Last year, I posted two parts of a list of my favorite Black health and fitness influencers that I genuinely enjoy because of their content–to be quite honest, I didn’t find all of them until they were more highly promoted after the Black Lives Matter movement in June of 2020. My first post was publicized on July and the second in August. It’s imperative that I go out of my way to research more for BIPOC creators who have the talent, the drive, and the authenticity that aren’t as well-promoted as, say, non-BIPOC creators. What many don’t understand is that here in Westernized countries is that white is the default–not a bad thing, of course–but this means that white health and fitness influencers are favored more in the media’s algorithm because they are more marketable in these countries. One could argue that the new aesthetic will centralize “mixed race-passing” people, but that’s another discussion for a separate time.
The Black Lives Matter movement inspired me to think of the lack of Asian representation in the health and wellness social media universe. Let’s be real: there are so few Asian fitness influencers that have the same following and publicity as non-BIPOC figures. I was curious to see how many I would find and grow a liking towards. I spent about several months after my second list of favorite Black health and fitness influencers was posted to research any Asian individuals. Let me tell you–it was quite the challenge. While I found several popular ones and some smaller ones I genuinely loved, it was even HARDER finding Asian fitness influencers because there weren’t as many readily available hashtags or lists to refer to. What catalyzed this post even MORE so was the slew of hate crimes towards Asians living in America right now, all of which threaten the livelihood and well-being of the Asian community.
JOANNA SOH: This incredibly magnificent, energetic, and knowledgeable woman has contributed to my fitness journey from the very start. Being such a powerful catalyst in the Malaysian fitness community and Asian community overall, Joanna’s platform has only aged and developed with nothing but grace! I love her follow-along workouts that are suitable for a home environment as well as her emphasis on Asian-native recipes and ingredients for a healthy lifestyle. Her workouts are wonderful for beginners, so if you’re more of an advanced exercise-junkie, I’d try cranking up the intensity, pace, and weights when performing them.
DANIEL HOANG: Three words to describe Daniel: down-to-earth, insightful, and driven. Admittedly, I did not follow Daniel Hoang super actively on any other platform other than YouTube just because he showcases his most authentic aspects of his fitness journey and lifestyle there, but let me tell you, his Instagram is also FLOODED with adorable pictures of him and his family (his wife and his son are all so lovely!)! Some of my favorite videos of his include his discussion about dieting, contest prep, relationships, and entrepreneurship. Most of his advice is very practicable and applicable to everyday folks who have a family, separate business venture, and passion for health and wellness.
MEG KIMURA: When stumbling upon Meg Kimura’s Instagram, I was awestruck by how beautiful her smile was and her cute athleisure outfits! Her feed is basically an amalgamation of what one would find in an exercise video program and an athletic wear magazine subscription service. I dare you to name a better duo (I’ll wait). Meg’s Instagram is absolutely perfect if you are into concise exercise videos as well as some inspiration for cute gym wear! Moreover, she offers online coaching for those who are interested in more 1-on-1 communication with her.
SOHEE LEE: Having been with Sohee Lee for a long time, it is fantastic to witness the influence she has amassed on social media and the lives she has touched in such a positive way! Sohee is such a breath of fresh air with her approach to training and nutrition–follow the science, tailor the lifestyle choices to your exact needs, embrace non-aesthetic accomplishments, and take no sh*t from those around you. I love that she doesn’t really use her physical appearance as part of her brand because the focus more so encompasses the knowledge and wisdom she offers about maintaining a healthy relationship with food, body image, and exercise. Plus, her TikTok videos are so helpful if you want straight-forward health advice that doesn’t make you feel discouraged afterwards!
CASSEY HO: Similarly to Sohee Lee, I have followed Cassey Ho for EONS–her story and evolution have inspired me significantly and meeting her in person about THREE times were even better (1, 2, and 3). Truth is, I found her older workout videos absolutely killer and tremendously more impactful in my personal fitness journey than I do with her current content only due to the fact that my personal exercise preferences have grown out of pilates and the classic mat work she provides. Having said that, her past videos are still more than resourceful enough for me to impose pain on my muscles during my workouts! Obviously, I cannot stress her personality enough: Cassey radiates positivity, enthusiasm, and intense energy on every platform she’s on, whether it be YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and her blog. I love how authentic she is and how true she remains to herself and her passion.
