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Fit Follow-Up: Erin Burnett

  • Name: Erin Burnett
  • Children: Colby Isabelle (born July 18, 2015); Nyle Thomas (born November 29, 2013)
  • Claim to Fame: As lead anchor of CNN’s news show OutFront, Erin Burnett isn’t afraid to go after a story no matter where it may take her. (She is pictured above reporting from the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea just three months before she gave birth to her daughter in July.) But when it comes to working out, the new mom of two children under the age of 2 prefers to stick close to home right now—no gym required. “Sixteen hours after an unplanned C-section, I was carrying around my 30-pound toddler,” says Burnett, who returns to her show from maternity leave on September 24. “That was boot camp!” Here, she weighs in on how stroller pushing, baby lifting and some basic Pilates keep her in top form.
Q: Describe your pregnancy workout strategy.

A: I’ve always been active. I played sports through college and exercise makes me feel balanced. During my first pregnancy I worked out regularly. I didn't change anything about my routine. But this time? I had a toddler at home so I admit that I wanted to spend the time I wasn’t working with my little boy. As a result, I sacrificed formal exercise this pregnancy and replaced it with long walks with my son and chasing him around at home.

Q: How are you approaching fitness during the first few post-baby months?

A: I’ve made caring for my kids my fitness. I use my daughter as a weight around the house; in the 10- to 12-pound range, a new baby can help you firm up! I do lunges as I walk the stroller. And now my daily long walks involve one baby strapped to me in a carrier as I push a smaller, heavier stroller. Picking up toys nonstop and giving “uppies” to my toddler, focusing on using my legs not my back, helps, too. I do leg lifts and basic Pilates on the living room floor while playing with my son when I can. It’s not at a set time and it’s not a set routine. But it helps me make progress and feel some muscle burn. I'm not aiming to look perfect in a couple months.

Q: Has your diet changed at all?

A: On the food front, I'm healthier. I make fruit and veggie smoothies for my son and I eat them, too. I buy all organic when I can for him and we eat a lot of fish. I’m also breastfeeding so I think of my daughter when I eat. I love sweets, yes. But, thanks to my children, I eat better now than ever.

Q: What is your post-baby fitness-and-wellness philosophy in three words?

A: Balanced, flexible, forgiving.

Q: How do you work in activity around your job and your family, particularly now that there are two little ones to negotiate?

A: Having children has changed my life in wonderful ways. It's also obviously changed how I spend my time. I used to have plenty of time just for working out. Now I incorporate working out into my daily life. That means I focus on walking instead of driving or taking a taxi. It means I focus on using my back and my abs, Pilates style, while cleaning up a nursery or giving a bath. The gym will always be important, but children help me integrate fitness into my daily life more than I ever did before.

Q: What advice would you give pregnant women and new moms when it comes to fitness and continuing to do the activities they love?

A: Walk whenever you can, take the stairs, walk up the escalators. There are small ways to improve your fitness even when you don't have time for formal workouts. And, unless your doctor says otherwise, don't be afraid to do the things you did before you were pregnant. Pilates fiends can do Pilates. A woman who pursues her own passions—fitness and otherwise—is a more joyful mother. I believe that joy spreads to our children.

Photo: David Hogsholt for CNN

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