Health & Diet

Top Canadian Health and Fitness Gurus On Instagram

While American fitness experts like 41-year-old The Biggest Loser personal trainer Jillian Michaels are well known for their appearances on the small screen, there are also plenty of unstoppable health and fitness gurus who call Canada home. From homegrown celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak to trainer and Thai massage therapist Joa Rivas, here are the top Canadian names to follow on Instagram for your exercise and diet inspiration.


Photo: harleypasternak on Instagram 

1) Harley Pasternak: The 41-year-old Toronto-born trainer is currently based in Los Angeles. Known for his celebrity clientele, he’s worked with the likes of Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Halle Berry and Megan Fox. Pasternak studied kinesiology at the University of Western Ontario, and also earned a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology and Nutritional Sciences from the University of Toronto. Other than training the stars, he’s also developed diets like the 5 Factor Diet and The Body Reset Diet. On his Instagram account (which has a following of 108,000), look out for healthy meal ideas, short workout videos and sweet snapshots of his baby daughter, Liv.


Photo: lyzabethlopez on Instagram

2) Lyzabeth Lopez: As a personal trainer, holistic nutritionist and fitness instructor, Toronto-based Lopez is known for developing her signature Hourglass Workout (which claims to help women create both muscle and curves). Lopez, who has also been titled the #1 Fitness Model In Canada by Inside Fitness magazine, has an Instagram following of 1.9 million. She regularly shares snaps of her sculpted body, fitness video clips and client’s complete body makeovers for inspiration.


Photo: trainitright on Instagram 

3) Alicia Bell: The Toronto-based kinesiologist is a strength and track and field coach who has trained the likes of NBA player Dwight Howard and rapper Lil Jon. The former national level sprinter graduated from Dalhousie University in Halifax, where she studied kinesiology. Bell’s Instagram account boasts about 23,600 followers, who can keep an eye out for her exercise snapshots, fitness modelling photos and entertaining quotes.


Photo: therealgillianb on Instagram

4) Gillian B: The Toronto holistic health coach studied Applied Human Nutrition at the University of Guelph, and later launched her career as a director of yoga and nutrition. With a focus on healthy, green living, her Instagram account (which has over 8,900 followers) features shots of nutritious eats like chia seeds and fresh mixed veggies. Look out for photos of the yoga guru posing in gravity-defying asanas, embracing nature or teaching one of her sessions.


Photo: joafitness on Instagram

5) Joa Rivas: Born in Caracas, Venezuala, the 30-year-old trainer and fitness instructor moved to Toronto in 2008. At the age of 15, Rivas was diagnosed with scoliosis and faced brutal back pain during her younger years. H owever, she eventually found that strength training kept her pain under control, and quickly fell in love with fitness. Today, Rivas teaches cardio conditioning, yoga and Pilates, and is also a Thai massage therapist. Her Instagram (she has over 8,300 followers) features shots of clients’ body transformations, along with a peek of her own toned physique.

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