MATTHEW TAM: Yes, we should practice conscientiousness when returning to gyms that have opened, and as we do so, let’s shrink the time allotment in the gym for the sake of others’ safety. A way to encourage healthier and kinder practices in the gym would be to arrive with a plan and knowledge on how to use equipment properly AND target certain muscle groups in a unique way. This is exactly why I was drawn to Matthew’s videos since not only does he properly demonstrate how to use certain machines, but also provides atypical moves that you can practice as well! I definitely plan on using the videos below as guidelines when I potentially return to a gym once everything eases down. Matthew also uploads Q&A’s, fitness guides, and recently a food challenge if you like those types of videos!
VEG SHAR: how could I NOT include Sharon in this line-up?! Not only does she publish some incredible workout videos on her Instagram, but her feed is also flooded with healthy vegan recipes that will nourish your body and your tastebuds! Talk about a killer double combo! Her full day of eating videos are very insightful in regards to how veganism assimilates very well in the lifestyles of those who like to lift heavy and train hard–one could EASILY acquire enough nutrients in a balanced vegan diet so as long as they do the research and make it fun for them! Sharon’s platform has easily become one of my favorites beyond health and fitness Instagram accounts, so please check it out!
EMI WONG: Again, is this even an Asian influencer lineup without Emi Wong? Because if you are unaware of who Emi Wong is, you are definitely missing out on another aspect of life that could positively impact your time on social media. Emi’s optimistic and genuine persona is contagious while her workouts are very much so feasible and flexible to every fitness level (literal potato to Olympic athlete). Truth be told, my favorite videos of her entail her vlogs in Hong Kong with her husband and family (the BEST company one could ever ask for) as they exhibit all kinds of Chinese foodie delicacies and innovative recipes she utilizes with native Chinese ingredients. It’s crucial for the Asian community in general to immerse themselves more in health and wellness, and Emi Wong is one of the best people to examine for inspiration in this!
YASMIN KARACHIWALA: Yasmin’s pilates and yoga flows were extremely helpful during my times of stress and heartbreak in the past. In the very beginning of my fitness journey, I never considered myself a HUGE yoga fan, but I followed Yasmin loosely since I underwent time periods of deep distress and emotional turmoil with life transitions. Of course, her videos still hold magnificence to this day as her energy is very calming and grounding, plus her movements are very much the same! Additionally, Yasmin provides higher intensity workouts and integrates grounding exercises into more intense forms of working out like HIIT and cardio, which is even more amazing!
JORDAN YEOH: Want workouts that are multifaceted, portable, and guaranteed to make you feel much more accomplished in your day? Jordan Yeoh’s YouTube exercise videos are just for you! He has countless uploads that are suitable for almost every single person online, including people who do not know what a push-up is as well as those who basically live in the gym. I love the challenges he uploads online for his viewers to follow as well as the very intense workouts on his channel. His direct demonstrations on correct form are even more helpful when paired with his actual workout videos to ensure you’re attaining the most optimal results for you.
LINDA SUN: So Linda is a very interesting case–she rose to prominence around 2020 VERY quickly with her “week in my life” oriented videos displaying all of her daily meals and workouts that fit certain themes such as eating like billionaires for a week, going vegan for a week, consuming fear foods for a week, or trying to glow up for a week, and so forth. Linda never fails to embellish her videos with such heart and soul, but the most impactful aspect of her channel is how much she preaches loving your body, treating it well with good foods and movements, and enjoying life to the fullest degree! Her and her family are the most adorable people in the world and Linda’s videos ultimately exude nothing but light, love, and happiness in healthy living!
