The outdoor retailer REI created a splash in the media recently when they announced their decision to close on the biggest shopping day of the year, Black Friday. In his press release Jerry Stritzke, President and CEO of REI, stated “life is richer, more connected and complete when you choose to spend it outside”. I couldn’t agree more.
You don’t have to take my word for it though, a decade worth of research supports the idea that getting outdoors is good for you. Spending time in nature is good for your heart, boosts your immune system, helps the brain work better, improves happiness, reduces stress, and helps you sleep better. A quiet walk in the woods, biking a backroad, splitting firewood, or birdwatching can all be antidotes to this sedentary time of year wrought with frenzy and fatigue.
If you are looking for a new place to experience the outdoors try visiting one of the properties protected by Red-tail. Several preserves are open to the public and provide varying environments from pristine hardwood forests, prairies, wetlands, creeks, and rivers. All great places to watch wildlife and renew your spirit. Visit our website, www.fortheland.org for locations and descriptions of the properties. Post a picture on social media of your opt outdoors adventure and spread the trend.
If you want to burn a few more calories and get the added benefit doing good, consider lending a hand for the land. Become a volunteer with Red-tail. Eradication of invasive species such as bush honeysuckle can be done throughout the year to maintain the natural places we have protected.
In a season known for overindulging in food, stress, and spending, tap into the resource just beyond your front door. Continue the habit of opting outdoors beyond Black Friday. Being aware of nature’s beauty will leave you feeling energized and alive.
Education & Outreach Coordinator