As someone who always starts the new year with the best intentions, but somehow falls off the Dryathlon bandwagon, this time I'm determined to stick to my 'New Year, New Me' regime. This year, like some kind of extreme Gym Barbie, it involved the purchase of a rainbow of new gym apparel and some jazzy trainers, a strict no alcohol-no sugar mantra (well, for January at least), and started, rather alarmingly even for me, with a three day juice cleanse. This year, I am continuing with my pre-dawn gym sessions, no matter how much more miserable it is making an already-miserable January. So, this year, you can imagine the excitement when I discovered a form of exercise that is guaranteed to work up a serious sweat, yet is ACTUALLY FUN. The exercise class that can claim this description is none other than Fitsteps - the new dance fitness craze created by stars of Strictly Come Dancing, Ian Waite and Natalie Lowe, and launching this month in Salford.
Each Fitsteps class is 45 minutes long (before you ask, 45 minutes is plenty long enough), and there are seven classes available across Salford: Irlam and Cadishead Leisure Centre, Fit City Ordsall, Fit City Worsley and the newly-refurbished Swinton and Pendlebury Leisure Centre. You don't need to be a member of the facilities, and anyone can attend a class, even solo, as no dance partner is required (no excuses then!).
So what of the class itself? Well, as a regular gym goer, and all-round fitness afficionado, I can report that it is a great cardio workout (perfect for shifting all those extra Christmas-pudding induced pounds), and will train you to improve your posture - something that most of us struggle with due to the typical desk-bound working day. The difference with Fitsteps is that you are able to learn the basic steps of all the classic ballroom dances - cha cha, tango, paso doble, quickstep and samba, among others - but with no need for a dance partner (listen as most of the men in Greater Manchester breathe a sigh of relief). And who needs them anyway? It's super-fun and the perfect activity for a group of girlfriends. See for yourself here.
Part of the 'New Year, New Me' regime involves me trying new things. So I'm donning some legwarmers and heading to my nearest Salford Community Leisure gym. Sequins not included, Brendan sold separately.
- You can find your nearest FitSteps class here. And for anyone finding Nicole's healthy lifestyle too sickeningly pure, I can confirm that I witnessed her snarf at least three peanut butter cookies today with nary a leg wrmer in sight - so there's hope for us all.