With the annual Thanksgiving holiday comes another tradition, when Black Friday shoppers set out on missions to find the best deals while fighting insane crowds at insane times of the day.
But a few years ago, outdoor retailer REI began the #OptOutside campaign to encourage people to reconnect with the outdoors over the holidays, taking it so far as to close all of its stores on Black Friday. It's gradually gained more steam, with the U.S. Department of the Interior joining in.
And so are we.
The benefits of spending time outdoors are numerous, such as relieving stress and helping fight off disease. The holidays can not only be stressful, but it's also a time where good eating habits are often tossed aside.
That means there's no better opportunity to #OptOutside than now, and we have the GIFs to prove it.
1. This is many of us on Thanksgiving
A hike does the body good and burns a good chunk of calories. Even though you may not be able to completely counteract all 4,500 calories — the average that people consume on Thanksgiving — you can make a serious dent in it with just a 30-minute walk.
2. You never know what you'll see in the wild
While we can't guarantee any animals will put on a show quite like this, wildlife can offer some memorable moments. Whether it's a chance encounter with a coyote, some frogs on parade, or a beaver doing its thing, you just have to be in the right place at the right time.
3. You'll avoid scenes like this
Without a doubt, the trails will be less crowded than this.
4. There's nothing special about those doorbusters
Experts say they're just the same deals that were offered last year. So really, your time is better spent outside, not inside, because there's always something new to see in the preserves.
5. You'll just feel better if you #OptOutside
After a good, brisk hike in the woods, you'll feel like this:
But after waking up early and fighting your way through lines on Black Friday, you'll feel like this:
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