Kerrie Lee Brown a world leading authority on health and wellness. She is a speaker, journalist, radio host, judge and author. She is in conversation with Namita Nayyar, President Women Fitness.
Ms. Namita Nayyar: You have selected a profession of health and fitness journalism that requires a lot of hard labor, correct knowledge about different health conditions and excellence in updated information about fitness industry to finally succeed, how do you achieve that?
Ms. Kerrie Lee Brown: Physical fitness has always been a big part of my life. Growing up I played various sports and competed at a high level in Irish dancing—eventually becoming a National champion and 3x representative at the Worlds’ in Ireland. I learned at a young age that hard work, discipline, and pushing myself physically and mentally would ultimately reap rewards—and that’s how I started to live my life. When I entered the work force after graduating from journalism school, I landed my first editorial position at a fitness magazine, which couldn’t have been a better fit for my interests and lifestyle.
Health and wellness has been an integral part of my life both professionally and personally. In the fitness industry (as with any industry being reported on) it is essential to stay on top of the latest advancements and health discoveries—a journalist’s job is to be relevant and informed in order to maintain trust with readers. I’ve been fortunate enough to do this over the years through my various roles in publishing and corporate communications—all have required countless hours of research with industry professionals and experts. But the real learning comes from real-life experiences.
Ms. Namita Nayyar: You have a Bachelor of Arts, Communication Studies and Political Science from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, and a Bachelor of Applied Arts, Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto. You also studied International Relations and Foreign Policy at Moscow University in Moscow, Russia, and you were a National Model United Nations Delegate at Harvard & McGill Universities. How has this varied and spectacular set of educational background helped you in becoming one of the most accomplished female with a career and an authority in health and fitness journalism, radio and television talk shows?
Ms. Kerrie Lee Brown: Before I decided to become a journalist—my plan was to pursue a career in law. However, after spending time studying abroad, I gained a new perspective on what I wanted to do in life. I realized I wanted to reach people in a different way. I wanted to write stories that would impact people and make a difference in their lives. During my time in Moscow, I was mugged by the militia (police), and I witnessed a very different culture to my own. It was a turning point in my life. When I got home, I decided to complete a second major in Communication Studies, which led to my interest in Media Studies. News reporting became my passion as it provided an outlet for me to research unfamiliar topics and bring awareness to the public. After a long, intense application process, I was accepted into a prestigious Journalism school in Toronto. Not only did we get our first “real-life” experience working as junior reporters at radio and television stations and publishing houses, but we also learned about the inevitable perils of working in the media field. It was very exciting and the challenge I was looking for. I decided to specialize in the Magazine Stream (because I’ve always loved magazines and long writing was my preferred writing style), however I did spend ample time studying broadcast, radio and newspaper reporting as well. My portfolio began to grow and I started offering my services as an assistant editor and features writer at a prominent city magazine—which led me to becoming the entertainment reporter for a national radio show. All of my experiences working in the media have led me to where I am today and my education has played an integral role. But there has been a lot of change in media over the past few years—especially in regards to online platforms and the demise of print. I am still learning. We all are.
Ms. Namita Nayyar: What exercises comprise your fitness regime or workout routine you shall like to share?
Ms. Kerrie Lee Brown: When I worked in the fitness industry, I spent a lot of time in LA on set with gorgeous, buff models (men and women) for our cover stories. I also interviewed a lot of high-profile athletes, sport-conditioning coaches and Hollywood celebrities about their exercise and nutrition routines. When I think about it now, it was quite daunting working in such a physically dominant world—but I loved every aspect of what I did as a magazine editor and relished the behind-the-scenes work. I also admired the fact that people in the fitness business were extremely passionate about what they did for a living—whether it was competing on stage in front of thousands of spectators, pushing their bodies to the limits for their sport, or inspiring others to lose weight for health reasons and feel better about their lives. People with passion surrounded me in the boardroom, in the photo studio, at the conventions, and at the magazine interviews. So naturally I was inspired to lift weights regularly (not that it was a requirement for my job—it was just the lifestyle I was living and working in at the time). I would do circuit training 4-5 times a week and cardio in the mornings before I went to the office, or during business trips I would make sure hotels had a gym. I even won an in-house weight-loss contest at work against several other staff.
Several years later I was asked to appear in a national ad campaign for a nutritional supplement company after my first son was born. My weight-loss success story appeared in various magazines and television commercials, which provided me with the opportunity to inspire new moms to gain back their self-confidence after having babies. I have always loved motivating others with their fitness goals and my own personal experience (and struggles) has allowed me to reach many women. However expectations were high for my transformation, so at that time I was doing cardio twice a day and weight training with my trainer every day.
Today I have more realistic goals to suit my lifestyle (now that I have two children). I hit a cardio combat (kickboxing) class or Zumba class each morning—and then Body Pump weight class with a trainer (each workout consists of targeting all large body parts-low weight/high reps) at least 2-3 times a week. I stay very active on a regular basis, and enjoy hiking and running the stairs at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Denver, Colorado (where we live now) with my husband and kids.
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