight. What complicated matters further was his steroid use led to the development of hypothyroidism, a health condition which slows down your metabolism. He started his transformation journey by devoting 5-6 hrs a day to his workout regime which included, 21 Km walk, yoga, strength training, functional training and HIIT. Apart from exercising, he took healthy meal which included zero sugar, low carb diet along with good fats and proteins. He strictly avoided all processed, sugary, and junk food items. All this along with his strong determination to shed all the overloaded fat before his 21st birthday has led to this inspiring fitness journey.
23.Ranveer Allahbadia: Fitness Expert and Youtube Sensation- ‘Beer Biceps’
From being a fat boy where his life was full of ‘One more beer’ and ‘one more cheesecake’, no clear goal and more importantly, NO PURPOSE, Ranveer Allahbadia has come a long way. He realized there was no shortcut to fat loss and the solution was only through proper diet, exercise and discipline. Today, having a fit lifestyle has literally created a career for him. He is a full-time weight loss and strength coach who also has his own YouTube channel called BeerBiceps. He is also the present trainer of Tanmay Bhat of the AIB fame who purely by following diet and exercise under the guidance of Ranveer has been able to lose 100+ kgs. Ranveer says that fitness has given him something much bigger than just a career. “As much as fitness has trained my body, it’s trained my mind even more,” he adds. His mantra is ‘fitness should be a permanent change in one’s lifestyle. Not a temporary activity to get to your physical goals’. His advice to one and all embrace a fit lifestyle ‘JUST’ to develop as a person.
At a time when teens are still confused about what they want to do or pursue in life, he started his entrepreneurial journey founding Indiagames. A few years later Vishal Gondal was best known as the Father of the Indian Gaming Industry. Having taken the company to amazing heights, in 2012, IndiaGames was acquired by the Walt Disney Company, a post which he served as Managing Director Digital, Disney UTV. A notable angel investor, Vishal was listed among the top 50 executives in the mobile content space by the UK based ‘Mobile Entertainment’ Magazine alongside noted people like Steve Jobs. A health and fitness enthusiast, he runs marathons, treks and goes ski diving. His love for the outdoors and pushing oneself physically dates to his growing years when he was a national level volleyball player. In 2016, he did the most arduous trek to Everest Base Camp (EBC). His passion for technology, fitness & gaming led him to his next venture GOQii which is focused on helping people make a change towards a healthier lifestyle and be the force for good. Vishal is a long time TEDster, gadget & gizmo freak and a judge on two television shows ‘The Pitch’ on Bloomberg TV & ‘Your Wish is my App’ on NDTV. Currently, he brings his knowledge and love for interviewing people to a whole you platform by hosting a new podcast series ‘Beneath the Force: The Vishal Gondal Show, he has conversations with personalities from various walks of life providing a sneak peek into their fascinating lives while in his own style.
25.Major. DP Singh-Blade Runner
You need legs for running, but for long distance, you need your mind’ believes Major Devender Pal Singh, a Kargil War veteran, whose role in the 1999 Operation Vijay nearly cost him his life. Declared dead at the army hospital, he was revived after three days—at the cost of having his right leg amputated. 10 years later, this exceptional army man was well on his way to becoming India’s very own Blade Runner at the Delhi Half Marathon — setting new standards of bravery and resolve for the rest of us.
26.Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore- Olympian and Sports Minister
Colonel Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore is the first sportsman to be the sports minister of India. An Olympian in the shooting, Col Rathore first stepped into a shooting range in the mid1990s and some years later, he became India’s first ever individual silver medal winner at the Olympic Games. He stood on the podium after finishing second in the men’s double trap at the 2004 Athens Games. Born into an army family, Rathore cleared the National Defence Academy examination and served in the Indian army, including fighting militants in Kashmir for two years, which, his mother believes, held him in good stead during the Olympic final. Today, as the sports minister, he opines that sports play a crucial role in building the physical and mental fitness of young India.
