Fittest Female Executives and CEOs 2017

Source: Instagram/ Sheryl Sandberg Caption read: One my most important mentors is @ariannahuff, who has guided me through my career and my life – she has been a great date to @dairyqueen, the best sleep coach I could ever hope for, and a shoulder to cry on when I needed it most. Her boundless support and love have changed my life, and I am so grateful for the many lessons she has taught me. Celebrate the women who #LeanInTogether with you.

When either running your own business or running a corporation, it can be difficult to draw the line between when your work day ends and your personal life begins from the top. Female executives and CEOs, in particular, have to work a lot harder to prove their credibility and climb up the male condensed corporate ladder. For several successful executives, that line scarcely exists. But for some, personal wellness and fitness has been fortuitously embedded into their busy schedules- and for that reason HFR is giving these powerhouse CEOs the recognition they deserve.

That’s why we want to recognize the fittest female executives CEOs. This is our first list ranking the innovators who promote healthy lifestyle. To create the list, we used a combination of interviews, internet, library, industry literature, and HFR founder Samir Becic’s knowledge of over 33 years in athletics coupled with his recognition as “4x Number 1 Fitness Trainer in the World.” We have been emphasizing the connection between health and business since 2013, and we are pleased to rank these women who lead by example in making the world a healthier place.

Samir says of these powerhouse women: “Congratulations to these strong ladies who are not just financial and creative wizards, but also lead by example in terms of healthy lifestyle. Young women and men should look up to them.”

“Because it’s you, in the trenches every day… It’s a very hard, lonely endeavor to dream about something that’s not even built yet and then go out and build it against the odds.”Alexa von Tobel

The following boss lady entrepreneurs have succeeded in the balancing act of fitness and corporate triumph, proving to the world that 24 hours is truly all we need. Here they are in alphabetical order: 

Jessica Alba, The Honest Company

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  • She built a $1.7 billion empire, has two kids, and always manages to stay in sensational shape.
  • While Alba isn’t a fan of early morning workouts, she makes sure to fit them in.
  • Typically, Alba alternates between indoor cycling and a hot yoga inspired workout called YogaSculpt.
  • Alba takes about 2-3 YogaSculpt classes a week, and if you scroll through her Instagram, you’ll find several snapshots of the hot mama in the studio.
  • “Working out is not my favorite,” she tells Well + Good, “but it’s stress relief and I get good ideas working up a sweat. I like to make a morning class before I get to work: Spinning or hot yoga sculpt, always with friends to keep me motivated.”

Tyra Banks, Bankable Enterprises

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  • For much of Banks’ career, she has been the topic of weight loss in the dieters’ world- due to her weight fluctuation in her earlier years.
  • As shocking as it may sound, Banks claimed that a wardrobe malfunction is to blame for 20 lb weight loss in 2015.
  • The supermodel and CEO made three major lifestyle changes to drop the weight.
  • She followed Paleo eating habits and practiced ‘clean eating.’ She stopped taking questionable stimulant-based fat burners. And she consistently exercised with her personal trainer.
  • “This is not a diet. I do not believe in diets. I have been on diets in the past. They are a bunch of bologna. This is a lifestyle change. It’s not about being skinny. It’s about being in the best shape you can be.” 

Ruzwana Bashir, PEEK

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  • This adventurous CEO of travel company has a radiant glow that nobody can deny.
  • And even with her busy travel schedule, Ruzwana makes sure to stay fit and healthy.
  • She enjoys Pilates three times a week and makes sure to recharge every night with a good night’s rest.
  • According to NBC News, one of her favorite apps is UP, which keeps helps keep her up to date on your health, fitness and sleep routines.
  • Also made our list of Top 10 Fittest Tech Execs 2017


