You Have to Check Out 'Running' Magazine's Cover

by Emma Cueto

Look at the cover of any given fitness magazine and you'll probably see a slim, active woman who is probably done up in makeup while supposedly working out. But this month at least one magazine is bucking that trend: the August issue of Running magazine features plus-size model Erika Schenk. Because not every person who is fit and active and loves to run fits into the same body type.

Schnek is herself an avid runner who has been doing it for a decade. She was being featured in the magazine this month, and while shooting her for the story, the editors apparently decided that there was no reason they shouldn't also use her image on their cover.

"There's a stereotype that all runners are skinny, and that's just not the case," Running editor-in-chief Jessica Sebor told "Runners come in all shapes and sizes. You can go [to] any race finish line, from a 5K to a marathon, and see that. It was important for us to celebrate that."

She added, "We wanted our readers to feel like they could see themselves in our cover."

And now, hopefully, they can. The issue hits the stands on July 21, and the cover — and Schenk herself — are both gorgeous and sure to make running fans happy.

In her feature in Running, Schenk told the magazine, "Some women believe that since they have curves they can't run or shouldn't run. ... Running is for every body, any time." And that's an important message to spread. Despite cultural assumptions about what healthy or active bodies look like, fitness can happen for people of any size, and being curvy doesn't mean you can't — or don't — enjoy exercise. Plus, research shows that your Body Mass Index doesn't correlate to your actual health nearly as much as we've been led to believe.

Basically, it's amazing to see a plus sized model on the cover of a fitness magazine — or any magazine for that matter. And here's hoping this becomes a regular thing.