No, I am not talking about my weight. (I hope.)
I am a lazy exerciser. Sounds like a bit of an oxymoron. Seems like it would defeat the purpose. But it works for me. Let me explain.
I can count on both hands the number of times I have hiked in my life. But I learned very quickly that if I hike again, I will try to only go on hikes that head uphill first and downhill second. A few summers ago our family visited the Grand Canyon and we hiked down. Not very far, but far enough. And because what goes down must come up, there was no avoiding the hot climb back to the rim that somehow seemed more than twice as long as the hike down. But if I hike up first, I will do the hard part when I have more energy and not risk being stuck at the bottom of some canyon or waterfall, too exhausted to haul myself back up the hill!
The same theory holds true for my outdoor bike riding. I am very aware of each and every long or steep hill on our usual routes. And I plan my ride around them. There are certain hills, for instance, that I only do going one direction in a circuit, because I have learned that coming back the other way is much harder. And often I have hubby drive us to the trail-head so that we can avoid the very long climb that we would otherwise encounter near the end of our ride. Another way that my laziness comes out is with my planning based on wind direction. I have been known to watch several weather forecasts each morning to get a majority opinion as to the potential headwinds we will encounter. I am all about planning the route so that, whenever possible, we have the wind at our back for the last part of the ride when we are more tired.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not so lazy that I am just taking a quick, casual bike ride around the neighborhood. I am consistently pedaling away for between 20 and 25 miles, several days a week. And there is always some variation of hills to undergo. Kansas, contrary to rumor, is not all flat! At the top of some hills I am sucking in air and my heart is racing. And on most of my rides there is very little coasting going on. (Except down the hills, of course, but even then I often have to pedal some to keep up with my husband who is sped along by his weight and gravity.) So my little tricks aren’t really keeping me from working out hard. Just not hardER.
Every once in a while my husband says he wants to tackle the toughest of our one-way hills in the other direction. Just to see if he can do it. I say “go for it hubby.” But I’ll wait for you at home that day. I am perfectly content with my current laziness-induced exercise planning. So much so that I am going to change my verbiage from “lazy” to “smart:” I am a smart planner. I am putting in the time and the miles; that’s what counts. I can get just as good a workout hiking uphill first. I can ride my bike further and longer if I avoid some wind and hills. That’s my theory and, for now anyways, I am sticking to it:)
Postscript: Yesterday we road a circuit with a very steep hill. In my climb, I passed one rider, caught up to a second, and chatted briefly with a third who was walking his bike up. Hubby, during all of this, had long since crested and was waiting for me to catch up on the other side. Just in case you thought I was a total slacker:)