Hayley Barna and Katia Beauchamp, Birchbox

Source: Glamour
Source: Glamour
  • The founders of Birchbox make small daily changes to reach their fitness goals!
  • In an interview with Shape magazine, the beauty icons shared their inspiring fitness tips.
  • Katia: “I bought a Nike Fuel Band about a year ago because I really didn’t have time to get to the gym with any sort of regularity. It motivates me to be more active—I call it my taxi blocker. I walk so much more and even find myself doing jumping jacks at night to hit my goal!”
  • Katia also preached that you don’t need a full hour of exercise. An intense 20-30 minute workout is all you need to get the job done.
  • Katia Cont… “I am trying SoulCycle, Barry’s Bootcamp, and I’ll even go to Alvin Ailey Dance Studio for a hip-hop class. But because my schedule isn’t the easiest, I would say that I just try to walk everywhere and be aware of how much activity I get in a day.”
  • Barna also shared a few tips that help her keep her figure intact.
  • Hayley: “I try to make small changes to increase the amount of activity I get on a typical day, like walking instead of taking a cab or going a little further to pick up lunch than necessary. On the weekends, I like to run by the river and am always up for trying a new type of exercise class.”
  • Another trick she shared was dates with friends that include exercise, such as indoor rock climbing.

Ursula M. Burns, Xerox

  • Ursula M. Burns is the chairman and founder of Xerox.
  • Forbes Magazine named this brilliant woman the 22nd most powerful woman in the entire world in 2014.
  • This powerful CEO wakes up at 5:15 a.m., every morning- ready to conquer the world.
  • After responding to emails, Burns meets with her personal trainer to drop some sweat at 6 a.m.
  • She exercises at least twice weekly.
  • “Dreams do come true, but not without the help of others, a good education, a strong work ethic, and the courage to lean in. That’s why I spend so much time with organizations that help minorities and women gain the education and self-respect they need to take risks, to dream big, and, I hope, to someday pay it forward.” Ursula M. Burns

Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler, SoulCycle

  • The CEOs of SoulCycle fun and upbeat cycling classes possible for big city folks throughout America.
  • This famous duo shared their daily routine in an interview with the new potato:
  • Julie Rice: I start with coffee and a banana in the morning at home. I try to ride in the morning as often as possible.
  • Julie and Elizabeth are both mothers with busy mornings. But they still manage to fit in SoulCycle into their morning routines.
  • Question: What were your workouts before SoulCycle?
  • Elizabeth: A girlfriend of mine told me I had to do cardio if I wanted to lose weight so I started spinning at my local gym. I enjoyed it but I knew it could be so much more than just a workout.
  • Julie: I used to hike with a group of friends – it was about being active as a community not just checking the “exercise box” on my to-do list. That mentality helped inspire us when we created SoulCycle.


Kat Cole, Focus Brands

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  • CEO Kat Cole runs the parent companies of Focus Brands- such as Cinnabon and Carvel.
  • This fit CEO has been known to strike a pose no matter her location.
  • The Cinnabon founder has both an “on the road” routine and “at home” routine, allowing her the convenience her busy schedule requires.
  • Every morning at 5:30 a.m., Cole wakes for a 30-minute yoga routine- whether it be at home, at a gym or in a hotel room.
  • After her yoga routine, Cole revitalizes by drinking 24 hefty ounces of water.
  • “That takes about 20 minutes and is all done as I’m enjoying my morning hydration. I picked up this drink-lots-of-water-first-thing-in-the-morning habit while traveling for humanitarian work in eastern Africa. We are so lucky to have access to clean drinking water, and I think about how grateful I am for that almost every day.” -Kat Cole


Esther Dyson, EDventure Holdings

  • Esther Dyson might be among the fittest CEOs on this list.
  • The chairman of EDventure Holdings and founder/investor of has an exceptional exercise regime.
  • At 65 years old, she swims for 50 minutes a day- and has barely missed a day since her 18th birthday.
  • While many people turn to meditation or yoga, swimming is Dyson’s tool for unwinding.
  • She wrote in a Wall Street Journal column, “I don’t know much about meditation, but I suspect that this daily routine—more mental than physical—has kept me sane and balanced.”
  • After her daily swim, she takes her bike to work.

Jessica Herrin, Stella and Dot

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  • Stella Dot is the CEO and founder of the jewelry company Stella & Dot.
  • Dot created this company to inspire women to achieve success and balance through a career they are passionate about.
  • The jewel entrepreneur has a driven attitude about exercise and shared it with HuffPost
  • “Long ago I realized I’m never going to have enough time to get everything I want to do done, so I might as well exercise and still have all that other stuff to do. Some things are going to be left undone every single day, and exercise cannot be one of them.”
  • Dot’s key to brainstorming is running.
  • “My morning run is when my head is most clear and when I synthesize all of the things that are going on in my head. When I’m running I’m always three to five years out in my mind. As a leader that’s where I need to spend time.”
  • A major part of Stella’s purpose in life is motivating other women to achieve the same success and balance within their lives.
  • “Women deserve a better answer for, “How can I lead a life [at] the intersection of all the other roles that women play in their lives and being an independent accomplished professional?” We need careers that can ebb and flow around our life.”


