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Walking is one of the best ways to get your daily exercise and enjoy the great outdoors. It is an excellent stress reliever after you've been working hard cleaning your apartment and removing wall scuff marks, and has been proven to help with depression and other health concerns. If you are fortunate enough to live in an area that offers walking trails, then take advantage of this as much as possible.

Walking trails are usually safe for people of all strengths and sizes. However, there is a big difference between a 1 km walking trail and a 10 km walking trail which is why you should always familiarize yourself with each trail before setting out. Walking trails are generally on flat ground with a few bumps along the way. Some are paved which are good for strollers and others are gravel. Many will snake behind homes while others may take you through the forest or along the beach. Every walking trail is unique which is one of the reasons these trails are so much fun to explore.

Where the Walking Trails Are

If you have just moved into a new rental home and are keen to explore outside your four walls, then there are a few ways to get to know the nearby walking trails. Check your local regional council website which will usually list walking trails in the area as well as length and degree of difficulty. You can also ask your neighbors or visit an information center to find the best places to explore. There may also be a few books at the local library or book stores about walking trails in the area.

Walking Trails 101

There are a number of benefits to walking. It improves your mental and physical health; it lets you get out of the house and enjoy the great outdoors; it can relieve any built up tension and stress; it can provide you with time to gossip with a friend or spend some quality time with family. However, there are several dangers you need to be aware of when walking, even on popular walking trails.

First of all, don’t set out onto the trails with letting someone know (or walking with a partner). Bring a cell phone and water just in case. Make sure you wear proper shoes, such as hiking boots or running shoes and that you dress in appropriate clothing for the weather. A dog can also be a great companionship when heading out for your nightly stroll. Just be sure to bring his leash and a doggy bag to clean up any messes he makes along the way.

When exploring the walking trails near your home keep in mind that even if you are only a few kilometers away from home, there is always the potential for danger, including from other people and animals. If you can, limit walking after dark and stick to the trails. If you are living in an area where animals such as snakes, bears or cougars are a problem, be aware of how to handle these particular animals. Brush up you on first aid and consider a whistle or other device that will make enough noise to scare off any animals in your path.

Most importantly, have fun with it. Local walking trails are perfect for anyone, from a marathon runner looking for a relaxing break from pounding the pavement to a pregnant woman looking for a way to keep baby and mommy fit and relaxed for what’s to come. So grab some water, phone a friend and explore the various walking trails in your own backyard.

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