Women’s Health is one of the fastest growing women’s magazine brands in the world. Launched in 2005 as a sister publication to Men’s Health, it now has 33 print editions in 55 countries with digital editions in 23 countries. Its read by 12.5 million unique users and followed by 17 million fans via social media.
Japan will now join this global community of “fitness, beauty, fashion, wellness and nutrition” through a partnership agreement between Rodale Inc., the global health and wellness content company based in the US, and Hearst Fujingaho Co., Ltd in Japan. New Women’s Health Japan editor-in-chief Kiriko Kageyama sees this as an opportunity for plenty of original Women’s Health articles to be written in Japan, the creation of unique video content and establishing local events.
Kageyama explains that “Women’s Health will have a unique positioning in Japan, covering all kinds of sports, and providing actionable, inspiring tips, the best health and fitness news, beauty and fashion.”
She also hopes to provide readers with content that bring a sense of joy to exercising, “triggering their sense of motivation. Beauty is seen as something that is also healthy,” says Kageyama. “To communicate this kind of healthful beauty, we will include some translated articles from overseas, but we also want to create and use plenty of original articles written in Japan…
“We will introduce local fitness stars – not those from the entertainment industry, but rather leaders in the world of fitness, including instructors of various sports, models who also teach yoga, or those who boxercise. We will feature people who are the embodiment of healthy beauty. We also plan to introduce Fit-Foodies – key influencers who inspire healthy eating.”
As fitness is the core pillar of Women’s Health, Kageyama plans to incorporate a wide variety of related subjects, including fashion, beauty, food, mental health and lifestyle to supplement this.
“We want to share practical information like bra tops that look stylish from the back, how to arrange your hair when doing sports, a selection of shops that offer fashionable athletic wear, or what to wear or bring when climbing Mount Fuji – without losing a sense of style.”
Content aimed at women enjoying sports will be a strong focus. “Currently there is no media (in Japan) providing information around this topic. Angles could include fashionable hair styles while exercising, make-up tips after taking a shower at the gym and the like.”
Other topics will include “sports travel” – for example, going on a kickboxing ‘holiday’ in Thailand, and how to find a romantic relationship through sport. “We want to provide information that is fun to read and fun to apply, and content that brings a sense of joy to the readers and the feeling that they can easily implement these changes in their own lives, triggering their sense of motivation.”
Despite Women’s Health Japan having some scope to appear in print as a supplement to Elle Japan, it will mainly be web-based. This is why Kageyama sees video content as a top priority. “We are currently creating content such as exercise videos that can be done at home to help viewers tone their bodies during small snippets of time they can find during their daily routine. We want to lower the hurdles to getting fit and suggest ways to create a lifestyle in which exercises can be incorporated in a fun way.”
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Kageyama established a foundation called RunGirl eight years ago and has been engaged in a wide range of activities related to running. “I know firsthand that when you move your body, you sweat. This melts away fatigue and stress, and you feel cleansed both in mind, spirit and body. Through Women’s Health, I hope to send out the message that exercising can shift your life in a more positive direction both in terms of your body and mind, and teach you to love yourself.”
RunGirl will be hosting an event called “RunGirl★Night” in September in the Tokyo Waterfront Subcenter district, and Women’s Health is set to be the media partner. Likewise, Women’s Health Japan will support the Elle Women in Society, an annual event that targets professional women, as well as the Hearst Fujingaho Beauty Festival.
By late June Women’s Health Japan should also start hosting monthly events. The first will be on the 28th of June – a yoga session with one of the magazine’s featured fitness instructors. This will be followed by more ‘fitness related’ events, similar to those supported or organised by Women’s Health titles around the globe. “Some of them are truly original,” says Kageyama, “like sports on a snow-covered mountain, or renting out an extravagant lodge for glamping and all day yoga. With the new title in Japan, we’re also aiming to establish events that stand out.”
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