Iceland’s President Jóhannesson named among Top 11 Fittest Heads of State 2021

Source: Instagram @gudnith2016

With the dawn of a new year and a big election behind us, it’s time for our popular annual list of the 10 Fittest Heads of State in the world! Being the leader of an entire country is a dynamic role in itself, and yet a select 11 from all around the world have set themselves apart with their own fitness aptitude and their promotion of a healthy lifestyle for all. 

This year, the list was particularly important because as the world has grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic over the past 12 months, health has been at the forefront of the news. 

Now, more than ever, we are realizing that we have to emphasize our personal wellbeing through exercise and healthy nutrition. These simple yet profound lifestyle changes can help build our immune systems to better handle whatever viruses and bacteria the future has in store. 

These leaders continue to demonstrate to their country that no matter how frenzied life can get, fitness and health should always be a priority. Since our inaugural list in 2014, we’ve published an updated “Top 10” annually including 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019. The 11 heads of state that make our 2021 list are not only pioneers as global ambassadors, but they are also leaders outside of the office when they are competing in sports, simply biking with their family or being pioneers in being able to curb the pandemic in their countries.

“The ‘Fittest Heads of State’ list was started to promote global fitness,” says Health Fitness Revolution founder  Samir Becic, who has 20 years of expertise in the fitness industry and was named No. 1 fitness trainer in the world for BTF and appointed “Fitness Czar” for the City of Houston. “This year’s COVID-19 pandemic has made it even more apparent that we need to build our immune systems through healthy lifestyle changes in order to make it robust for any future and unpredictable pandemics. We know now that next to social distancing, wearing a mask, washing our hands, and vaccinations, building our immune systems through healthy living is necessary- maybe even critical for our survival as a species.”

In no particular order, the following world leaders have become healthy role models for their citizens. From accomplished athletes to recreational weekend warriors, nutrition enthusiasts to nutrition policymakers, these heads of state are doing their part to lead by example in the quest for a stronger, healthier global community. It is important to note that although we found leaders who we knew were fit but because we were unable to find any accessible data on their routines, they were ineligible for this list. Samir adds to all world leaders “please share your healthy lifestyle habits!”

 Criteria for the Fittest Heads of State:

  1. For each country, the first and second in charge are eligible for the list. For example: Canada and New Zealand have their Prime Ministers on this list even though their respective monarch Queen Elizabeth II is the head of state. The same goes for the United States, both President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris qualify for this list.
  2. Have to be healthy and fit personally.
  3. Should promote a healthy lifestyle globally.
  4. Physical fitness relative to age has been taken into substantial consideration.

Click to see who else made the Top 11 Fittest Heads of State 2021.

  • Is a half marathon runner
  • In 2018, According to the Icelandic Athletic Federation, this will be the 14th year in a row that the president participates in a half marathon in Reykjavík and the 16th time he participates in the event.
  • According to, Guðni’s record time in a half marathon in the Reykjavík Marathon was in 2014, when he completed the distance in 1:39:58, but most of the time, he has run the distance in between 1:40 and two hours.
  • The 2020 marathon was cancelled due to COVID, so he and his wife participated in the Reykjavic Relays held in its place
  • He told reporters he tries to exercise every other or every three days, but confessed he followed no carefully planned schedule. “My exercise has been jogging, football with friends, and I’m not particularly organized; I don’t follow any program, but just find the time, lace up my running shoes, and decide to run into the blue. I enjoy this very much.”
  • Guðni is pleased how many running trails there are in the capital area. He likes to listen to music while running, but also appreciates the silence. Sometimes, he practices multi-tasking and pushes one of his kids in a stroller while running.
  • “I frequently get very good ideas, I think, while running, for example points for speeches, articles and such. So the first thing I often do when I come home is to rush to find a pen and paper to jot things down, so I won’t forget all the ideas I got while running.”
  • Samir Becic: “Mr. President, keep motivating Icelanders with your healthy lifestyle! With your inclusion on this list, I hope you will inspire people globally.”

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