Stuck Inside? Documentaries to Watch During Quarantine That Will Inspire Your Fitness Journey!

Admittedly, I am no movie buff. I am embarrassed to reveal that I have never seen Titanic, never watched many of the series or films considered integral to American culture. I am, however, a documentary dork; especially those concerning health and fitness! While a Hulu or HBO binge might be inevitable this quarantine, I encourage you to utilize the list below to stream docs that will leave you feeling inspired to kick your nutrition and fitness plan into high gear during COVID-19. Check out my reviews and suggestions, comment with your own reviews and/or additions, and let me know if you want to Netflix Party!

Documentaries about Nutrition/Food

Kelly’s Food Doc Pick: The Game Changers (stream on Netflix)

I credit this doc with finally convincing many of my friends and family to try a plant-based diet! Unlike other documentaries that approach veganism from an ethical perspective, The Game Changers asks – is being vegan better for you? Scientific studies combined with anecdotes from some of the world’s most impressive athletes provides for an entertaining viewing experience, while encouraging you to consider how making even small reductions in animal products may have large impacts on your health/athletic performance. As with most position documentaries, it is important to consider that  evidence is cherry-picked in favor of the premise, and I encourage anyone who finds the information compelling to continue doing external research to decide if a plant-based diet is right for you! You can also check out our review of plant-based diets on The Winning Skinny.

Documentaries about Physical Activity, Fitness, Sports, and Inspirational Figures

Kelly’s Sports Doc Pick: The Dawn Wall (stream on Netflix)

Lovers of “Free Solo” will find their hearts racing once again in this incredible documentary following climber Tommy Caldwell. Viewers learn about the technicalities and trials of serious big rock wall climbing, while also coming to learn more about Caldwell himself. He narrates major events that have shaped his life, like being kidnapped and held hostage in Kyrgyzstan, and losing a finger during a table-saw accident. These challenges only serve to motivate him further, and culminate in his unstoppable attitude and eventual historic ascent of The Dawn Wall in Yosemite. I finished this movie feeling absolutely awed by his resilience and insane athleticism, and fired up to accomplish my own goals! 

Finally, not a documentary…

….but if you’re looking for a great movie to settle into with a bowl of Skinny Pop, check out Brittany Runs a Marathon, now free to stream with an Amazon Prime membership!

As someone who has cried at the finish line of every single marathon I’ve ever been to (how can you not be so inspired by all of the amazing unstoppable humans running 26.2 miles?!?), this movie gave me all the feels. It follows the journey of a young woman with an unpleasant demeanor living an incredibly unhealthy lifestyle in NYC. Brittany sets her sights on the New York City Marathon after being told by her doctor that she needs to lose weight. The movie follows both her athletic training journey towards the marathon and her goal weight, as well as her character development. I loved this film because it didn’t follow a stereotypical narrative resulting in a stick-thin figure; the message was far less about the number on the scale, and more so about Brittany’s self-image, evolving discipline, and the relationships she was able to build as a result of pursuing her fitness goals. 

These are some of my favorites. What are yours? Let me know your suggestions and reviews in the comments section! And if these films have got you in the mood to make big changes, check out HealthyWage. Their online, individual challenges provide you with the accountability and financial incentives to accomplish your weight loss goals! Play around with variables such as weight, challenge timeframe, and wager amount on the HealthyWager calculator to see how your return on investment could be as great as 300%!

Kelly O'Donnel

An avid Colorado outdoors enthusiast, fitness for me means engaging in a lifestyle I enjoy! You can find me on the weekends hiking in the Rocky Mountains with a dog I've borrowed, or traveling to a new place to run an adventure race. A clinical researcher by training, I'm passionate about applying evidence-based principles to wellness.

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