I bought Women’s Walking magazine this week, for two reasons:
- It’s a new magazine (the current issue is only no. 2) and I thought it might contain a market opportunity
- I like walking but didn’t realise that such a simple exercise could need a whole magazine devoted to it
As far as market opportunities go, I’m not too hopeful:
Flicking through the pages and looking at the credentials of some of the magazine’s contributors tells me that I’m not qualified to pitch anything remotely related to the Health, Nutrition, Workout and Fitness sections of the magazine.
There’s a couple of ‘Real-Life’ features, one about a woman who lost seven stone by walking and another about a woman who walked her way back to health after an accident. Nothing so dramatic has happened to me (thank goodness!) so no openings there.
There’s a ‘My Life’ page, which tells the part that walking plays in the life of one individual woman. This month it is Pippa Kendrick, a published food writer – so I don’t think they’re looking for any Tom, Dick or Sally.
That leaves me to dream up a more general article. The magazine includes one this month on charity fundraising (for sponsored walks) plus a list of the best walking marathons. I’ve done a few 26 mile walks, so I wonder if I could do something along those lines…
But I think the best place to start is with the letters page – there’s a pair of walking shoes worth £90 for the star letter, nothing for the others. Nine letters were published in issue 2, mostly praising the magazine and describing what walking means to the writer. I’m going to think of something different!
And is it possible to devote a whole magazine to women’s walking? It appears so but there’s also lots of stuff in there about general fitness and equipment too. I particularly liked one of their tips for getting a flatter stomach – apparently a good night’s sleep is essential, people getting between five and six hours sleep have bigger waistlines than those sleeping for seven or eight hours – I like the idea of toning up whilst I’m dreaming!
So what do the rest of you do to combat the sedentary life of a writer? I go to the occasional BodyCombat class – lots of kicking and punching at an imaginary partner is great for getting rid of aggression – and I find swimming helps me think.
#1 by ian smith on March 3, 2013 - 8:41 am
I’d bet this is from the same publisher as Country Walking magazine. A year or so ago, they launched a briefly-lived publication aimed at the adrenaline junkie end of the walking/running/climbing fraternity, with a comparable high-profile suite of contributors and topics.
Personally, I’d be surprised if there is enough of a niche for this new magazine, but it would be lovely to be proved wrong
Country Walking magazine covers a variety of topics, aiming on the whole to be “user friendly” for the vast majority of walkers (who cover a few miles at a time on the odd weekend) and those who like to think they are (buy a nice fleece or anorak at a walking shop in Keswick but never go more than 400 yards from the car). Fitness, food and diet, footwear, clothing and equipment, areas of the country to visit, a couple of regular columns and descriptions of a load of walks in every issue. Their footwear and clothing reviews specifically mention items designed or cut to be more comfortable for women. They also have a prize letter – I won a pair of lovely walking boots from them a couple of years ago (RRP £160).
#2 by Sally Jenkins on March 3, 2013 - 7:00 pm
Thanks for all this info, Ian. It’s really useful to hear about different magazines and what they cover. Well done on the prize letter, too. It would be nice if Women’s Walking Magazine can stay the course – the more publications the better for us writers. I suppose it’s the advertisers who ultimately decide their fate. I’ll look out for Country Walking.
#3 by blogaboutwriting on March 3, 2013 - 9:04 am
Sally – nice to see a new magazine on the market, even if it does appear to be quite specialised! I used to go to Body Combat and loved it but I think it would kill me now! I like swimming too and try to go at least twice a week but I don’t really find it helps me think or get ideas – I’m too busy counting lengths!
#4 by Sally Jenkins on March 3, 2013 - 7:01 pm
I don’t count lengths, Helen – takes too much concentrating! I swim up and down for 35 to 40 mins and then I call it a day.
#5 by Julia on March 3, 2013 - 9:45 am
I’ve looked at this magazine, too, and reached the same conclusions. I tend to think that if I can do something, I should be able to write about it; but selling to a specialist publication isn’t as easy as we might hope. As for combatting writer’s bum, you won’t be surprised to learn that yoga is my main activity, but I also love Zumba. The secret of success is to think of it as dancing, not exericse. That makes it even more fun!
#6 by Sally Jenkins on March 3, 2013 - 7:06 pm
I’ve never done Zumba, Julia but I know it’s very popular. I do like Bodybalance which is a mixture of yoga, pilates & Thai Chi (not sure how you spell that last one). From your photo you certainly look good on all that yoga – and I guess it has spirtual benefits as well as just the physical.
Also, congrats on your Limerick comp win in Freelance Market News!