27.Dr Muffazal Lakdawala: Bariatric Surgeon
India’s leading Bariatric Surgeon Dr Muffazal Lakdawala has worked with countless people helping them save their health by eating right. Dr Muffazal Lakdawala is the founder, of Digestive Health Institute by Dr Muffi, Mumbai, which is the first Indian Centre for Excellence in Bariatric Surgery. In his career of 15 years, Dr Lakdawala has conducted numerous surgeries, in India, and abroad; a trained laparoscopic surgeon, he specialises in bariatric Bariatric surgery and GI oncology surgery. Dr Lakdawala is a published author whose debut book, The Eat-Right Prescription, released in 2016, is a bestseller. Dr Lakdawala who helps people to lose weight is also a fitness enthusiast and swears by his fitness and diet routine. To maintain his fitness routine even in his hectic schedule, he eats healthy and grabs whatever time he has to work out. Wherever he goes he carries his running shoes, and whenever he can he runs. As far as possible, he avoids sweets and carbs at night. He also doesn’t advocate any fad diets or quick-fixes.
28. Sania Mirza-Sportswoman (Tennis)
Tennis sensation Sania Mirza is one of the most renowned sports person and fitness icons and has been an inspiration for a generation of girls across India. Tennis being a gruelling sport, Sania sticks to a perfect diet plan and workout regimen. She tries to train for 4 to 4.5 hours every day when she is offseason. She does a mix of core exercises followed by running and strength and speed training. When she is playing she eats a lot of carbs as you need the energy during the game. When she is training offseason, she tries to cut down on the carbs and eat more protein. Although she has given up on processed and junk food, she indulges in a cheat day once in every ten days. In the past few years, Sania has also adopted a gluten-free diet. She eats gluten free pasta and rice and chicken and avoids flour and wheat completely. She also sleeps for at least 8 hours every night.
29.Divyanshu Ganatra– Blind Adventurer and Founder, Adventure Beyond Barriers
He lost his sight to Glaucoma when he was just 19 but, that did not deter him from living his life. Lively and a happy person, he accepted blindness as a gift of life. For this 39-year-old Clinical Psychologist, life is as normal as it can get for any able-bodied person. So much so that he is such an adventure sports enthusiast from trekking to scuba diving to paragliding to tandem cycling he does them all. In fact, he took a nearly two-minute flight in the skies as a solo paraglider, becoming the first visually challenged person in India to do so. Thereafter he was the first blind person to have cycled 540 km on a tandem cycle from Manali to Khardungla in 2016. These achievements of his in the field of Paragliding and Tandem Cycling has reinforced Divyanshu’s belief that any disability is insignificant if one has the right perspective towards looking at challenges in life. Divyanshu is now working towards promoting adventure sports among persons with disabilities through his social initiative ‘Adventure Beyond Barriers’. He has certified trainers to train many disabled individuals in mountaineering and trekking, paragliding and scuba diving.
30. Kuntal Joisher -Vegan Everester Mountaineer
Kuntal Joisher, a software engineer by profession stood on top of the world (Mt Everest) as the first Vegan. Joisher stood proudly on top of Everest after close to 12 hours of gruelling climb. Joisher has dispelled all myths. With no altitude sickness and fit throughout his 60 days’ climb, he has shown and inspired the world that mountaineering can be done on a healthy whole foods vegan diet. He wanted to prove to the world that Vegans and Vegetarians are not weak and that if you have any dreams, including partaking in some of the toughest sport on the planet, it’s possible to do it on a Vegan Lifestyle. Josher was initially a vegetarian born into a Gujarati family. He would then eat even cakes that had eggs and even had dairy products. The change to a complete vegan came 13 years ago when he moved to LA to study and work. He turned a vegan to take a stand for animal rights. Being Vegan is now a way of life for him. He feels very strongly about this cause and this is not going to waver anytime soon for him.
This list aims to highlight people who have the greatest impact and reach in health and wellness. GOQii does not necessarily endorse the people in the list personally. The top 30 health and fitness influencers have been derived from the list of 100 names that the GOQii staffers, players and ambassadors nominated.
A scoring system was created based on the following categories: Followers on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube; Number of Google news mentions; and an estimate of how much each person’s career focuses on fitness and health. This data was collected primarily throughout the month of January and February 2018.