Monday, July 31, 2006

health magazine: THE ARE MAD

By Esther Auyong

July 31, 2006

MAD. That's what some of Madam Evelyn Toh's friends labelled her.

The 35-year-old assistant manager gets up at 5am to squeeze in a swim before work - a 1.5km stretch to be exact. She does this twice a week.

After work, she runs up to 21km twice a week and over the weekend, she rides 78km on her bicycle. That's like riding from Changi to Jurong, and back!

Madam Toh also goes to the gym where she does strength training for up to 90 minutes.

And she goes through the pain because she's into triathlons, biathlons and such gruelling races.

Triathlons are races where participants have to swim, cycle and run certain distances. The Olympic distances are 1,500m of swimming, 40km of cycling and a 10km run.

Biathlons involve swimming and running, while adventure races can include other activities such as abseiling, kayaking and caving.

Madam Toh is among an increasing number of women here whose mantra seems to be 'MAD' - Must Attempt the Distance.

Women triathletes, adventure racers and competitive runners come from all walks of life - from young professionals in their 20s and 30s to grandmothers in their 60s.

Race organisers and sports companies are vying to capture the hearts and wallets of these women.

Mr Jack Chen, a project director with sports marketing company Enterprise Sports Group (ESG) noted that more women had been taking part in competitive running events.

For instance, last year, close to 6,000 women took part in races offered in the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon, compared to 3,900 in 2004.

Going by this trend, he is not surprised if even more women are taking part this year.

'Marketeers are just beginning to realise the potential of tapping into the women's market,' Mr Chen said.

ESG, founded last year, is involved in organising various local and overseas races, like the Beijing Triathlon and the recent OSIM Singapore Triathlon.

Their clients also include Adidas Singapore and insurance company Aviva.

Mr Chen added: 'With the rise in the number of women getting fit, there will be a demand for equipment, clothes and even, events.'

For example, there's a viable participation rate for women-only events, like the run organised by women health magazine Shape.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

health magazine: Gadgets to Improve Your Health and Your Relationship

July 25, 2006 — Spending time together would be so much easier if you could only use the same iPod during a workout or not fight over cooking space while camping. Nicole Beland, deputy editor of Women's Health magazine, recommends some products that will help a couple spend their precious time together better.

1.Belkin Headphone Splitter, $4,

This device allows the two of you to listen to the same music while you exercise.

2. Om Yoga in a Box for Couples, $25,

Yoga helps your core, and couples yoga can also strengthen your bond.

Researchers at the University of North Carolina found that intimate touching, like the kind done in couples yoga, releases oxytocin, the hormone associated with emotional closeness.

Yoga in a Box includes two CDs, 70 flashcards, a yoga belt, incense and a mood candle.

3. Hammacher Schlemmer Progression Wake Up Clock, $50,

This progression wake-up clock gently wakes you with gradual ambient light, lively nature sounds and aromatherapy scents. It could lead to a few minutes of morning cuddling.

4. Motorola Talkabout SX700 Two-Way Radios, $80 per pair,

Many couples like outdoor vacations, but cell phone service can be sketchy in the backcountry. Two-way radios can be a more reliable mode of communication.

With a range of up to 12 miles, these 22-channel walkie-talkies keep you connected and are very handy in case of an emergency.

5. Coleman RoadTrip LXE Grill, $170,

This large grill offers almost 2 square feet of cooking surface to accommodate two people who may want to cook different things.

6. Schwinn Sierra Tandem, $899,

On this two-seater, the person upfront controls almost everything — breaks, gear and speed.

The Schwinn Sierra features 21 speeds, a bump-dampening suspension fork, and disk brakes for stop-on-a-dime security.

7. Traveler Collection champagne coolers from the house of Veuve Clicquot: The Clicquot Traveler, $80 and The City Traveler, $50,

A neoprene lining keeps a previously chilled bottle of champagne cool for two hours.

The Clicquot Traveler is larger and includes a 750-millimeter bottle of Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label and two flutes. The City Traveler, which is even more portable, transports a half bottle of Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label.

Both double as stylish handbags, vanity cases, swimming bags or weekend totes.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

health magazine: A big weight off mind and body for Lucilla


LUCILLA Marshall says she used to wonder why other women were so obsessed with shopping.

Now 55kg lighter than her top weight of 120kg and a size 10 rather than a size 22, Ms Marshall says it was a mystery no longer.

“When I bought my first size 10 jeans I thought ‘I get it’ and now I love going shopping,” she said.

