There’s a chance she’ll really love that set of dumbbells. But there’s also the chance that they’ll go over about as well as a lump of coal. It’s possible to give the gift of fitness and get thanks in return — instead of a slap to the face. You just need to think outside the box. Here are six ideas to get everyone on your gift list moving.
Nice Ice, Baby
Ice skating lessons at the National Gallery of Art’s Sculpture Garden, $130 for a five-week session.
The Sculpture Garden’s ice rink offers more than just a pretty view. For the third year in a row, adults and kids (as young as 3) can take skating lessons. In the adult classes, Sculpture Garden Skating School director Alice Shelley tells students to use each piece of art as a reminder to practice a particular move. “If you see the spider, they know, ‘I have to do some toe pick work,’” Shelley says. Classes are open to 10 people, and sessions start Jan. 2 and Feb. 6. Register Dec. 18 or Feb. 4 from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Pavilion Café or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
All Together Now
Lil Omm Yoga (4708 Wisconsin Ave. NW; 202-248-6304), $90 for a five-class pass, $125 for family monthly membership
The holidays are about being together, so keep the bond going at this all-ages yoga studio that recently relocated to Tenleytown. Several classes are designed for families, including Tough Love PLAYTIME. The first half-hour consists of strength-training exercises for adults (while children can whoop it up in the playroom). The last 30 minutes are devoted to parent/kid yoga. Or get in some solo stretching. In addition to kiddie classes, such as Littles (3- to 5-year-olds), there are plenty of adults-only programs. One new option: barre fusion.
Retül fit, Revolution Cycle (2731 Wilson Blvd., Clarendon; 703-312-0007), $250 for road bikes and $300 for tri bikes
This two-hour fitting process is for the cyclist who has everything — including some nagging pains. The rider has sensors placed on his or her wrists, elbows, shoulders, hips, knees, ankles, heels and toes. And then it’s time to sweat. It takes about 30 minutes of riding for the sensors to gather the info needed to create a 3-D image of how the body moves on the bike, which helps a physical therapist figure out what needs to be tweaked. “It’s about becoming more efficient and getting more out of your ride, but it’s also a lot about just being comfortable,” says Revolution’s Stacey Moses.
Hand in Hand
intro to Hand Dance lessons, Joy of Motion (7315 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda; 301-986-0016), $99 for six weeks.
Say “I love you. And I love D.C.” by taking your sweetie hand dancing. It’s a type of swing that became Washington’s official dance in 1999, but it’s been popular since the 1950s, says instructor Alvin Prather. He teaches beginners the basic move: matching your feet to six beats of music. He also works on stationary turns and simple traveling steps. “It’s a great activity for your health as well as great fun,” Prather says. The next session begins Jan. 5.
Take a Hike
Membership to the Capital Hiking Club, $12 annual membership
Stuff this into a stocking with a good pair of socks. The 47-year-old organization offers 5- to 12-mile hikes 52 weekends a year, often with add-ons such as visits to wineries and Civil War battlefields. Membership has its privileges: a quarterly hike schedule, maps and a discount on some trips. No experience is necessary, but hikers must be in good physical condition, says club board member Christine Powell. “To go out there, you do have to make sure you’re a regular walker or at least occasional hiker or runner or somebody in shape,” she says. “But we’re not out to kill ourselves. We’re out to have fun.”
Dive Right In
SCUBA lessons, SPE Dive School (4600 North Park Ave., Suite 111, Chevy Chase, Md.; 301-657-2266), $295.
Go for the lessons; stay for the tropical paradise vacation. The open-water course is a three-part program requiring 24 hours of training that culminates in a dive off Grand Cayman. Choose between weekend courses that meet for 12 hours a day for two days, or night classes that meet four times in the classroom (to learn about emergency procedures and how to read dive charts) and twice in the pool. Certification is open to anyone older than 12 and able to complete 10 minutes of floating and 200 yards of swimming. Although the school provides most equipment, students bring their own masks, snorkels and fins. The trip to the Caribbean is extra. But that would make a nice Valentine’s Day present.