We haven't done one of these puppies in a long time, so brace yourself. It's time for our head-to-head magazine ruuummmbbbllle! Today we have Health dueling it out with Women's Health for the title of best health-related July/August issue! Almost a year ago, Healthwon Erin's vote for top healthy lifestyle mag, and today that crown will be tested. For this literary fight, three cover promises from each mag will be tested. Now let's get it on! In the, er, boxing way that is...
Health, July/August 2009 180 pages of healthy stuff
Cover Promise 1: Star Trek's Jennifer Morrison Okay, so this wasn't really a promise, but I totally judge magazines on whether or not they really interviewed the celeb and didn't get just a boring, typical "I work out and eat right" story. This Q&A wasn't like that, thankfully, although it is really short. Jennifer is pretty candid in it and even gives one tip I've never heard for getting over a bad day—watching an old subtitled French film! She says it calms her and makes her brain engaged in something other than the negativity. I'll have to try that.
Cover Promise 2: #1 Flat Belly Secret This one actually surprised me! I was expecting standing crunches or wood chops or something, but instead, I got a hula hoop workout. And a creative one at that. I'm not sure if it's enough to make me go out and buy a hula hoop, but if you have one at home, go ahead and flip to page 45, and give that dusty thing some use!
Cover Promise 3: Your Happiest Summer! Happy summer? Count me in! This article was a guide to "tweaking your everyday routine for free and easy summer living." And, it's full of good tips that you haven't already read a million times. With fun suggestions like giving your Spanx and heels the summer off and a better-for-you sangria recipe, I really did feel lighter after reading this piece. Oh, and there's a walk/strength workout that just uses just your body weight. Bonus!
In Sum: This more mature-in-feel mag isn't boring, and with its sane approach to healthy living, it totally makes you feel better about yourself, a rarity in the women's mag world!
Women's Health, July/August 2009 158 pages of women's healthy stuff
Cover Promise 1: Mandy Moore I like Mandy Moore. She's never shown her bits to the paparazzi, she's low-key, and she looks like a healthy little lady. And after reading this article, it's apparent that she's all those things, and not quite as goody-goody as we think she is (the article divulges that she has a tattoo of a baby sperm on her foot). This piece is more about her recent marriage to rocker Ryan Adams than fitness, but you do get a little on her balanced lifestyle of hiking, Pilates and acupuncture.
Cover Promise 2: Hot Body Secrets! It cracks me up when they put exclamation points on article titles. I mean the whole mag is practically screaming at you with its different fonts and colors, and the exclamation point seems a bit redundant, doesn't it? Anywhoey, this quick feature (it's just four pages and two of those are pretty pics) is less about what exercises you do and more about how to stay motivated. It cites a bunch of fascinating research including how to find your intrinsic reason for working out and how to keep it going strong (hint: have workout buddies).
Cover Promise 3: Ditch the Gym I work out from home at least a few times a week, so this title grabbed my interest like a clearance sign at the Nike store. And this workout for on the go or at home (with no equipment!) is awesome. In a fun, fold-out format, this 9-exercise workout is made up of super-sets, where you do two exercises back-to-back for one total set. The moves are great for the whole body, but especially the core with planks, side planks, T push-ups and side lunges. It's so good that I wish we had come up with it for BusinessBalance.com!
In Sum: This isn't just a fitness or health magazine. With articles on sex, fashion and career, it's a well-rounded pub. I wish there was more fitness and nutrition, but the articles they do have are darn good, and the tone is young and fresh.
The FBG Verdict: While both mags have good stuff, if you're looking for more fitness than anything else, go for Health. If okay with a mix of Cosmo and Shape, hit up Women's Health. Additionally, those under the age of 25 will probably like Women's Health more, while those over 25 years of age will most likely enjoy Health more.