Workout By Walking

Harley Pasternak: Kick Off Your Post-Baby Workout by Walking

Courtesy Harley Pasternak

Blink, and you’ll miss it! That’s how quickly stars get back in shape after welcoming a baby, but celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak says regaining one’s pre-baby body is easier to manage than most people think.

“Walking as much as possible is something that I tell moms to really do,” he told PEOPLE. “As often as you can with your baby, that’s really important. Just some way to keep physically active and keep moving.”

But before making a full-time return to the gym, Pasternak, who has worked with Milla Jovovich, Alicia Keys and Jennifer Hudson, says moms should make sure their doctor has given them medical clearance.

“When you’re coming back, you want to do it gradually,” he said. “Most people have been a lot less active, not just during the nine months that they’re pregnant, but in the several months after, sometimes up to six months after that, so to come back hardcore is just dangerous.”

After building up their stamina, Pasternak puts his clients on a 5-phase program that’s utilized five days a week.

“Phase 1 is a cardio warm-up. It can be something as simple as walking outdoors with your baby or doing stationary cardio, such as jumping jacks or jumping rope without a jump rope, for at least five minutes,” he said.

“Phase 2, we do upper body strength, lower body strength and abdominals. We repeat that circuit of three things, three times. Phase 5 is a cardio cool-down. Run, jog, walk, or jump rope for at least five minutes.”

Based on what a client wants to concentrate on, the program can be further focused, as was the case with Hudson and Jovovich.

“The back row is important [for Jennifer],” Pasternak said. “Quite often, when you’re with your baby, you tend to be slouched a bit. It really helps your shoulders come back and your mid-section. Milla’s really big into stiff leg dead lifts, toning and tightening the backs of her thighs and her butt.”

Just as important, moms should also be aware of their nutrition when returning to working out.

“It’s important to get back to eating five times a day, three meals and two snacks,” Pasternak said, noting that meals should consist of a low-fat protein, a healthy carbohydrate, a fiber, a sugar-free beverage and a healthy fat. “And it’s also great to have a multi-vitamin.”

Kiran Hefa