Paris Hilton, Paris Hilton Entertainment Inc.

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  • This heiress has definitely paved her own way in the business world, creating a perfume brand that is rumored to be worth $2 billion, in addition to hotel chains, restaurants, and clothing lines.
  • In 2014, she told MailOnline that she cut out junk food and had lost 5 lbs.
  • Enjoys green smoothies and praises their energy boosting effect on her.
  • “I also like regular juices. I get a lot more vitamins these days, more fruits too, more vegetables, more protein, more salads.”
  • Is not a fan of gyms and instead opts for outdoor workouts.
  • ‘I don’t think people expect to hear this, but I grew up a tomboy. I would always play ice hockey, go skiing when I could. I would surf, ride bikes, swim. I love to work out outside. I have always been very active.’


Arianna Huffington, The Huffington Post

  • The Huffington Post founder has publically spread her message about the importance of sleep to health and success.
  • Huffington shared her daily routine with the world to inspire the world to incorporate similar wellness habits into their lives.
  • This accomplished CEO begins every day with some meditation and a nutritious breakfast.
  • Exercise is also a staple in Huffington’s life. Her favorite physical activity is hiking.
  • Some of Huffington’s very own health and fitness tips include:
  • “Remembering how fantastic [you] felt after [your] last workout.” And “incorporating regular movement into our everyday lives.”

Jennifer Hyman, Rent the Runway

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  • The CEO and Co-Founder of Rent the Runway enjoys the forever changing routine surrounding her daily life.
  • In an interview with Shape magazine, Hyman admitted to loving the controlled routine of her exercise regime, due to the spontaneity of her work life.
  • “I love that every day is different when it comes to my work life, so I try to keep that same mentality around my workout routine. I like to mix it up by going to Barry’s Bootcamp one day, Physique 57 another, running outside the next, and trying to fit in hip-hop dance lessons. The more variety, the more fun! I try to put aside a few nights a week and a couple of mornings to work out. Keeping a consistent schedule helps me prioritize my health.”
  • The fashion queen also makes sure to get her nightly eight hours, which is important for an active metabolism.
  • Hyman also keeps her diet healthy and nutritious. She told CNN that her go-to breakfast is a hearty bowl of oatmeal with berries, bananas, cinnamon and walnuts.

Payal Kadakia, Classpass

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  • Payal already started revolutionizing fitness for users of her app Classpass by opening up the world of boutique fitness for a singular monthly fee and friendly booking system.
  • Founded in New York City in 2012, ClassPass has generated more than 20 million reservations via its app, now available on three continents.
  • Has been an Indian dancer her whole life, and got the idea for ClassPass when she was looking around for a class to take and then decided to start her own Contemporary Indian dance company.
  • “Someone might be good at spinning, but that doesn’t mean they know how to walk into a yoga class,” she said. ClassPass is “really about never losing that idea to keep exploring.”
  • Her advice to people wanting to get in shape is to try new classes, new studios, and bring a friend to make it less intimidating.
  • Even though she is very busy, she always schedules time in to work out and also time to unwind and relax.
  • She even urges her employees to come to work in workout clothes and leave the office to get their own fitness in!

Dylan Lauren, Dylan’s Candy Bar

  • The CEO of Dylan’s Candy Bar keeps her sweet tooth under control by being a powerhouse at the gym.
  • When it comes to health, Dylan’s goal is to stay fit well into her seventies.
  • “I try to do aerobics five days a week and weight training three to four times a week, working with two trainers,” says Dylan.
  • The nick-named “candy queen” isn’t into fad diets or deprivation, so she keeps her diet in check by sticking to a “90/10” rule.
  • “I definitely sample everything. Every day, about 10 percent [of my diet] is going to be something very unhealthy, but as long as my meals are balanced with protein and vegetables, I feel good.”

Marissa Mayer, Yahoo!

