Healthy walking: So you have more of life

ChroniquesDuVasteMonde WE: The history of mankind begins with the upright walk. Why is walking so important to us?

KIRSTEN GÖTZ-NEUMANN: Walking is more than our basic mode of movement. Walking has transformed our differentiated brain. The upright human gait has grace, beauty, something royal. Walking is an elixir of life, an elementary possibility for physical and mental well-being. And walking is mobility, the freedom to get up, just to go, to where my feet carry me, regardless of anyone else. Those who can no longer walk are deprived of their mobility, of their freedom to lead their lives as they wish.

Then many social contacts are lost and often the opportunity to do elementary things like shopping on their own. How important is the way I walk the world for my own life?

Your own attitude to life is very closely related to the ability to walk. When it's getting harder and harder to control movements and your body bounces hard every step of the way, instead of being softly muffled, walking will eventually be no fun anymore. You can tell that to people. Nobody has to go like a proud Spaniard. But upright with dignity and joy would be desirable. A swinging walk has something to do with luck.

Walking is freedom

We have mutated into a sedentary society. What are the consequences for us and the progress of humanity?

For children, it is enormously important in their neural development to crawl the brain regularly. But for us adults too: If you're just stunted sitting on the sofa or in front of a screen, you will not know what the world feels like. He is damaged in his development and robbed of one of his essential human rights.

We are fooled that we can do many things on the Internet from the comfort of home. But this convenience has its price: civilization diseases and brain destruction. It is important for us to move our body, to go out, into everyday life, into nature. I wish for every man that he can do this for a long time.

Walking is a very demanding motor activity. What are the biggest mistakes we make?

A child learns to walk from case to case. That is, walking is nothing more than a trapped fall. I bring my center of gravity out of balance over my forefoot, lift the heel off, and the other leg swings forward and catches me gently. The free fall and catching, these two are going out.

Unfortunately, many people lose their ability during their lifetime - especially because their passive shocks cause problems for intervertebral discs, meniscus, articular cartilage, and periosteum. Lack of active shock absorption, wear and pain are the result, especially on the feet, knees and hip joints.

Why is that?

A big problem is also sitting here. When I constantly use my big buttock muscle, which stabilizes me and makes an important connection between the trunk and the legs, as a pillow, it becomes flattened over time. Accordingly, its antagonist, the muscle that flexes the hip joint, is in an angled instead of a stretched position. He pulls the spine forward and makes it crooked.

Man adapts to his living conditions and is thus sooner or later completely directed backwards. But who wants to go down a staircase, may not lean backwards. It's like skiing or tango dancing.

So the muscles play a big role. How important is regular weight training?

This is a health guarantee. But strength building alone does not bring. The important thing is always a combination of strong, stretching and fun movement.

Movement starts in the head

If the sense of balance suffers over the years, the gait deteriorates and the risk of falling increases ...

That comes together. If I do not have any muscles to keep my balance, I can not balance myself. But even the best sense of balance does not bother me if my brain does not respond quickly or my muscles are not strong enough. Therefore, training, for example, always brushing the teeth standing on one leg, not hurt.

You have developed the program "Understanding Walking". Her motto is: "Movement starts in the head". Do we all just have to rethink to become more mobile again?

In any case. It used to be thought that cars were the luxury. And today it is considered something great, just not to get up and have to go somewhere yourself. We should fundamentally rethink this. For now it is clear: we are massively damaging our health. Especially people who are not that young anymore should urgently keep moving.

Because if the body is no longer so reactive due to lack of training, the risk of injury increases. Then the vicious cycle begins. And this can only be broken with the expert help of experienced therapists who are trained in my program, for example.

What exactly is being done?

As I said: walking starts in the head. Not in the joint, not in the muscle, not in the nerve, but with the desire to get up and go. That's why my program starts in my head. I always ask my patients first thing: what do you want? I do not ask about the diagnosis, then what makes her ill, I see that fast enough anyway.

I want to know: What do you want to achieve? What is your goal? Of course, I do exercise diagnostics, a gait analysis and have the patients stick dots where the worst pain is. But then I work purposefully and individually with them according to biomechanical principles to improve their movements and to liberate them from their pain through these newly learned, correct movements.

Walking also stimulates the thoughts

How long does it take?

That is very different. But the ethics code of the program requires that a person get back to his feet at the latest after the third session of therapy. That does not mean the treatment is complete. But he should get the feeling: It goes ahead. Then begins the long path of conditioning the new.

Recently, I treated an elderly woman who had to go to the bathroom every few minutes and barely came down a staircase because after ten levels she had unbearable pain. When I asked her what she wanted, she said: to control her bladder better and dance again. I did music and helped her to master the steps with the image of dancing in her head and not to direct her center of gravity backwards - but forward.

After an hour and a half, she went singing up and down the stairs - and had not been in the bathroom the whole time. The goal of "Understanding Walking" is to experience and reinvent oneself. There is always a way out of the vicious circle. Unfortunately, well-trained walking-understanding practitioners are still rare, especially in Germany. And the treatment is not yet paid by the health insurance. Anyone who has serious problems, but should not be afraid to take on other paths.

And so that it does not get that far, we should all become more mobile again and go more. Should the classical walk, what used to be strolling, strolling and promenading, experience a renaissance?

That would be wonderful. At the moment it's more like going for a ride. Certainly nice for those who want to get back on their feet slowly. But it has to be human. Reviving the desire to move is a fantastic idea. If you like, you should go for a walk as often as possible.

Who sits, sits on his thoughts. A conference while sitting is absolutely counterproductive. But whoever gets up and goes, keeps on thinking. So you not only gain mobility in the legs and a greater range of motion, but also new opportunities and perspectives in life.

Here are three exercises by the expert:


Stick to your kitchen counter or sideboard. Now take turns lifting the left and right heels and stand on tiptoe, preferably music - 20 to 25 times on each foot. At first this works maybe only 15 times. Who is practiced, just stands on one leg and trained with this. Then comes the other leg's turn. Those who only manage these "heel raises" 5 to 9 times a day should practice three times a day and seek a therapist trained in the "Understanding Walking" program.

Kirsten Götz-Neumann: "In 40 percent of the gait phases we are - unknowingly - in a one-legged position.The calf is the golden muscle of walking ability.Unfortunately, this is also the first muscle that loses its power as it ages.If the calf does not manage it anymore, moving our center of gravity over the forefoot will cause the gait cycle to prematurely stop, and walking is a problem and the walking distance gets shorter and shorter. "


Imagine, between your buttocks is a golden coin. Clamp your gluteus muscle vigorously for 60 seconds while continuing to breathe. After a short break repeat the exercise. Practice three times a day or as often as possible, especially if you have to sit for a long time.

Kirsten Götz-Neumann: "Our brain can hardly control the gluteus maximus, it is important that we get a feeling for it, and that we are less on it and instead activate it more. "


Sit on a chair or stool. Place your feet side by side on the ground and then stand up without using your hands. It would be best if your partner, a friend, or a friend made a video of you in a side view. It is important that the center of gravity comes forward.Shoulders, head, belly button, everything should go clearly up when getting up. Work on it by getting up and sitting down again and again. Do not forget: Always get up after two hours sitting!

Kirsten Götz-Neumann: "If the body's center of gravity is directed backwards, there is no chance of activating all the muscles that are important for walking - the necessary biomechanics will only work if we bring our center of gravity forward, since we are often unaware of our own posture , it makes sense that initially a trained observer gives feedback. "

Videotipp: Fit in 15 minutes: 4 exercises for a taut body!

What Will Happen to Your Body If You Walk Every Day (March 2023).

Movement therapy, mobility, health