As if you needed proof, studies or statistics to know the benefits of being outside. But this post isn't for you the average outdoor nut, weekend warrior or adventure seeker. It is for the people who used to be like us and lost their way to the couch, those who dream of being like us or those who would rather spend their time in line at Wally World to save 5 bucks.
I, for years have attended my hiking group's Black Friday campout to catch up with friends and spend time outdoors away from the dawn of the holiday hustle and bustle. If you are a parent, I firmly believe you owe your kids a legacy of the outdoors and well-roundedness This is something that cant be found in anything from Best-Buy, Wal-Mart of Target. The joy, experience and knowledge that is harnessed from the outdoors is unparalleled.
REI has earned huge kudos from Hiking Forward for giving their employees from top to bottom the holiday and Black Friday off to enjoy the outdoors. In addition, this move began a national conversation about the post Thanksgiving holiday rush. Unfortunately for those who work in retail that post Thanksgiving rush begins ON Thanksgiving, As well, for those that would rather spend time with their families on the holiday, some see them heading out the door to now get doorbusters before seconds are served at the holiday table.
Being outside makes you feel good. It naturally lowers your blood pressure, stimulates brain function and lowers your stress level, Being outdoors regularly and being active lowers your risk of diabetes by 50%. I can go on and on. But I won't --- statistics are for work and this is my pleasure.
You don't have to climb a mountain on Black Friday. You don't have to pack up the car and drive hours to take the family camping. But take a moment to stop and think about what is important. Think of yourself, your family, your friends the beautiful resources around you and choose to enjoy them together.
Consider Black Friday this year your New Years Resolution to enjoy the outdoors. Go for a walk, a short hike in a nature preserve or local park, Take the kids fishing or on a picnic. Depending on your locale and snow pack go skiing or discover Geocaching (its a free and awesome hobby for families).
But, But..... The shopping? I need to get the deals. My friends there is this thing called Cyber Monday. Call in sick, take a mental health day... and Stay in your jammies, brew a big pot of coffee and shop till you can't shop anymore online. Do this while enjoying the memory of spending quality time outdoors with the ones you love still fresh in your mind,
While your shopping on Monday on-line, why not shop at the places that treat their employees the way you would want to be treated at the holidays. Because isn't that really what the holidays is about? Being kind to one another?
Keep Hiking Forward... ON BLACK FRIDAY!
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