  • Nearly everyone agrees that the CEO of Yahoo! Is one of the most intelligent people in the tech world, and shockingly enough, she’s a woman.
  • Another shocker: Marissa Mayer isn’t much for sleep.
  • The CEO and president of Yahoo! Averages six hours of sleep a night, in order to get the most out of her day.
  • While sleep is a vital part of wellness, it’s perfectly okay for some people to function on less sleep than others.
  • Mayer wakes up at 6 a.m. to check emails and work up a sweat- which is a vital part of her mornings.
  • Melissa keeps her eating habits in check by snacking on fresh fruit at work.
  • “There are 130 hours of potential work time in a week if you shower strategically.” -Marissa Mayer

Brit Morin, Brit + Co

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  • Not only does Brit run a successful media and commerce company in San Francisco., she also loves running!
  • Dubbed “Martha Stewart 2.0”, she enjoys jogging around San Francisco.
  • To change it up, she mixes in hot yoga, spinning, and pilates.
  • She’s also a nature lover, occasionally spending time outdoors.
  • Morin has said she uses the fitness-tracking app Moves, which helps her track her daily fitness progress.
  • Made our list of Fittest Tech Execs 2017
  • Her favorite tip for staying on track with her fitness: “If it’s a fitness goal you’ve set, a fitness tracking app like Nike+ or Moves helps keep you focused.” -Brit Morin

Desiree Rogers, Johnson Publishing Co

  • Former White House Social Secretary, CEO and fashion icon; Desiree Rogers has always been a slim and chic icon in the corporate world.
  • Since she’s been on-the-go for much of her career, exercising is a new groove for her.
  • In an interview with Birmingham News, she stated that “the perfect week would be two days of yoga and three days in the gym with a trainer.”
  • She also enjoys bike riding and has invested in two bikes: a racing bike and a bright orange touring bike with white wall tires.
  • She likes the touring bike better.
  • “In this country, there is a bias against people who have a certain look or style. I have fought this all of my life. People only see this package, and it’s a tall and vocal package. So people think, Wait a minute, you can’t be this stylish and intelligent, too. I take people out of their comfort zone.” Desiree Rogers

Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook

  • The Lean-in author wakes up daily before 6 a.m., works out at her home gym.
  • To get the best night’s sleep, Facebook’s COO turns off her phone at night, but does admit that it’s “painful” for her to do so.
  • To maintain a blance, Sandberg says she has a rule for leaving the office each day at 5:30 so that she can enough time with her family.

  • “Careers are a jungle gym, not a ladder.” -Sheryl Sandberg

Alexa von Tobel, LearnVest

  • When Tobel first launched LearnVest, she was too busy to set aside time to exercise- but that has all changed.
  • As of today, Tobel hits the gym nearly every day- even bringing employees with her.
  • “I’m healthier, I’m happier, I sleep better. And all of that is important. When my life is better, my company is better,” she told Business Insider.
  • This savvy and fit CEO even sets meetings during fitness classes!
  • “The person I’m meeting with can pick the class, whether it’s a spin or barre class, or going for a power walk. It’s hard to run and talk — I haven’t mastered that yet.” -Alexa von Tobel

Padmasree Warrior, NextEV

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  • Padmasree Warrior is truly a warrior- making her ranks in the world as the CEO of NextEV, an electric car company.
  • Forbes Magazine named this CEO the 71st most powerful woman.
  • If you don’t recognize her as the CEO of NextEV, you may know her as the former CTO of Cisco Systems and Motorola, Inc.
  • As early as 4:30 a.m., Warrior is up breaking some sweat.
  • Not only is Warrior is a successful entrepreneur, she also a super mommy!
  • After exercising and checking her emails, she takes care of her son before sending him off to school.
  • “I don’t like the word ‘balance.’ To me, that somehow conjures up conflict between work and family… as long as we think of these things as conflicting, we will never have happiness. True happiness comes from integration… of work, family, self, community.” -Padmasree Warrior

Oprah Winfrey, Harpo Productions & the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN)

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  • One of the most successful and distinguished women in the world trains hard to keep her physical health in top-notch shape.
  • The OWN founder shared her workout regime with the world:
  • She vigorously endures “45 minutes of cardio six mornings a week, four to five strength-training sessions a week, incline crunches, and stretching.”
  • Winfrey also scales back and relaxes by sitting in silence for 20 minutes a day, twice a week.
  • “With age comes the understanding and appreciation of your most important asset, your health.” -Oprah Winfrey


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