Several weeks ago, Becky and I finally joined the crowd and bought DDR (if you don’t know what that is, read about it over at Wikipedia). Specifically, we bought Dance Dance Revolution Ultramix 3. Also, since we didn’t have a video game system to play it on, we bought a used XBOX, and of course some dance pads to use for playing the game.
Becky poses in a DDR move
We had heard about DDR a while back, I believe on the Today show, where there was a segment on kids who lost weight while playing DDR. Then our friend Jenny mentioned using it as part of her excercise regimen, so we thought it sounded intriguing. We finally got a chance to play on Martha’s Vineyard, when the Lyttles had it in their cottage. They had the Xbox version, which has some really great songs. Later on, we went up to Jenny’s apartment and tried her version, on the PS2, with the workout mode. After that, we decided that we had to get it. 🙂
We ended up going with the Xbox version because we felt that it had more enjoyable songs, and that is key in our enjoyment of the game. Since we didn’t have any video games already, we didn’t have a particular loyalty to a gaming platform. Surprisingly, I was pragmatic enough to let slide the fact that the Xbox is manufactured by Microsoft. 🙂 It certainly works well enough to play DDR, which is the only thing we have plans to use it for.
The game is really a lot of fun, and it is, as best I can tell, a very good workout. We have workout mode turned on, which is a game-wide mode that tracks calories burned during any type of game play. You input your weight, which it uses in a fairly simplistic calculation to determine calories burned. After you complete each dance session, your calories burned are summarized. You can also track your daily calorie burn record in the main Workout Mode menu. It draws a pretty graph, and it also charts your weight over time (assuming that you edit your weight in the game as you take the measurements on your own).
There are a few areas where DDR is weak. It doesn’t take your body through a full range of motion, particularly in the upper body. Also, although it does raise your heart rate, it doesn’t keep it up, which is key to developing good cardiovascular health. In addition, there is no stretching, warm-up, or cool-down built anywhere into DDR. You can get that on your own by changing difficulty levels and doing stretching beforehand, but that can be easy to forget. Finally, it is a fairly high-impact excercise. The jumping and foot stomping can be pretty hard on your joints.
We haven’t been doing it for long enough yet to see any solid results in one way or another, but we are both definitely feeling better, and it’s a heck of a lot better way to spend our time than watching TV in the evenings. 🙂 We are certainly getting more excercise this way than we ever did with our gym membership!
If anyone’s in the area and wants to come check it out, let us know. We’d be glad to have you over. 🙂