Sherri Saum Workout

Sherri Saum has her 23-month-old twin sons John and Michael to thank for her toned post-baby body.

“Believe it or not, I feel like I’ve never been more fit because of them,” the actress, 41, tells PEOPLE. “I remember people telling me, ‘I get my workout running after my toddler,’ and I was secretly thinking, ‘That’s a joke right?’ And now I understand it.”

“I literally don’t sit down!” she continues. “I’m basically lifting weight all day long – I’m picking them up, putting them down, picking them up, putting them down. It truly is a workout.”

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Saum also takes her twins for long walks in their stroller.

“We go for a mile and a half. We live in a really hilly area, so it’s a serious workout!” she says.

When their schedules align, The Fosters star also likes to work out with her husband Kamar de los Reyes, 47.

“We try to take advantage of the times that we can, especially because we live in such a great area where we can get a workout in right by our house,” says Saum. “We go hiking a lot together, and we have a great set of stairs near where we live, so we do stair workouts and body weight workouts.”

Sherri Saum Workout
Sherri Saum Workout

Saum supplements her hikes with her husband and toddler workouts with twice-a-week sessions with a personal trainer.

“We do a lot of kettlebell work, we do a lot of work with resistance bands,” she says. “It’s really important for me to get my core and low back strong, so we do things that are centered around that. It’s just a focused and targeted workout that’s geared toward the reality of my life, which is I’m picking up kids a lot and my back needs to be there for me.”

Saum’s dedication to fitness comes from a desire to be a better parent, rather than a place of vanity.

“At this point in my life it’s not about, let me look good in this dress. It’s about, I need to be able to wake up and be strong enough and energetic enough to play with my kids, and be an active and present parent for them,” she says. “That’s where my goals have shifted.”

Another part of Saum’s wellness routine is USANA protein snacks.

“With the bars, I know exactly the nutrients I’m getting without having to thinking about it,” she says. “It’s just simple and wholesome and targeted toward my special needs.”

Gabrielle Olya, @GabyOlya