Ms Marshall, 34, said she had had a weight problem throughout her teens and adulthood but it wasn’t until Christmas 2004 when she saw a photograph of herself taken by a friend that “something in my brain switched on”.

“I was a very sad and tired size 22 and it was affecting my relationships,” she said.

“It was difficult to walk up stairs and I couldn’t chase the kids.

“It just got to the point where I thought ‘I can do better’.”

Ms Marshall said the first issue was dismissing the idea that with four children under the age of five and working full-time that she had no time for exercise.

“I felt guilty taking time out for myself but without the support of my partner Stephen it would have been impossible,” she said.

“I also had a lot of support from friends and people at work and that enables you to keep going and is a huge motivator.

“I started out very slowly and walked at least five days a week for half an hour, getting up at 6am before everyone else was awake.

“Now I walk on the weekend for an hour and a half.”

Ms Marshall said she combined her new exercise regime with a diet in which she ate only healthy food.

“I am now a huge salad fan and although I was fussy when I was a child, my kids will eat anything put in front of them.

Ms Marshall is now one of 10 finalists in Slimming and Health magazine’s Slimmer of the Year 2006. Details of the competition and how to vote for her are located at the website

Ms Marshall said 12 months after her weight loss began in January last year, she had returned to her hometown of Armidale in NSW to find old friends didn’t recognise her when she passed them in the street.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

health magazine:Being overweight at 18 bodes ill health for women

By Indo Asian News Service

New York, July 18 (IANS) Being overweight at 18 may increase pre-mature death risk among women, say researchers, but caution that the results need to be confirmed in other groups.

Rob van Dam and other researchers at Harvard School of Public Health studied 102,400 female American nurses who were 24 to 44 years old.

The study, started in 1989, recorded their current height and weight, what their height and weight was at age 18, their history of smoking, drinking alcohol and physical activity.

Premature death risk was higher for nurses who had been overweight or obese at age 18, even if they had only been moderately overweight based on their BMI (body mass index), reported the online edition of health magazine WebMD.

Researchers said the results need to be confirmed in other groups as most of the nurses were white and because self-reported data isn't always accurate.

For instance, the researchers found some under-reporting of weight when they checked some of the nurses' medical records, according to the study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

The journal also carries an editorial by an expert William Dietz, who notes that 'the reported effect of overweight on death has been controversial'.

But he sees little argument about links between obesity and adult diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

Losing extra weight may lower those risks, Dietz points out. Losing 10 percent of body weight can help curb obesity-related high blood pressure, blood fat problems, and glucose (blood sugar) intolerance.

Copyright Indo-Asian News Service

Friday, July 07, 2006

health magazine: When the picking's fresh

The Leaf-Chronicle

Vegetables from the Farmers Market, Dot's Truck Patch, Doalnara Organic Farm or any roadside stand have an advantage over the pretty produce on display at grocery stores.

They're fresh.

Ask anyone standing in line to buy Port Royal-grown tomatoes at the Farmers Market for $1.25 a pound why they choose to shop in the heat instead of the air-conditioned comfort of a grocery store, and they'll tell you the same thing. Fresh vegetables and fruit taste much better than specimens that have languished in a distribution warehouse or on a truck for days, weeks, or in the case of apples, even months before they reach your table.

"The reasons for buying locally produced food are compelling," Oklahoma-based organic farmers Emily Oakley and Mike Appel write in a 2005 edition of "Growing for Market." "These include the benefits of eating fresher, tastier and more nutritionally intact food, reducing air pollution and fossil fuel consumption through decreased transportation miles, greater variety selection, preserving farmland and open space, and keeping money within the local economy."

Only two farmers who sell produce at the Farmers Market grow the majority of their produce themselves, but the others buy direct from local Mennonites or farms within 100 miles of here. And that cuts the shipping time that eats away freshness.

Lester "The Fat Man" York, owner of Dot's Truck Patch, named after his late wife, says he buys much of his produce from Amish farmers. Right now, his store on Ashland City Road, also known as the 41A Bypass, is selling cantaloupe, seedless watermelon, honeydew melon, white peaches, nectarines, plums, lemons, lettuce, cabbage, acorn squash, yellow squash, zucchini, corn, okra, eggplant, bell peppers, Vidalia onions, potatoes, tomatoes and honey.

"I love them all," York says. "I can sit down to a vegetable dinner and not even have no meat, just as happy as I can be."

Asked why people should buy vegetables from Dot's Truck Patch instead of at a big grocery store, York's response is familiar. "Mine are fresher."