#7 by jac dowling on March 3, 2013 - 9:52 am
Along our southern african coastline we have many lighthouses; some remote, others less so. Each year a group of local women from our small town walk, for charity, between two lighthouses, over a period of three to four days. They’re remarkable women and have raised a considerable amount of much needed money for charities of their choice. Their next walk begins on March 17th. I wish them well.
#8 by Sally Jenkins on March 3, 2013 - 7:08 pm
That sounds quite a challenge, Jac but I bet they have some fun along the way as well as raising much needed funds.
#9 by Wendy Clarke on March 3, 2013 - 10:39 am
Hi Sally. I walk, swim, zumba and above all dance (at least 3 times a week).
#10 by Sally Jenkins on March 3, 2013 - 7:09 pm
When do you find time to write, Wendy!
#11 by Nanny_cool on March 3, 2013 - 11:39 am
So if I take sleeping tablets and sleep for hours will I wake up looking like a size 10? Or is that just me dreaming. X
#12 by Sally Jenkins on March 3, 2013 - 7:10 pm
If only …., nannycool!
#13 by susanjanejones on March 3, 2013 - 12:42 pm
That looks quite good, as you say I’m not sure how it’ll last on the one subject. I go to the gym or swim three times a week. They open at 7 o’clock on three days and that fits in with me being able to go before work. It makes me feel better. I used to walk a lot around the woodlands, but it doesn’t feel as safe as it used to, shame about that. Good luck if you have a go Sally. I might send a letter in. The Holland and Barratt magazine ‘Healthy’ is another good one. Used to be free, but now you have to pay.
#14 by Sally Jenkins on March 3, 2013 - 7:12 pm
I haven’t seen the Holland & Barrett magazine, Susan. I’ll look for it. It’s a shame that you don’t feel safe walking but you’re right any sort of exercise does make you feel better mentally as well as physically. I think it also gives you more energy for the rest of the day.
#15 by Patsy on March 3, 2013 - 1:06 pm
Maybe there’s scope for an article on how walking helps a writer think up plotlines and stops their bum getting too big for the office chair?
#16 by Sally Jenkins on March 3, 2013 - 7:13 pm
Good idea, Patsy – would it be better in a walking mag or a writing mag, I wonder?
#17 by Linda on March 3, 2013 - 2:19 pm
Just found your post after coming home from a stroll round the village …
It was supposed to be a brisk, get-fit-lose-weight type of walk with my husband but we had to call in at the shop, stop to read the notice board, stop several times for chats with other people (it’s a friendly village), pause for a good ten minutes to watch the buzzards …
Women’s walking does seem a very narrow subject for a magazine, especially as there are lots of other walking and fitness mags on the market, but they might be interested in personal experience stories and anything that looks at walking from an unusual angle.
#18 by Sally Jenkins on March 3, 2013 - 7:15 pm
I think an original angle is the key, Linda. Unfortunately it’s not always to find. I suppose it calls for some sort of brainstorming session on all things walking-related.
#19 by Robin Houghton on March 4, 2013 - 1:10 pm
Walking has always been big (ish) in the US – when I was working for adidas over there we spent a lot of time in focus groups talking to walkers about what they needed in a sports shoe. Mall-walking is a popular suburban pursuit – groups of walkers who gather in shopping malls before they open for the day, to do their fitness walking and window shopping at the same time 🙂
#20 by Sally Jenkins on March 4, 2013 - 1:23 pm
Thanks for dropping by, Robin. Mall-walking sounds a great way of motivating women to walk! I’ve never heard of it before.
#21 by Tracy Fells on March 4, 2013 - 2:19 pm
Thanks for the heads up on this new mag Sally. To combat the famous writer’s bottom I try to get out for some exercise every day, either to walk, run or go for a swim. All really help me to plot and pull out a story too, so killing 2 birds etc.
#22 by Sally Jenkins on March 4, 2013 - 8:06 pm
It does help to get away from the desk doesn’t it, Tracy? Wish I could say that I did something every day though.
#23 by Debbie W on March 4, 2013 - 5:12 pm
Hello Sally, I’ve been walking in Italy last week and have lost 2lbs. Also, my stomach is flatter than it was when I flew out there, lol. It is the walking that has done it as I certainly wasn’t missing out on pasta and pizza. I would recommend walking as a great exercise to lose weight. It’s interesting a whole magazine can be devoted to the subject.
#24 by Sally Jenkins on March 4, 2013 - 8:07 pm
That’s great Debbie, losing weight on holiday! Most of us put it on.
#25 by Marion Lloyd on November 3, 2019 - 9:45 am
Hello – iv been trying to find this magazine to subscribe to.
Any suggestions- the website is unavailable.
#26 by Sally Jenkins on November 3, 2019 - 11:59 am
Hi Marion – Sorry I can’t help. I wrote this post 6 years ago so the magazine my now be defunct if you can’t find it online or in the shops. Apologies! Sally.