Women's Health

Stronger Together

Anyone who’s got an @ handle can call herself a “fitfluencer.” Social media is packed with ’em. Many post for all the wrong reasons. Others give advice that’s not effective or, worse, actually harmful. But the six women in this story? The real deal. They put their legit fitness knowledge to uplifting use, inspiring others to make positive changes for their health, their bodies, their entire beings.

And thank the wellness gods for that! Because not so long ago, we answered to drill sergeants whose mission was to shout moves, or trainers who measured success solely in inches lost. The new gurus will help you snag a tighter butt, yes, but not without talking frankly about the importance of mental health. Or encouraging balance in your eating and exercise regimen—and life at large. Like the mash-up that birthed its name, the best fitfluencers marry “baller trainer” with “supportive friend.”

The supportive bit is crucial, as gobs of studies prove that when you have that part of the puzzle, better results follow. A full 80 percent of people believe they’re more likely to stick to their workout routines if they partner up. And the physical upshot echoes that, especially for women. Research found that females who exercised with a pal lost a third more weight than those who hit the gym solo. Other studies show you’ll move your ass more if you have active friends, live near active neighbors, or are merely in the proximity of active people. Fitness: It’s contagious!

So we want to celebrate that friend + exercise bond with our very own holiday: National Workout Buddy Day (March 1, mark your cals). That’s where the superstars here come in— they’ll be kicking it off! is nothing without .

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