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    10 Reviews
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      13.05.2002 17:00
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      Shape is not a magazine I would normally chose to buy, but when a copy ends up in my hands, as it invariably does, I usually flick through before chucking it under my bed where all things that need to be banished from sight but still can’t, for some unknown reason, be thrown away, live. Published monthly by Dennis Publishing, Shape is, as the name would suggest, concerned with all things healthy and fitnessey. They’re a little over the top with their accepting yourself and worshipping life emphasis – all their sections have the L word in the title – love your health, love your body, love your world and so on. Unlike some other magazines, this one manages to strike a nice balance between health issues (good detail, but only about those affecting 20 – 40 year old women really), fashion (not too many pages, “average” sized models and most importantly wearable clothes), fitness tips ( achievable goals from followable plans) and food advice ( yummy recipes and not too much focus on dieting). They even have a travel section, with self-indulgent holiday ideas as well as the usual spa breaks and hiking trips. They don’t give freebies all that often, but when they do they’re good ones – clothes, books, extra magazines and so on. The magazine itself often features funky offers, whether they be for half price facials or free product samples. Competitions usually feature holidays either abroad or in this country as prizes – so not just a year’s subscription and a 10 year old goody bag then. Although as all mags it contains a fair num of adverts, the majority of these are contained to the last few pages where they have a classified section, making them easy to skip through (unless you are actually in the market for a boob job or cyber sex partner). The features are usually well researched and written in a nice readable way. They have quizzes with a twist – instead o
      f a list of boring questions about what you’d do if you caught your partner cheating on you, they have lifestyle related tests, such as “will you age faster than your friends?” I’m happy to say that I won’t – the combo of my skin tone, my smoking and drinking habits (never) and the amount of sleep I get, I should be looking 17 for the rest of my life. Which is better than, y’know, looking 70. They feature readers quite a lot, whether it be for “day in the life of a typical…..” or for their success stories section, where now thin and fit types show off their bloater pics. Why you can’t deny are always fun to look at. On the negative side, the magazine seems very much geared to losing weight – even if you’re into keeping in shape and being fit and healthy it might not be the mag for you. Also, the make up section seems a little pointless to me – in terms of sports, you’d just sweat it off anyway, and for daytime / evenings, I never see the point in showing people how to cover up the healthy glow they developed as a result of their work out – surely slightly flushed cheeks are more attractive the milky white ones? I took 2 of my 3 free issues of Shape on holiday with me, but was soon bored: there just isn’t enough detail or depth in any of the articles to keep you engrossed for long enough. Overall, it’s a nice all round magazine but not really my thing. Because they cover so many different areas, they just cannot delve into any one in as much detail as I’d like. Which is a shame, because if they got that right, they might be onto a winner. Final verdict has to be though, if all you want is to get into shape, then getting into Shape is not necessarily the best way to do it. Shape Magazine - £2.60 / month For subscription details call 01454 642448 Website : www.shapmag.com

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        26.06.2001 19:12
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        I buy at least or two health magazines every month and I am ver happy with them, however for a change this time I decided to pick up a copy of Shape. Inside I found one or two articles of interes, but I found the content very 'bitty'. Lots of snippets of information and one page features. I suppose I shouldn't compare it to my other mags (Here's Health - Excellent, and Top Sante - REally good) as it is concerend specifically with 'shape' and my real interests lie not so much in body beautiful, as in alternative health. Because of this though I didn't find Shape that appealing. The magazine is printed on extremely thick glossy pages with loads of adverts. Perhaps they need an excess of ads to pay for the quality paper? However I would have liked to have seen more relevant content for my interests on thinner paper. I'm sure this magazine will appeal to manyreaders, it's just not my cup of tea.

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        13.06.2001 04:18
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        I subscribed to Shape magazine at first just to find out what it was all about. Expecting to find waif thin models - I was wrong. I found inside Shape there are inspiring articles from those trying or who have succeeded in their fitness goals. There are great tips for losing weight and keeping it off. And ideas for having an all- around healthy lifestyle. There is also a question and answer section, where a lot of questions are asked that pertain to the everyday person. The models inside the magazine are fit and healthy not waif thin. If you want to keep fit or just lose weight this magazine will inspire you!

