Exercise! - DDR'ing my way to LEAN




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Benjasmya
01-22-2007, 10:36 PM
I am not one who likes to exercise. Ok, that's an understatement if I've ever made one. I have tried various exercises to find something that I can live with, but I have a hard time sticking to any of them because they all seem so unpleasant and HARD. I have always been very uncoordinated, too, so going to a gym or an areobics class is too big of a risk for me.

In October, I started the South Beach Diet. I am losing weight, and I feel good about that. However, I figure if I can learn to eat properly, surely I could learn to exercise a little too!

In December, an exercise opportunity arrived in the most unlikely way: I bought my daughters the "Dance Dance Revolution Ultramix 4" game for XBox for Christmas. I thought that, in the privacy of my own home, I wouldn't feel too embarrassed about being uncoordinated. It was also a great way to spend quality time with my daughters.

For those of you who have never heard of DDR, it is a video game where you dance to music according to the arrows on the screen of your TV. (You've seen teenagers do this in the arcade version of the same game). As the arrows scroll across the screen, you step on the corresponding arrows that are on a dance pad on the floor. You can choose your level (I am at "Beginner" or "Light") and play against others who can play at levels different from your own. As you get more skilled, you can choose faster songs with more complicated steps.

The great thing about this (and I am not sure how accurate it is), is that there is a "workout mode" that counts the number of steps you have taken and then tells you how many calories you burn. Since I am not coordinated, I usually take a LOT more steps than are necessary (trying to hit the right step at the right time) and I tend to burn 5-10 calories per song. The best part is that it is SO FUN that I don't even realize I am exercising! My kids love it too, and they love it that they can beat me easily. (You get a score for each song you dance, according to how accurate your steps were). This is the first time I have been able to stick to an exercise routine, even though it is an unconventional one. It's possible that once I work up my endurance on this, I will be more likely to try other exercise too. (I have an exercise bench, dumb bells and an exercise bike.

Has anyone else exercised by way of DDR? I don't know how accurate the calorie counter is, but I do see the results of my efforts, so I am going to keep at it.


Mini-Me
01-23-2007, 01:43 PM
I started seriously thinking about adding DDR to my fitness regimine after watching the videos here: http://www.ddrfitclub.com/forums/

One of these days (when I'm better than 'basic') maybe I"ll post a video...

I agree with you that it is SUPER fun.

starshinek
01-23-2007, 04:32 PM
I love DDR! I have DDR Max 2 for PS2 and find myself doing it for at least 2 hours per day. It's just so much fun. Of course by the time I'm finished I am drenched in sweat and my legs are sore... I've had the game for a while and am just learning about the DDR Fit Club - So many ppl have lost a ton of weight by this game, so even if the calorie counter isn't 100% correct - you are def burning something =)

Also, keep on doing it and you will get better. When I first started I felt so uncoordinated, but you will surprise yourself how quickly you will advance to the next level. Now I can do "heavy" with no problem - Who would have thought?!?!

Good luck to you and have fun!!!


Nikaia
01-23-2007, 05:44 PM
Hunh...you know, I've held a grudge against this game - just cause I have a default setting of "hate" for anything that's a fad, and DDR was a fad not too long ago - but I've got an Xbox, and I have room for a dance pad on my bedroom floor...well, when I clean up some I will...is it really that good of a workout? How much does it run? I think I'm going to do some price-checking.

starshinek
01-23-2007, 05:49 PM
My vote would be that you should definitely get it and try it out. Maybe you could rent it first just to make sure that you like it. I'm not sure how much the games and pad cost for xBox, but I got my game and dance pad at Game Stop for maybe $30 total. Of course, it was used, but I've never had any problems with either.

I think that it's a great workout and the best part is that you do not even feel like you are working out. It's that much fun!!

Nikaia
01-23-2007, 06:10 PM
Hmm. I will drop by Blockbuster after class this evening and see if they rent it...I would imagine one would rent the gamepad with the game, right? Even if I go to buy it first...I know there's a Gamestop in Capitola, and that's only 15 minutes from here. I'll check and see how much it runs for, used. Yay for used games, huh? ;)

Nikaia
01-24-2007, 08:23 PM
*sigh* Some days I wish I'd gotten a PS2 instead. There's very little DDR stuff for Xbox, it's mostly PS2 stuff. Which means it's more expensive to go with the Xbox.

