Those who are active sometimes forget what it was like before they adopted their new lifestyle. This is especially true when hanging out with friends and family members who are not as equally active. On one hand, you don’t want to turn them off, expecting them to keep up with you. On the other hand, you may welcome the idea of them beginning to enjoy the same pastimes. Here’s how to entertain your guest without overexerting them.
If you’re one to hike 20 miles in a day, it’s not practical to expect a friend to keep pace. Alternatively, consider starting them off slowly and taking them for a few hikes that are less than a few miles. Allow them to gain an appreciation for the pastime and the outdoors while not exhausting them. Likewise, if you’re engaging in any kind of sport that requires endurance, be sure to ‘water down’ your regular routine.
Rather than pursue the activity as you normally would, stay mindful of your friend’s experience. They may be tired, hesitant, or afraid. Be empathetic and live the experience through their eyes. Also, be mindful that due to embarrassment or bravado, they may not admit they’re tired or afraid. As a good friend and the one with more experience, it’s your responsibility to ensure your companion is comfortable. Also, realize that you may have better gear; allow your friend to try your equipment. For example, a fishing rod with a Haywire twist tool makes a line stronger so even the fish with the most fight won’t get away.
Nothing depletes energy quicker than a lack of water. Aside from a dry mouth, being thirsty means that the muscles are lacking. In addition to feeling lethargic, a thirsty person will quickly lose athleticism. Bring along plenty of water and be sure your friend stays hydrated. Be a good role model and drink plenty of water as well. You don’t want your friend to feel like they ‘can’t keep up with you’ and need more water than you.
Be a Scaffold
Good teachers understand the balance between telling a student how to do something versus giving them enough information to allow them to figure it out for themselves. Obviously, the latter situation is better for the student. Therefore, serve as a guide, but don’t lend too much of a hand so that it takes away from your friend’s feeling of accomplishment. After all, you want your friend to develop a love for the outdoors and specific activities. That won’t happen unless they feel like they can accomplish feats on their own.
You have to expect some resistance from your friend. Immediately, they may not love the outdoors or specific activities as much as you. Ultimately, they may never appreciate the same pastimes. Don’t be pushy; it may be that your friend needs more time. Likewise, if you go with multiple friends, some are going to be into it more than others. Primarily, do your best to ensure all goers are safe and having fun. Some people may not take to the outdoors lifestyle as quickly as you would like; some may never love it like you and that’s okay.
Tom Scott is a personal fitness instructor who is always seeking new ways to get people outdoors and enjoying themselves. He hopes his articles will encourage more people to get outside and enjoy the vast array of activities on offer.