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          09.05.2001 22:05
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          I was recomended Shape magazine by a freind as there was an article about Binge eating in it that I might have found useful... With trepidation I approached the magazine stand at our local Asda and searched for this magazine I was not surpeised to find that with a name like Shape the cover featured a scampily clad super thin super model which only made me feel even more like super blob...... However with my friends comments in mind procedded to purchace said mag.. WOW it was a breath of fresh air no critisium. No must have body shape or size no preaching just really good sencible advice on the whole diet and health issue.. I have only bought 1 copy but will not be put of by nubile young model on the front cover again and may even purchase another copy. And as for the article about health farms... well given my choice Mauritius here I come....

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          03.10.2000 20:10
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          I somehow won a 6 month subscription to Shape magazine which is just as well as I would never chose to buy it. This doesn't reflect on the magazine itself, its just that I've never had an overwhelming interest in fitness and health. This aside I was impressed with the magazine and the range of articles and topics that it covered. It tries to encompass all areas of health and fitness and almost succeeds. The main topic areas covered by Shape are - Getting fit - exercises you can do at home, different types of classes that you may not know much about eg Pilates, a weight loss diary of some poor person so you can know that you are not alone in your weight struggles and also the success stories of people whose weight loss has changed their lives. Eat right - this covers how to eat properly and healthily and has a wonderful section on how to turn all those naughty recipes into healthier ones without losing taste! Think healthy- this covers fitness news and spiritual health. It also covers will power which is incredibly important when you are trying to diet or get fit. Look right - covers beauty advice, beauty product reviews, beauty treatments, fashion and home decorating. Go places - covers holiday destinations with a fitness slant eg best places for scuba diving. There are a variety of problem pages including an exercie Q&A by coaches and professional athletes as well as the traditional problem page. This is answered by a psychologist, a hairdresser (!) and a new age guru so the answers can be very interesting but normally boil down to the same thing! As someone with a passing interest in fitness, I found the magazine to be reader friendly and can be understood by a complete novice. Everything was explained in unambiguous terms which is essential if you are starting out on a new fitness regime for the first time. The advice was sensible and simple and easy to do even if you don't have much time. There was t
          he odd superfluous article about some famous supermodel which most of us can easily do without. One thing that did stand out was the number of readers letters from women who had suffered, or were suffering from eating disorders. All these letters praised the magazine and said how much it had helped them. This magazine is one of the few that combines diets with health advice - something that should never be separated. Overall I think it was a good well balanced magazine with very sensible advice for normal women, a few superfluous articles but easy to pick up and read.

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            30.08.2000 04:02
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            This is not a mag I'd have picked off the shelf. I am interested in fitness and am a regular gym user, but I tend to look for something more in a mag than 101 tips on how to be slim and toned. If you are more serious than me about fitness and health, or maybe just if you have more time for this kind of thing, then this may be a mag you'd want to buy regularly. I admit to finding more of the articles interesting than I anticipated, but still would not buy this. Leading articles include "Burn 1000 extra Calories a week!", which is not as tedious an article as I would have expected, "Christy's Curves", which I couldn't even summon up enough interest to read, and "20 New Ways to Stop Stress Eating" which was probably the best article I've read on the subject! There is a problem page for fitness queries which is interesting and helpful, but also a lot of very uninteresting and uninspiring pages full of the kind of articles which thankfully fill up fewer pages in other mags. I accept that real fitness fanatics might find this the ideal mag, but for someone juggling keeping fit along with running a hone and looking after a family, not to mention working, and for whom being fit is less than a total preoccupation, I'd say look elsehwere for something to read, unless like me, you get it free off the net!

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            24.08.2000 05:56

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            I used to buy this magazine when I worked in America and was very pleased when a UK version was published. Health magazines tend to either be glossy magazines with lots of articles about lipstick and not much on health. Or they tend to be serious magazines which aren't exactly light reading. Shape does contain serious articles on health and fitness. Unlike many fitness magazines they also publish articles about mental health as well, I have seen excellent articles on eating disorders and self-esteem issues. I like the design of this magazine as it is very fresh and modern, I find the photography inspires me to get out there and get fit! My only criticism of this magazine is that it uses very skinny models which undermines their focus on fitness, rather than thinness, and all the articles about eating disorders. Surely there are some slim, not skinny, models out there?! Shape is a good read and worth buying if you are interested in health and fitness.