Writing for Health magazine, Mary Ann Howkins points out that kiwis shipped from New Zealand can be 6 months old before they hit your grocery store shelves. But if you're attentive, you can tell the prime pickings from those you should pass on.

"Be picky. This no-brainer bears repeating," Howkins writes. "When you're buying perishable greens like leaf lettuce, make sure they're in peak condition: If the outer leaves are wilted or their color has faded, it's a sign they're past their prime. Look for bright green caps on strawberries and green, flexible stems on grapes and cherries. The skin of fruits and vegetables should feel full. If it's loose, the fruit has lost moisture — not a good sign."

Of course, if you really want to know exactly how fresh your vegetables are, the best option is to grow them yourself. Although you're too late to plant warm-season vegetables this year, you can still get in some fall vegetables if you plant them in the next week or two.

"People think it takes a lot of land," says Ray Patterson, who sells his home-grown squash and tomatoes at the Farmers Market. "It doesn't."

His motivation?

"The freshness of it," he says. "You can take it and prepare it for a meal just as soon as you get it off the vine."

Originally published July 6, 2006

Monday, July 03, 2006

health magazine: Rodale goes to the movies

It takes the unusual step of running advertisements for Women's Health in theaters.

By Kurt Blumenau Of The Morning Call

''Women's Health is a new magazine. They're trying to build up brand equity any way they can.''

Can the ideal reader for a women's health magazine be found with her hands around a jumbo cup of soda, a tub of extra-buttery popcorn and a big box of Raisinets?

Rodale thinks so. The Emmaus publishing company advertised in movie theaters for the first time this spring, creating a 30-second commercial trailer for Women's Health, the recently launched counterpart to its hugely successful Men's Health magazine.

Rodale spent about $1 million on the campaign, which aired before blockbusters such as ''Mission Impossible III'' and ''The DaVinci Code'' at theaters in five major cities from late April to the start of June. The spot shows a woman being harassed by fashion models on magazine covers, before finally finding a friendly face on the cover of Women's Health.

''It's an empowering [publication],'' Kate Kelly Smith, the magazine's publisher, said of Women's Health. ''We celebrate everything that's right with women.''

Rodale officials said they consider the campaign a success. A similar television spot may follow, though talks are still in early stages.

Advertising industry analysts said they did not know of another magazine company taking its message to the movies.

On a broad level, though, they said Rodale's cinematic campaign fits in with a new sense of creativity among publishers. Companies such as Rodale are using new tools, such as podcasts and Internet campaigns, to reach their desired audiences anywhere they can, analysts said.

''If you know where your audience is going to be, you can pretty much target that,'' said Barry Janoff, executive editor of Brandweek, a marketing trade publication in New York City.

Rodale, founded in 1930, made its name as a publisher of magazines and direct-mail book titles about healthy living. In recent years, the company has switched its book-publishing focus to the mass market, scoring best-sellers such as ''The South Beach Diet,'' Al Gore's ''An Inconvenient Truth'' and Pete Rose's ''My Prison Without Bars.'' Its magazines include Runner's World and Prevention.

Rodale employs about 700 people locally, and also has operations in the publishing hub of New York City. It had revenues of about $550 million last year, up 13 percent.

$1 million campaign

Rodale officials declined to say how the $1 million ad campaign price tag compares with the company's typical promotional budget. It's no secret, though, that Rodale has high aspirations for Women's Health, which launched in October after five trial issues.

Rodale leaders have said the publication, which combines health, wellness, beauty and lifestyle elements, could redefine the category of women's health magazines, competing against established titles such as Self and Fitness. The company is trying to position Women's Health as a source of sensible, substantive personal advice to professional women between ages 25 and 39.

''At Women's Health, we're not about the rules, or the hunt, or the great big boy/girl game,'' Rodale declared in an ad campaign in trade publications that launched in March. ''We're about two people coming together, staying together and living together.''

Women's Health will have to do well to match its masculine predecessor. Men's Health, launched in 1986, has been called one of the most successful rollouts in magazine history. It had an average paid circulation of almost 1.8 million at the end of last year, according to a statement filed by Rodale with the Audit Bureau of Circulation.

Women's Health, which publishes 10 times per year, has a circulation of about 600,000, according to Rodale. By comparison, the more established Self and Fitness each claimed circulation between 1.4 million and 1.5 million, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. Self is published by Conde Nast, while Fitness is a Meredith Corp. title.

Women's Health is aimed at readers who want to ''be in the know,'' publisher Smith said. That includes wanting to see the year's big movies — one reason why Rodale and its New York ad agency, Margeotes Fertitta Powell, developed their cinematic pitch.