Living a healthier lifestyle isn’t easy by any means. Sometimes, when the going gets tough, you need a little extra something to reignite your motivation to be a better version of yourself.
Sometimes you need a reminder of just how awful fast food really is for you. Sometimes you need a reminder that YES, you can do it. You started this for a reason — and sometimes you just need a reminder of why it’s important to keep going.
Whether you’re struggling with eating healthier or staying in the gym, we’ve put together a list of some of the best documentaries to get you fired up to be a better version of yourself.
11 of the Best Documentaries to Give You an Extra Push
Although there’s a lot of controversy around juicing for health, there’s no doubt that it changed Joe Cross’ life for the better.
When he set out to make this documentary, he was overweight, struggling with a chronic, painful skin condition, and existed in a general state of misery fueled by booze and junk food.
After undergoing a drastic lifestyle change, he then set out to sell other people on the idea of changing their lives and taking control of their health.
Everyone in the CrossFit world knows who Rich Froning is — the four-time CrossFit Games winner is the ultimate athlete. You know you’ve made it when the phrase “What’s Rich Doing?” is a thing.
Froning takes a deeper look inside his journey to the 2014 CrossFit Games, his unlikely comeback to claim the podium, and how he balances being the fittest man in the world with being a husband and a new father.
3. Super-Size Me
Super-Size Me is as essential to early 2000s culture as Hillary Duff or Myspace.
In the critically-acclaimed film, Morgan Spurlock spends 30 days eating nothing but McDonald’s food. The transformation to his body and his mentality is nothing short of…well, horrifying. The film takes a deeper look into the fast food culture in America and how it’s contributing to rising fast food rates.
Craving a McDoubleWhopperChino with fries? Take a gander at this film before caving for a cheat meal.
4. Fed Up
We all know sugar is bad for us, but do you really understand how bad? Fed Up takes an in-depth look at the way misleading marketing and big food companies are directly contributing to the obesity epidemic by following the journeys of several obese children trying to lose weight.
This film is slightly depressing, but will open your eyes to a lot of the ways you’re being “tricked” into eating badly.
5. Food, Inc.
This movie takes a look not only at the seedy underbelly of the production of unhealthy food, but also the negative environmental effects. The low-price driven market has huge effects on our food, how it’s produced and how it’s manufactured.
The film is split into three parts — one focusing on meat, one focusing on vegetables and grain and another on the legislative side of the food industry.
“Happy” encompasses a much larger aspect of health. The filmmaker, Roko Belic, set out to find the true meaning of happiness and traveled all of the world to do so.
In the film, he interviews many different people from various walks of life to find out what truly makes people happy. The answer is really a lot of different things, but having a positive mental outlook often translates into physical things like taking care of your body and eating well.
This film in particular is great if you’re looking for something that is uplifting and not quite so heavy in data and scary statistics.
7. Occupation Fighter
If you want a gritty film to light a fire of determination under your tail, this is it. This film is all about never giving up on your dreams, no matter what life throws your way.
Occupation Fighter follows the journey of MMA up and comer Chad George as he fights his way through not only becoming the best athlete and fighter around, but also dealing with personal issues like financial hardship and estranged relationships.
8. American Weightlifting
Weightlifting is a sport all on its own despite the heavy affiliation with CrossFit. Filmmaker Greg Everett examines the lives of several American athletes trying to make it big in the sport while struggling against weightlifting’s obscurity in the United States.
These athletes often go without sponsors while working full time jobs and put every extra nickel and dime into training and competing. The struggle will inspire athletes of all sorts.
9. Marathon Challenge
Ever doubt yourself and your abilities? This might be the perfect film to get you going.
Marathon Challenge follows 13 normal, everyday people around as they get ready to run the Boston Marathon, one of the most prestigious marathons in the world. What do all of these people have in common? Not a single one of them is a runner.
Throughout the film, you watch as the people are transformed into dedicated athletes and how the exercise affects everything from their physical appearance to their mental wellbeing.
10. Triple H: King of Kings
Whether or not you’re into wrestling, the sport and the athletes have made a huge impact on fitness and nutrition as we know it today.
Triple H is one of the most well-known wrestlers in the world and this documentary traces him all the way back to his roots as a struggling athlete and show his journey to fame. Don’t let the lights of Hollywood and fame fool you — Triple H’s story will inspire any athlete to fight hard for what they want.
11. Road to the Games
If you’re a CrossFit buff or have curiosity about what it takes to be the Fittest Man or Fittest Woman on Earth, check out the Road to the Games, which follows several of the top athletes in 2015 as they prepare for the Games.
Dialing in nutrition, training harder than ever and overcoming injuries are just a few of the obstacles these athletes face as they go head to head for the title. You’ll finish the film ready to go the gym and crank out a WOD or throw some weight over your head for sure.