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            18.08.2000 13:55
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            You can tell this is an American magazine - simply because it doesn't assume all its readers are downright stupid. It can tell you that an excercise will challenge your obliques, for example, without finding it necessary to interrupt the narrative to tell you what these are. That doesn't mean this is only a health and fitness magazine for experts, far from it - if you don't know where your obliques are, to use that example, there will be a handy anatomical diagram next to the story. This is health and fitness for those who take the subject seriously. It cites a wealth of academic and commercial sources to back up its right on the button stories about what the latest thinking is in all areas of the subject matter. It's also highly motivational, but not in that overwhelming way that some American publications can have. Having waxed lyrical, it must be said the Enlish edition isn't as good as the US one, not least because they've 'dumbed it down' for the UK market. Now that really is sad

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              17.08.2000 07:29
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              I was one of the lucky people who had an opportunity to receive a free 6 months subscription on "Shape" magazine via Internet . Soon I've received my first free issue. To be honest I didn't expect much from it, I thought it would be one of the hundreds other magazines- all the same, nothing special. But what a surprise? Almost each page had something interesting to read. You will find a lot of information about healthy diets (with lots of recipes and great pictures), exercises- to flatten your belly fast for example, useful suggestions on how to use herbal medicines and not damage your health, horoscopes and much more. My favorite page is about products for body, hair or skin where you can find different opinions on different products including the information on where you can get it and how much you should pay. This is really helpful. (I didn't know about dooyoo at that time) So far I received all 6 issues and have read them all with pleaser. And would definitely buy it from time to time.

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              03.07.2000 06:47
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              Last year, I was one of the lucky people to receive three free issues of this magazine through a website promotion. I originally wrote a scathing review on dooyoo after reading the first two issues which, to be perfectly honest, didn’t impress me very much. Incidentally, the third one didn’t even arrive. I am not into health in fitness in a big way - well not in a big enough way to buy a magazine about it although I have bought "Zest" a few times. I do the odd aerobics class, have a swim once in a while and on occasions have been known to set foot in my local gym. As a result, I found the issues of Shape unappealing as they did not have any articles which were of use to me. My luck was in again when I received a letter (from another website) telling me that I had won a free subscription for six months to Shape magazine. At that time I couldn’t think of a worse prize as the postman refused to post the magazine through the letter box and would wake up the whole house (usually on a Saturday morning) to deliver a magazine that I didn’t want and didn’t like! However, much to my surprise, I actually ending up reading the magazine and enjoying some of the articles in it. There are a variety of articles each month which deal with issues such as eating a balanced diet, basic (and advanced) exercises and toning up problem areas. There are also useful problem pages dealing with general health and fitness queries. They have run articles on complementary medicine, mental health and eating disorders and have a small selection of beauty reviews and advice. Some of their low fat recipes looked both simple to make and delicious but, as ever, I didn’t get around to making any. There were other articles which didn’t offer anything new and almost seemed like a re-hash of topics written about in other magazines. As someone who doesn’t read health and fitness magazines very often, I wa
              s surprised at this but have to admit that in later issues there was more diversification of topics and the magazine generally improved overall. As with many women’s magazines around (not just health and fitness ones), there is a lot of emphasis put on the "perfect body". This was the same with Shape as on one page there would be an article about feeling good about yourself and how to get the motivation to lose weight and on the other page would be a picture of an anorexic-looking model. To me this is nothing new and is something that probably many of you are used to in other magazines, but Shape seemed to be trying to convey the message that not everyone is stick thin and were offering practical advice on how to get fit and healthy. Perhaps the use of more "ordinary sized" models might have been an idea especially in the section about clothes to wear in the gym. For me, as far as health and fitness magazines go, this was as good as any but, to be honest, was not my cup of tea. This is no reflection on the magazine but on myself as I don’t really have much interest in fitness publications. If, however, you regularly go to the gym and are looking for practical advice and tips then you should go and pick up a copy to see if it is something that might be able to help. My free subscription ended a while back and, although I haven’t bought it since, I may consider getting it in the future. Especially as I need to lose a few pounds here and there before I even think about going on holiday in the summer!

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