A quick question, though; which pad do you guys use? Did you get a regular one or one of the foam-padded kind? I'm trying to decide for myself right now.

mandalinn82
01-24-2007, 08:32 PM
Foam-padded. It is worth the extra money to reduce some of the pressure on your joints if you are going to play every day or for extended time periods.

I started my fitness regimen with DDR. Then I moved to walking...then the gym...and now you can't stop me! There are TONS of benefits to DDR, specifically it being something that is interesting, engaging, and a seriously good workout. And you can increase the speed as your skill level increases, and you can do it in your own home without making an idiot of yourself (I'm WAY uncoordinated, so this was important to me).

Nikaia
01-24-2007, 09:43 PM
That's the big thing I want out of it, Mandalinn...that it's something INTERESTING, for a change. I get bored SO easily with "traditional" workouts like treadmills and walking DVDs and basic aerobics. And as we all know, when you're bored by a workout, you're much more likely to skip it. So I want to look at DDR as something I can do that will be fun AND give me a workout.

I went to Gamestop today but they had nothing for Xbox. But, I've been pricing on Amazon.com, and it's no more expensive than the Turbo Jam workouts I'd been considering getting, and it sounds like a lot more fun. I think I'm gonna do it - and thanks for the advice on the padded/non-padded mat! An extra $10, but it sounds like it'll be well worth it.

Mini-Me
01-25-2007, 11:09 AM
Re: Pads...

I got a Red Octane 'padded' mat, but if money is an issue, and you are on the 'handy' side, you can turn a regular mat into a padded one:
http://www.ddrfitclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=134

Nikaia
01-25-2007, 01:09 PM
Excellent resource! Thanks!

Benjasmya
01-26-2007, 12:44 AM
Foam-padded. It is worth the extra money to reduce some of the pressure on your joints if you are going to play every day or for extended time periods.

I started my fitness regimen with DDR. Then I moved to walking...then the gym...and now you can't stop me! There are TONS of benefits to DDR, specifically it being something that is interesting, engaging, and a seriously good workout. And you can increase the speed as your skill level increases, and you can do it in your own home without making an idiot of yourself (I'm WAY uncoordinated, so this was important to me).

I totally agree about spending extra for the pad. We started with two basic pads from GameStop, but ended up buying the kind with the foam inserts almost immediately because they are much more comfortable and accurate. You can get a decent deal on a bundle package from eBay.

That is terrific that you started with DDR and now exercise a lot more! That's what I am hoping for too. I have to admit that I haven't had time to DDR lately, but it's on the top of my list for the weekend!

Also, I'm with you on the privacy thing. That's why I won't do aerobics at a gym...I know I shouldn't be embarrassed by how uncoordinated I am, but I think I wouldn't be able to concentrate on burning calories if I was too caught up with looking like a fool. The fun thing about DDR is that it's OK to look like a fool...and more steps means more calories burned!

Best of luck! Keep it up!

Benjasmya
01-26-2007, 12:46 AM
I started seriously thinking about adding DDR to my fitness regimine after watching the videos here: http://www.ddrfitclub.com/forums/

One of these days (when I'm better than 'basic') maybe I"ll post a video...

I agree with you that it is SUPER fun.

Thanks for the url! I didn't know anything about that site!

Benjasmya
01-26-2007, 12:49 AM
*sigh* Some days I wish I'd gotten a PS2 instead. There's very little DDR stuff for Xbox, it's mostly PS2 stuff. Which means it's more expensive to go with the Xbox.

A quick question, though; which pad do you guys use? Did you get a regular one or one of the foam-padded kind? I'm trying to decide for myself right now.

I started out with XBox Ultramix 3 (which I LOVE) and then got Ultramix 4 with my bundle (2 foam pads and Ultramix 4 on eBay). I am trying to get used to Ultramix 4; my kids and I don't like the songs quite as much, but they are still fun.

Give it a try! If you already have the XBox, it's not that much of an investment. (Maybe you can borrow the game if you know someone who has one).

