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The American Council on Exercise makes these recommendations before you hit the trail for the first time:
- Hike a new trail before you run it, familiarizing yourself with the new layout.
- Don't walk or run a trail alone.
- Carry a communication device, such as a walkie-talkie or cell phone.
- Take a small, basic first aid kit that includes bandages, tape, a knife and antibacterial ointment.
- Make sure any weight you carry is evenly distributed; try to carry most of the weight around your hips.
- When going downhill, keep knees bent and don't lean back too far. Use short strides when hills are steep.
- Run with your head up and push your arms from the shoulders, rather than from the elbows.
-- Diana Kohnle
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