(HealthDay News) -- Hiking is a great way to get exercise and fresh air, but you should take certain precautions.
Here are suggestions to keep you safe when you hit the trail, courtesy of the Cleveland Clinic:
- Map out the trail you want to take, familiarize yourself with the area, and choose a trail that fits your hiking skills.
- Prepare for any threats, such as wild animals or poison ivy.
- If you hike by yourself, make sure someone knows where you are and when you are scheduled to return.
- Dress appropriately for hiking and current weather conditions.
- Drink plenty of bottled water. Avoid drinking from rivers, lakes or streams. Pack food if you'll be hiking all day.
- Don't push yourself too hard, and stop if you feel short of breath, dizzy, or have chest pain.
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