Benjasmya
01-26-2007, 12:52 AM
I love DDR! I have DDR Max 2 for PS2 and find myself doing it for at least 2 hours per day. It's just so much fun. Of course by the time I'm finished I am drenched in sweat and my legs are sore... I've had the game for a while and am just learning about the DDR Fit Club - So many ppl have lost a ton of weight by this game, so even if the calorie counter isn't 100% correct - you are def burning something =)

Also, keep on doing it and you will get better. When I first started I felt so uncoordinated, but you will surprise yourself how quickly you will advance to the next level. Now I can do "heavy" with no problem - Who would have thought?!?!

Good luck to you and have fun!!!

That's good advice! I know I am still at "Beginner" or "Light" but I still manage to break a sweat and burn calories. I don't know if I'll ever get pat beginner. I have accidentally played "Heavy" before and I can't even keep track of the arrows! I might try it in "Training Mode" sometime on some of the songs I really want to learn.

Thanks for your support! :D

Nikaia
01-26-2007, 01:32 AM
Yeah, I've had my Xbox for...dang, I think maybe three years now? Must be, cause I got it the summer after my first year of college, and I'm halfway through my fourth year now, so, yeah, almost three years. So I've *got* the system. I was just looking on Amazon and found that most of the pads and stuff were for PS2. I only found about two or three pads available for Xbox. But, I've found the stuff I wanted, and I've ordered it - and I did get the padded dance mat rather than the regular one. I considered expedited shipping, but at $20 extra, it just wasn't worth it. It should be here next week sometime though...I got Ultramix 4 right off, for the "training" modes mostly. I'm so excited!

And I'm SO with you guys on feeling uncoordinated in the privacy of my own home, rather than in public. I always secretly envied the DDR players I saw at arcades, but no WAY was I going to try it out in public like that! ;)

Mini-Me
01-26-2007, 11:29 AM
That's good advice! I know I am still at "Beginner" or "Light" but I still manage to break a sweat and burn calories. I don't know if I'll ever get pat beginner. I have accidentally played "Heavy" before and I can't even keep track of the arrows! I might try it in "Training Mode" sometime on some of the songs I really want to learn.


Training mode is the way to go. I read about it over at that DDR fit site, and boy did it make a big difference! Be sure to turn the metronome AND handclaps on. (I have playstation, but I'm assuming the xBox versions have that, too).

Are you going to join that other site? I'd love a '3FC' buddy over there!!:hug:

BattlingTheBulge
01-27-2007, 09:03 AM
Here's another DDR website. I've referred to it quite a bit over the past 7 mths or so. There are a lot of kids who post there with attitude and sometimes foul language, but don't let that keep you from benefitting from the other info they have on the site. There are hints, tips, step charts and all sorts of other goodies to help you along no matter which DDR version that you have. Also, lots of good info on which pads are best, etc..

Enjoy:

http://www.ddrfreak.com/phpBB2/

Benjasmya
01-27-2007, 05:36 PM
Here's another DDR website. I've referred to it quite a bit over the past 7 mths or so. There are a lot of kids who post there with attitude and sometimes foul language, but don't let that keep you from benefitting from the other info they have on the site. There are hints, tips, step charts and all sorts of other goodies to help you along no matter which DDR version that you have. Also, lots of good info on which pads are best, etc..

Enjoy:

http://www.ddrfreak.com/phpBB2/

Yes, I have been to the ddrFreak site before, and you're right: there is some good information there. Some sites (I THINK DDRFreak is one) will even have posts of the steps you can print out or study if you are stuck on a song that you just can't get past. Also, lyrics, for whatever that's worth. They also have good information on "modding" your pad. Thanks!

Benjasmya
01-27-2007, 07:02 PM
Mini-Me (I love your name)!

I will try to join DDR Fit soon, but I haven't had much time lately. I work full time, go to grad school half time, and am busy raising 3 daughters. I have a hard time working everything in, and exercise is usually the first thing to go (since I haven't learned how to like it yet, unless I am playing DDR). One of my daughters DID ask to play DDR just today, though, so hopefully I will get back into the swing of things.