Strange but True: a Silly Walk Keeps You Fit

You may know actor John Cleese's popular "silly walks" in Monthy Phyton. It looks very unusual, but according to researchers, silly walking turns out to be good for you if you want to get fit. In fact, when you walk like this, you use 2.5 times more energy than someone who walks normally. 

Every year, the British Medical Journal's Christmas issue focuses on remarkable studies with serious undertones. American researchers investigated the energy consumption of the "silly walk" in the study of silly runs. It was not a large study: only 13 people participated.

Different silly walks

Six healthy women and seven men between the ages of 22 and 71 participated in the study and were given sensors on their bodies to measure oxygen consumption. Three times they had to run a 30-meter course, during which they were filmed by the researchers. The first time they had to walk like they normally do, the second time they had to walk like John Cleese as the head of the ministry, and the third time they had to walk like Michael Palin who was inducted into the series. 

More energy

The researchers found that Palin's walk takes longer but doesn't necessarily take more energy. According to the researchers, Cleese's way of walking takes a lot more energy. He alternates between walking upright and strutting, hopping, swinging one leg extended upward, doing a pirouette, and walking with his knees turned inward.

Fanatical sports

Should we all walk down the street like this in the future? According to the researchers, this way of walking is so inefficient that walking like this for 11 minutes daily is as strenuous as 75 minutes of fanatical exercise. So you get fitter from a crazy run.