Walk for health, but follow these tips to be safe
The medical profession encourages walking for better health. I have bought into that theory. I enjoy walking because it relieves stress and makes me feel better. If you are a walker, please consider these tips to make your walk more enjoyable and safer.
• Plan your walk before leaving home. Do not randomly walk. Walk only in familiar areas. If you are visiting a location for the first time, ask a local and do not explore. If you walk alone, have some type of identification with you.
• It is always best to walk with a buddy or a group. This increases your safety and makes the experience more enjoyable.
• If you walk during the early morning or evening, wear light-colored clothing. If you walk in the dark, wear reflective clothing and shoes with reflective strips.
• Always walk facing traffic, especially if there are no sidewalks. Facing traffic is especially important if you are wearing headphones. If a vehicle stops beside you, do not approach it. Ignore the vehicle and keep walking.
• It's not a bad idea to use a walking stick. Dogs sometimes chase people. The stick also can be used for self-defense. Walking with your own dog is a good idea.
• Beware of drivers. Many drivers don't understand that pedestrians have the right of way. Be aware of driveways, because drivers entering and exiting usually are looking for vehicles, not pedestrians.
• Be aware of your surroundings. Among the many dangers to walkers are traffic, broken sidewalks, bike riders and the unexpected. Finally, be sure to carry a cell phone.
Chief Doug Pasley, Kenneth City Police Department