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Getting out and walking is a good way to stay healthy, and it can be very enjoyable. But it’s good to make an effort to be safe about it.

Not to dissuade you from walking, but there are many things that could go wrong during your walk.

If you walk at night, wear light-colored clothing — and maybe even consider something with reflective material. The goal is to make sure motorists can see you.

It’s always best to stick to the sidewalks, but that’s not always an option. When a sidewalk isn’t available, make sure you always walk facing oncoming traffic.

If you wear earphones or headphones, keep the volume down low or only wear one side, so you can hear oncoming traffic or other dangers.

Aggressive dogs can be a threat. And let’s face it, this is Florida, so alligators are also something to watch out for. Consider carrying something that can be used to defend yourself, such as a sturdy stick, pepper spray, or a stun gun.

Of course, these can also be used if you are attacked by an aggressive person.

Carry your phone with you in case an emergency develops, but refrain from carrying other valuables.

It’s good to let a friend know you’re going out, but don’t advertise it on social media — especially if your walks are a regular routine. That lets people know that you’ll be away from home. Walking with friends is the best option.

It’s unfortunate, but it is an absolute must that you be aware of your surroundings at all times. Walking can be relaxing, just don’t let it relax you so much that you stop noticing potential dangers around you.

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