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Skip the Fitness Mags at the Gym

A recent study presented at the Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has found that fitness magazines may be doing more harm than good for some women.

Apparently, some women who read fitness magazines featuring hyper-fit, images of women while working out, reported more anxiety and depression than those who read magazines with no idealized images. The reasoning is because it is hard to feel good about our own bodies when looking at an idealized image of a body with no flaws whatsoever. The catch for me is I love fitness magazines. These magazines are often full of great workout ideas and tips that you may want to have along with you at the gym, so think about ripping them out and bringing them with you, instead of the whole magazine. Still need to read something while on the stationary bike? Try non-fitness magazines, novels, or autobiographies of powerful women instead.

This reminds me of a post I did before that shows an altered magazine cover, before and after. Pretty interesting, so check it out.


Join The Conversation
juju4 juju4 10 years
I used to love Shape. They had a lot of great recipes that had tons of protein and fiber in them. They stressed healthy eating and really encouraged women to do weight training. Now, they have gone more towards fashion and beauty. They'll have maybe one or two recipes per issue, and they are featuring more airbrushed celebrities than they used to. I still like their true stories though....they are really inspirational!
inertia inertia 10 years
I really don't like the fitness magazines and have been avoiding them for fear of "triggers." I only just reached a BMI which is close to normal, after several years of being extremely underweight. I started going to the gym to improve my overall health and have been struggling to keep myself from going on a strict diet since, because the exercise has been building muscle which makes me weigh more. My body fat is well into the below-normal range and yet I'm not even close to as defined as these models. That's bad enough. Throw in the countless "lose weight!" articles in those magazines, and it's almost a foregone conclusion that I'll be dieting again until one of my family members whacks me upside the head. So, no fitness mags for me.
bigestivediscuit bigestivediscuit 10 years
Sometimes I read fitness mags and they motivate me, but I do feel more positive about myself and even MORE motivated when I read things like Fit's blog here :) and the health sections of Glamour, etc.
SU3 SU3 10 years
I guess I have mixed emotions about this. Yes, the airbrushing and re-touching are a bit ridiculous sometimes, BUT I also find some of those fitness magazines to be very informative and motivational.
bethiesny bethiesny 10 years
I've been reading Self for several years now, but I opted to not renew my subscription because I can't stand to look at the female bodies in this magazine. They are all way too perfect - they don't inspire me, they depress me. And Self also tends to feature celebrities who are way too thin (IMO) like Ellen Pompeo or who don't have to workout or diet to look the way they do (or so they say). When they DO feature someone more 'normal,' like Megan Mullally, they stick her in the back of the magazine, not of the cover. I'd love to find a magazine that offers more substance than, say, Weight Watchers Magazine, but doesn't feature unattainable (for most of us - definitely for me) bodies. Phew - I'm done now. :-)
mwmsjuly19 mwmsjuly19 10 years
I subscribe to every major fitness mag there is. But I don't read much at the gym. Sometimes during a cooldown. But I find the women inspiring, too. They give me the push I need to work a harder and longer. I feel better about myself, not worse -- even though I know I'll never be as ripped (and airbrushed) as some of the models...
amiemoos amiemoos 10 years
I've never read a fitness mag in my life! I tend to just get fitness info from the health sections in women's mags like Glamour, or dare I say it, Vogue! Plus, fitsugar is a pretty awesome place for finding motivating articles!
sls1825 sls1825 10 years
The pics in fitness mags have never effected me. I've always just read them for the workouts.
rubialala rubialala 10 years
Don't read the ones already at the gym, bring your own, cuz of the germs. :P
JennaV JennaV 10 years
I agree with JBlondie.
JBlondie JBlondie 10 years
I actually find fitness magazines inspiring and informative.
melda melda 10 years
I'm sure those pics are all airbrushed but some guys think all girls should be like that
cravinsugar cravinsugar 10 years
I would recommend not bringing any mags. ALL of them contain (well almost all, unless you are reading canoe and kayak fishing or something) idealized images of women with no flaws (airbrushed)
DesignRchic DesignRchic 10 years
Usually when I'm in a determined state of mind, those fitness magazines motivate me (bought one 2 days ago). It's when I've mini-binged and I'm feeling guilty that those magazines make me feel worse.
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