Running, swimming, aerobics… all great ways of staying fit. But there is also dancing, which – depending on the effort and of course the music genre of choice – can burn up to 300 calories an hour.
During those blurry days of Acid House I was on that stage every weekend throwing shapes like a total idiot until the bitter early hours, and could bounce back the next day pretty easily – physically, that is. I did this for about three years solid until my brain started to melt into mush. Dancing for 7 hours was de rigueur. No sweat.
These days, over 20 years on, the poor body is just not so robust, which is hard to admit. After a run I get lower back pain, and the knees are a little achy. Too much over-enthusiastic training during the week results in Friday night on the sofa watching Corrie under a blanket. Pathetic. My delusional fantasies of being a surprise contender in the Olympics have been long squashed. But dancing is still a great way to shed those extra lbs, and that is fact, right? So at 40 why should this still not be on my fitness agenda?
A few weeks ago I decided to brush off those dancing shoes (well, Nike High Tops) and take the old girl out for spin at FWD (yes, I mean me), London’s premiere Dubstep night – which I thought would be a great way to get rid of that post-holiday Rosé and Manchego bloat. Despite being the same age as some of the other punters’ mums (fact) I gave it my best – threw myself into the sweaty, bass-shaking throng and gave it some, hopefully pulling it off relatively inconspicuously.
I danced non-stop for 4 hours. And I worked out I burned around 800 calories. Being back in the sweaty dark throbbing space that I lost many years, and brain cells, in was hugely invigorating and inspiring on many levels. I had re-ignited my joie de vivre for music, dancing, thinking, living. I may be 40, I thought, but what the hell. I’ve still got it.
The bubble burst at around 5am when the Red Bull started to wear off, and the fatigue and aches started to kick in. As the floor continued to swell, so did my lower back. By 5.30am I had my back up against a grimy wall which was a useless attempt in pain management. “You alright darling?” a nice boy asked me, at least 15 years my junior. “Um yes, thank you dear, bad back that’s all”.
Time to put away those High Tops and get back under that blanket with a cup of cocoa. Until next time…