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Holidays Offer Unique Ways to Get Some Exercise

Graham King of Balance Gym demonstrates moves inspired by
Graham King of Balance Gym demonstrates moves inspired by "The 12 Days of Christmas." (Sarah L. Voisin)

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By Vicky Hallett
Tuesday, December 23, 2008

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The shopping, wrapping, trimming, stringing and even baking are all done. So that leaves you with those other joyous holiday traditions of gorging, snoozing and, perhaps after a wee bit too much time with the family, bickering. For our final installment of the 12 Days of Doing Something, we have three livelier ideas to see you through to the new year.

Play Broomball

You know what pairs well with eggnog? Sibling rivalry! Instead of letting tensions take the merry out of your Christmas, put the competition on ice with a friendly broomball match. The game "is a lot like hockey in tennis shoes," says Racqel Self, marketing manager at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington, which usually turns its rink over to broomball players on Saturdays from 10:30 to 11:30 p.m.

Instead of a hockey stick, you use something that looks more like a broom (no bristles, though). Instead of a puck, there's a ball. But the key thing is that you don't need to know how to skate -- just how to keep your balance running around on the ice. A $10 fee covers the necessary equipment, which includes a helmet.

Most important, there's extra broomball time scheduled for the next few days to help you work off some of those latkes. (Hey, I'm Jewish, and it was time for a Hanukkah reference.) Take over the rink this Friday (8:30-9:30 p.m.) or Saturday (8:45-9:45 p.m.). If you're looking for a bargain, wait for New Year's Eve: It's $5 on Dec. 31 (6:30 -7:45 p.m.).

Volunteer

My people are known for an important ritual this time of year. Well, right, there's the menorah lighting and the dreidel playing and the moo goo gai pan eating. But the D.C. Jewish Community Center (http://www.washingtondcjcc.org) also organizes the December 25th Day of Service, which attracts loads of people looking to help out in the community by throwing parties for hospital patients, delivering meals, painting homeless shelters and more.


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