Staying fit amidst the chaos of parenthood is no joke. Sometimes it’s a miracle we can even find a second to brush our teeth, let alone carve out time to care for our physical well-being in the same way we did during the “before times.”
So, in our quest to see how parents manage to stay fit while sleep training, meal prepping, potty training and more, our friends Jane Kim Roggen (aka @sooplainjane) and Matt Nolen of @mattnolenruns share the deets on taking care of themselves with their youngsters in tow. The essential hack? The UPPAbaby RIDGE, an all-terrain jogging stroller that lets parents push themselves to their limits, while comfortably pushing their little ones as well.
With its no-inflation tires suited for any terrain, consider the UPPAbaby RIDGE the go-to stroller for fitness enthusiasts. It’s got a disc hand brake system ensuring maximum safety at marathon speeds, as well as an adjustable handlebar with a wrist strap so you’ll never lose your grip. We also love its deep, comfortable seat with webbing recline and a patented two-stage suspension system, so your LO can rest comfortably while you work out. And, if you’re too winded to run back home, its one-handed fold allows for easy access to hailing a cab.
To see what else Jane and Matt recommend, check out our interviews below, where they talk everything from staying active as new parents to how the RIDGE gets them moving and grooving.
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Jane Roggen, mama to Hughes, 20 months. Jersey City, NJ.
Pre-baby, what did you do to move your body?
I used to do Pilates three to four times a week and then a more intense, sweat-inducing class at least once a week. I started up again post-partum with Pilates. It’s important to me to stay active as a release of stress and anxiety. I also love blocking out the time for my well-being as self-care when I don’t have distractions like my phone/work and can be fully present. Running is actually something I’ve recently taken up to get my day started. It helps me clear my head, get outside and take in the fresh air and Vitamin D, and just feel energized. Even if it’s just a quick 15-minute jog, I feel productive and it gets the endorphins going.
Why incorporate baby into your wellness routine?
Time is so valuable these days and I constantly find myself trying to balance everything, while also juggling the guilt that comes with parenthood. I love being able to multi-task – get a workout in but also enjoy quality time with my baby. It’s a different and unique bonding activity that allows me to be fully in the moment with him, it’s a win-win. I hope to show him at an early age how important it is to be active and set an example of a healthy lifestyle.
[Hughes] is an adventure seeker and loves speed so it’s something that he looks forward to and makes him so happy. It also gets him outdoors which if you’re a parent to a toddler, you know that your weekends are spent exerting their children and keeping them busy. I love that it’s an activity that we can do as a family and at the same time, get a good workout in! It’s the ultimate parent hack–everyone is happy, quality time together, and all guilt-free.
What are some things you look for when purchasing gear that you’ll use with Hughes?
The most important thing is that the product fits into our lifestyle, and additionally, physically fits into our home. When we were looking at baby transportation gear (stroller, car seat) we made sure it was all-terrain and could bear the brunt of the city streets and weather. And of course, storage space was a huge factor! And for products in our home, they have to be compact enough or easily collapsible for storage since we don’t have the space as we would in a suburban home.
You and Hughes have been running with UPPAbaby RIDGE. Tell us about it!
I was pleasantly surprised at all of the features RIDGE offered since I didn’t have many expectations for a jogging stroller. I’m a big fan of the big undercarriage storage that zips, the adjustable handlebar, and how easy it is to fold up. It’s actually a joy to push and so smooth, and my son actually gets excited to get strapped into this (he hates getting buckled into anything!) so I know that the seat is comfortable and Hughes-approved! I love that has the ease of an everyday stroller with all the bells and whistles that easily takes us from work-out to running errands in the city. What really piqued my interest was the foam-filled tires–which means I don’t have to ever worry about getting a flat tire or carrying a pump.
Matthew Nolan, papa to Eli, 2. Rockville Centre, NY
Did your workout routine change post-baby?
Yes, I was someone who totally took advantage of working out any time of day, no matter how late or what else I had going on. As soon as the baby arrived, everything changed and I had to become an early AM runner. Like 5 or 6 AM get it done and then be available the rest of the day. Now that he is older and still takes long afternoon naps, sometimes I can sneak in an hour-afternoon run but those are rare.
Why incorporate baby into your wellness routine?
Running is physical and mental therapy all in one. I get to have conversations with myself, think about what is going on in my life, and of course, know that I’m taking care of myself inside and out. Time is the most valuable thing we have. The time I get to spend with him is something that I cherish and want as much of that I can get. Running with Eli is harder in a good way since now that he weighs about 40lbs. He’s at this stage where he wants to know what everything is, so we have fun talking about what we see on the road. Also, he feels like he’s driving a car which he’s currently obsessed with the idea of.
What are some things you look for when purchasing gear that you’ll use with Eli?
Safety trumps all, so that is always first, then, of course, something that does what it says it’s going to do, is easy to manage, and looks really, really cool.
You and Eli have been running with UPPAbaby RIDGE. Tell us about it!
The first word that comes to mind is smooth. Smooth on any type of surface, to open up and close, and easy to get Eli in and out of. I also truly love finally having a brake system that works and makes me feel safer when I am out on the road. In the words of my mom, “you can see them but you never know if they can see you!” The tires have a level of quality you can see and feel as you push the stroller and I never have to worry about where we might go on a run, cement, dirt, grass, it can do it all and I love that.
This article was written in partnership with UPPAbaby.