Walk a mile (or 5)

It’s been over 50 years since a Japanese inventor released his health-craze-creating pedometer that shared its name with that of the company that produced it: 10,000 Steps.  A study back then addressed the importance of walking and another was recently released that confirms those initial results: if you want to live longer and healthier you need to literally “take the steps” to do so. Apparently neither the intensity nor over what period of time daily that you exercise affects the results but it is cumulative; that is, compared to 4000 steps, taking 8000 steps reduces mortality by 51% or 65% for 12,000 steps in a 24-hour period. Since we don’t have a car we’re used to walking and given the long-distance travel restrictions we’ve had over the last year, seeing our local area on foot has been our main outdoor recreation. With 2000 years of history on our doorstep and a guide published by the city to lead the way, we’ve had plenty to explore right here at home.

Walking along the Aude river

Carcassonne has both a walking map of the city and a guide to circular paths stretching well into the surrounding landscapes plus a free interactive app. I’ll put links to them at the end of this post. The 20-page guide entitled, “Walks: Nature and Heritage” has these 8 bike and walking paths:

  • From the Bastide to the Cité
  • At the water’s edge
  • Riverbanks and locks
  • In the shadow of the Canal du Midi
  • Cité and landscapes
  • Landscapes and lake
  • From the Cité to the St. Foulc priory
  • Grapes, fragrances, and discoveries
Vineyards with a castle view

As you can tell from the accompanying photos, there’s plenty to see without having to go far. You never know when you might come around a bend and catch a glimpse of a castle tower through the trees. And just how far is 10,000 steps? The distance I’ve seen mentioned several times online is 8 kilometers (about 5 miles) that an average person could cover in an hour and 40 minutes. Most mornings I walk approximately 8000 steps on a treadmill for an hour and with scenes like this awaiting me in the fresh air, it’s a delight to finish the remaining distance out there.

Pdf of the Good News Network article: Just Go Walk_ Studies Show Normal Walking Can Add Years to Your Life and Reduce Disease Symptoms

Pdf of the actual study: Just Go Walk original study results

Pdf of the walking guide: Carcassonne walks English

Pdf of the Carcassonne map: Carcassonne walking map

Free interactive app from the city’s website: https://www.carcassonne.org/article-page/application-gratuite-carcassonne-ville-et-nature

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