German word of the day: Verdauungsspaziergang

Paul Krantz
Paul Krantz - [email protected]
German word of the day: Verdauungsspaziergang
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond

Particularly after a rich and hearty meal, this word stands for a healthy habit that helps you get past uncomfortable fullness.


Why do I need to know ‘Verdauungsspaziergang’?

This term could come up as part of an after-dinner invitation. Lest you miss a chance to join in a healthy German tradition, best to read on and commit Verdauungsspaziergang to memory.

What does it mean?

Coming from a combination of the words Verdauung (digestion) and Spaziergang (a walk), Der Verdauungsspaziergang (pronounced like this) literally translates to “digestive walk”.

Put more eloquently, a Verdauungsspaziergang is an after-meal stroll that you take to get some fresh air, unwind and digest a particularly large or filling feast.

Whether getting a hike in during a vacation, or making sure to go out for a stroll during a relaxing day at home, walking plays a significant role in German culture – so it’s perhaps natural that the German language has a word for this very specific kind of walk.

By the way, if you aren’t currently in the habit of enjoying a Verdauungsspaziergang after your meals, you may want to consider making this German custom one of your own. 

Research shows that this healthy habit comes with numerous health benefits including improving blood sugar level regulation, reducing heartburn, and boosting mental health and cognitive function. 

For best results, experts recommend starting your walk no more than an hour after you’ve finished eating.

READ ALSO: Eat your way through Munich: The best stops to make on a foodie walking tour

There is reason to believe that the health benefits of walking after eating have been understood for centuries.

A German saying, thought to date back to Ancient Rome, declares, Nach dem Essen sollst du ruh’n oder tausend Schritte tun (After eating you should rest or take a thousand steps.)


Use it like this:

Ich bin so voll. Möchtest du mich auf einen Verdauungsspaziergang begleiten?

I’m stuffed. Would you care to join me for an after dinner walk?

Die Schweinshaxe war köstlich. Ich glaube, ich muss jetzt einen Verdauungsspaziergang machen.

The pork knuckle was delicious. I think I need to go for a digestive walk now.

Seniorengruppen, die im Wintergarten zu Mittag gegessen haben, machen ihren Verdauungsspaziergang.

The groups of seniors went for their digestive walk after having lunch in the conservatory.



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