TIFFANY NGUYEN: Talk about drive, diligence, and a strong sense of self-worth! Tiffany’s exercise videos are so motivational as they capture live workouts in the gym that pursue growth of muscle, strength, and physical fitness. Her journey involving conquering body image insecurities and utilizing fitness to cultivate peace both in the physical and mental spaces. What makes Tiffany so unique is how she is not afraid to lift heavy! Someway and somehow, she manages to look like a rockstar whenever she deadlifts and bench-presses. I mean, how?! Moreover, I love how she shares her progress throughout her wellness pursuits to document a live-action recap of where she is now and what she aims to accomplish. Transparency is key and Tiffany’s platform demonstrates that greatly!
NISHA VORA: I know, I KNOW, you’re probably wondering, where are the leggings and the dumbbells? Well, Nisha Vora’s platform establishes more so the importance of vegan nutrition with balanced vegan recipes that are colorful, vibrant, healthy, and exciting for any palette. How does this relate to health and fitness, per se? Because nutrition in any fitness journey is KEY. Nisha’s videos illustrate creativity in vegan cooking and practicable veganism that many other people would enjoy living in a bustling city and like to prepare their own meals! I love her videos that specifically target non-vegans’ skepticism and new vegans’ uncertainty around the lifestyle because they are very informative in such a down-to-earth and peaceful way. (P.S. THANK YOU to Nisha for emphasizing the cruciality of Black Lives Matter in her “WHAT I ATE IN A DAY” video!)
JOSIE MAI: Yet another healthy lifestyle influencer that I have adored since the very, very beginning of my fitness journey–here is Josie Mai! This woman is, by far, one of the most genuine social media users I’ve seen ever in the community, as her long “Josie Blabbles” discussions in her videos execute remarkably insightful, relatable, and thought-provoking ideas and experiences of binge eating, food fears, and negative body image that many could resonate with. Let’s be honest: sometimes finding a healthy lifestyle is a struggle, ESPECIALLY if you have a long history of following many extremes. I love Josie Mai’s work-life balance videos because they are more relatable to my personal lifestyle of working full-time and working out and eating well being separate aspects as opposed to having to live and breathe wellness for a living!
DEEPIKA MEHTA: When I first laid eyes upon Deepika’s Instagram, I GASPED. She has some of the most beautiful, artistic, and breathtakingly majestic photos I’ve seen! Her captions are very meditative as they encourage you to be more intuitive and mindful throughout the day, which is super refreshing given how many fitness Instagram accounts seem to encompass more so with doing as opposed to just being. Deepika also has some of the best yoga and stretching videos you can follow along to whenever you please, as well as some dance videos to really get your kinesthetic juices flowing!
CHENYANG ZHAO: Truthfully, Chenyang is someone I’ve been watching super frequently nowadays! Her videos regarding informative health and fitness advice where she cuts the B.S. and spills nothing but facts and realness are the absolute best, specifically subjects pertaining to weight loss without becoming skinny fat and and gaining muscle in a timely fashion. Chenyang presents a very understandable breakdown of steps you can follow to achieve your fitness goals if you are interested in becoming stronger, attaining more flexibility in your diet, and developing healthier habits overall. Furthermore, I love that she emphasizes how her diet is free of restrictions because a lot of wellness influencers showcase (some consciously, some unconsciously) some rigidity on what they eat whereas Chenyang really enjoys almost anything and everything!
KIM XIE: Every single one of Kim’s boxing videos makes me want to stand up and start kicking ass! At least on my algorithm, it’s pretty rare to find a female influencer who is just as passionate about boxing and/or kickboxing as Kim is–most women in the fitness industry appear to gravitate towards bodybuilding, Pilates, cycling, yoga, or dance, which are all incredible forms of movement, but it is fantastic to find someone performing a different type of routine! She genuinely embodies everything wonderful about female-oriented fitness, including power, strength, confidence, beauty, and ambition. Not to mention, her makeup looks always serve!
REMI ISHIZUKA: Many of you have probably heard of Remi Ishizuka before, but I HAVE to include her on this list because, yes, the hype is 100% deserved. I love how her videos are edited in such a way where you feel like you’re following both Remi and Nate throughout the day as opposed to remaining a little stagnant in a kitchen or a living room and being updated whenever the influencer comes back to film. It feels much more interactive this way! Her home gym transformation is INCREDIBLE and it is even better to examine how it was finished! Remi’s Instagram is super vibrant and beautiful as well, but I love her YouTube channel even more because of the in-depth filming style!
