Brenda is a strong business development professional with a focus on leading inspired teams and creating industry-leading content that seamlessly blends commerce. In addition to her work in digital, she is an internationally-recognised author, features writer and columnist.
Her book, Cinderella Was a Liar was printed in 11 countries and she has written for a long list of magazines and websites including, Inc.com, HuffPost, YourTango, Glamour, Redbook, Cosmo, Women’s Day, Men’s Health, The Mirror, The Sun, The Daily News and dozens of other publications.
1) Why is it important for you to include exercise in your busy schedule?
I refer to exercise as “recess” because I see it as the best form of self-care and a great way to avoid burnout. It’s a positive, proactive way to schedule “me time” that gives me space to brainstorm and relax which leads to more creativity and productivity. It also releases endorphins and makes me feel like I can take on the day with focus and in a more active mindset (as opposed to a reactive one).
2) What does your exercise routine involve?
I go for a mix of cardio and weights. I usually do about 30-60 minutes of interval cardio (bike, elliptical, Stairmaster or sprints) and then do weights or work with a kettlebell.
3) Do you think that exercise has played a role in your success?
Absolutely. I grew up with a lot of abuse in my life and working out and fitness has given me a feeling of being strong and in control. I have found that it has helped me beat anxiety and possible depression as well as given me an interest in athletes which led to my discovering my hero, Muhammad Ali who has influenced me in numerous ways.
4) When and where do you like to work out (morning/night – home/gym/outdoors)?
For me, there is nothing like an early morning workout in the gym. I feel so strong and it puts me in a great mood for the rest of the day. I love to take long walks with my fiance in places like Richmond Park m off days. I really enjoy moving. There are days when I don’t feel like getting up and going, I am human, after all, but I always remind myself that I never regret exercising after the fact.
5) Has exercise/fitness always been a part of your life?
No, not at all. I used to hate exercising but I really got into it after I left a not-so-great relationship that had stolen most of my self-confidence. It was a slow start but when I was getting up at 6 AM, blasting Jay Z and walking to the gym in Blizzards in New York, I knew that it had become a real part of my life. The more you go, the more gains you see, and they are not all related to appearance. I slept better, my digestive system worked better and I felt calmer. I love it.
6) Who is your role model?
One of my role models is Muhammad Ali whom I had the great honour of meeting long ago. This man was so disciplined and wise and had a beautiful mix of self-confidence, humour and charm. I truly think he was one of the greatest human beings to ever walk among us.
7) What is your favourite fitness quote?
I love a lot of Ali’s quotes and I will give you two. “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.” The other was an answer to a reporter asking how many sit-ups he did and he answered, “I don’t know. I only start counting when it hurts.”