Saturday, October 16, 2010

Dance Class Lessons on Diet and Exercise

What would you expect to learn in a day of dance workshops? In four hours of dance classes today, I learned new rhythms, ironed out a few glitches of the lindy basic step, and got some valuable pointers for following. As a bonus, I saw some theories about diet and exercise illustrated.

The classmates I had lunch with were physically fit dancers who brought sandwiches or got a burger. The sandwiches had the grainy nuts-and-twigs style bread. Some of the sandwich and burger eaters remarked after lunch that it would be a good time for a nap. I'd had a low-carb lunch of coffee, sausage, egg and cheese and some raw, home-grown vegetables kindly shared by some classmates. Earlier, I'd had a homemade protein shake with olive oil and a piece of low-carb pumpkin pie. I felt relaxed and alert after lunch--very different from how tired I felt towards the end of a day of balboa classes in 2003 and a day of Charleston classes in 2007. The difference is, I think, because I didn't have any blood sugar crash this time. I went straight to the grocery store after the workshops and had to stop myself from bouncing through the aisles.

An observation on exercise: Even though I'd planned to go to the dance tonight, and I'm still not tired, I stayed home. I sat in front of the TV for 20 or 30 minutes after dinner, completely still, watching--wait for it--the main menu of Death Note--something I normally wouldn't do for more than 20 or 30 seconds. I might still be there if my dog hadn't barked at me to get her a snack. I don't feel tired or sore, I just don't have any desire to move. To me, this goes to show what some researchers say about exercise: it may cause you to burn fewer calories when you're not exercising. (Part of my lack of desire for tonight's dance is mental: all my partners today were wonderful, and I enjoyed them very much, but I just spent four hours dancing with them today, four hours dancing with them last night, and I'm going to be dancing with them again tomorrow. That's enough.)

A surprise today: my pants, which I couldn't zip back in January, were slightly loose. So much for a high-fat diet making you fat.

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