ALITA VIRAJAHTORN: Hands down, Alita is one of the most beautiful, strong, and fashionable fitness influencers I’ve seen on Instagram! Really, her workouts always look killer and her outfits always serve such appeal. They generally encompass a mix of strength training, high intensity work, and lots of resistance. Most importantly, you can really follow a lot of her workout videos almost anywhere! What makes Alita truly stand out is how she exhibits her strength and fitness progress in all kinds of ways from headstands and dips to tuck jumps and runner burpees (this move is SUCH a keeper. Really fun AND effective at the same time!)!
ALLBLANC TV: Being a group of influencers that focus on a wide variety of topics, I love turning to ALLBLANC TV for their workout content. Their exercises and group workouts are SUPER fun to do both alone and with friends and family! Each video has a audio countdown, motivational music, and great cinematography and editing. However, I have to say that the best part of ALLBLANC TV is the overall dynamic of the members. They all seem so professional but amicable and lively when together and when filming their own videos, whether it be for exercising, fashion, or really anything!
MARY TRAN (now Quimson!): While Mary has evolved into more of a lifestyle influencer as opposed to mainly a fitness one, she still posts plentiful amounts of workout content to share! Mary always exemplifies such strength, authenticity, and light, whether through lifting some dumbbells or wearing the most beautiful date outfits with her husband AJ! Her specialty entails competing and coaching those participating in these types of shows, which are very insightful in how prep SHOULD be done without people losing their minds and tarnishing their relationships with food and their body(but also, the bikinis are pretty cute!)–if done safely and sensibly, the results are very much so worth it! Obviously, I can’t neglect how wonderful her relationship with AJ is. They are so adorable, funny, hopeful, and genuine together in how they focus on growing together and enjoying how much they love each other throughout the process. Truly magnificent!
SAVI WIN: Savi pretty much ALWAYS wins with her fashion sense, fabulous poses, and her workouts themselves! Her outfits are extremely classy–very modern, but also very chic and sophisticated (nothing beats black)! Savi’s actual workout videos lay out no-nonsense and no-fail moves that are perfect for beginners and advanced fitness enthusiasts who want to go back to basics. Personally, Savi’s captions are why I truly love her account because they’re concise enough to not lose my attention but very insightful and thoughtful where I remember them out of all the photos I see every day! Also, she has a STUNNING smile (her tips on teeth whitening here!) that shines so brightly that her happy personality radiates even more!
LISA ZHU: Even though Lisa doesn’t upload as frequently as some other YouTube fitness users, she has been someone I turn to quite often for wellness entertainment due to how down-to-earth she is as well as her laid-back her relationship with food! Being a personal trainer can impose a lot of pressure to look a certain way and follow specific “stereotypical” habits like meal prepping bland foods and working out every day, but Lisa’s videos are super refreshing. The best is how she is so eloquent in how she describes her mental notes on eating and preparing her meals, as well as applying them to how she exercises and notices the changes in her body!
CHLOE TING: Is ANYBODY surprised that I included Chloe Ting in my list? Because nobody should be. Chloe Ting has built an EMPIRE from her workouts, including her programs that embody female empowerment through movement and pushing yourself to new levels of fitness. Yes, her workouts are not for everyone (a lot of people I follow and know happen to think her videos are a little repetitive and too elementary, plus the fact that she doesn’t talk in her videos are not an upside for all), but nobody can deny that people have seen magnificent changes in their body and lifestyles from what she offers! I personally enjoy Chloe’s food videos the most as they represent how nourishing yourself with colorful, balanced meals that are sufficient in nutrients and variety are KEY to a happy and healthy lifestyle. She enjoys a large array of foods and really neat recipes that embrace all kinds of Asian cuisines and unlikely ingredients that most influencers wouldn’t even touch. The best part? Her relationship with food summarizes how everyone SHOULD view food: just a part of life that should be appreciated, but not a main focus of life.