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Old 04-10-2010, 05:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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is this good cardio? i hatehatehate running, and have always had trouble sticking to exercise routines... but i love playing DDR! it has a "workout" mode that tells me i burn something like 400 calories in half an hour of play, which i don't really trust... but it does get my heart pumping.. will i be ok using this as my only cardio or should i force myself to run a bit?
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Old 04-10-2010, 06:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Making yourself do something you hate to do would just be setting yourself up for failure. That word "force" is the tip off! Your exercise should be something you really like, IMO. Our resident trainer Beth may chime in with expertise; my only thought is to take your pulse and make sure you're in your target heart range and that you can sustain it for the period of time you want (unless DDR is more like interval training...Beth, do you know?). Either way, unless I'm way off base, you're better off dancing your way to cardio benefits for now!
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Old 04-10-2010, 07:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by dissonant.bella View Post
is this good cardio? i hatehatehate running, and have always had trouble sticking to exercise routines... but i love playing DDR! it has a "workout" mode that tells me i burn something like 400 calories in half an hour of play, which i don't really trust... but it does get my heart pumping.. will i be ok using this as my only cardio or should i force myself to run a bit?
Hi Dissonant. As usual, I agree with Cassie regarding exercise and doing what you love. If you hate running, why bother? Since you already know that you have trouble sticking to exercise routines, probably because you didn't enjoy it in the first place, and you found something you love playing, looks like you found a perfect fit for the time being.

The heart rate monitor is a great idea for ensuring that you are working hard enough and not too hard. There's a term in the fitness world called the "Exercise Fitt Principle". It is an acronym that stands for the four principles that exercise (in this case cardio) must include to be considered beneficial according to the American College of Sports Medicine.
F: Frequency (3-5 times per week recommended)*
I: Intensity (this is where your heart rate monitor comes in handy to ensure you're working hard enough-anywhere from 60-90% of maximum hr, i.e., 220-age x .6 - .9--start at the lower end and build up as you cardio system improves)
T: Time (15-60 minutes based on experience and level of conditioning)
T: Type of Exercise (must be a continuous, rythmic exercise)

*After you've been doing this a while, it would be a good idea to find another form of cardio to switch in and out of your routine to keep you from hitting a plateau and decrease the chances of an over-use injury

I personally haven't used the DDR but from what I've read, it can be a great exercise choice. You can warm up with easy songs for 5 minutes, move on to standard songs for 20 minutes, then cool down with the easy songs. After a while you can even do intervals using hard songs (if they're not too long) and then slip back down to standard ones to bring your heart rate down, going back and forth, for a terrific HIIT session.

Have fun!
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