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Photo by Elora Akins Photography/Courtesy of Skijoring America

3 Ways to Avoid the New Year’s Gym Rush

Breaking a sweat can raise your body temperature, but crowded fitness centers full of resolution-crazed exercisers will just make your blood boil. Instead, try one of these unorthodox methods for getting fit.

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As gyms overflow with resolute New Year’s exercisers, try a less conventional method for breaking a sweat.

Archery Dodgeball
Arm yourself with a bow and foam-tipped arrow at Archery Games Denver, which offers a medieval twist on the gym class contest just outside the Mile High City in Arvada. Each 75-minute session (ages seven and up) begins with an archery lesson, ensuring even the greenest of bowmen can compete. Not that hitting a moving target—especially one ducking behind inflatable barriers on a 3,300-square-foot course—will be easy. Helmets, eyewear, and arrows with multiple layers of force-absorbing foam mean that if your team falls short, the only bruising will be to your pride. $27 per player

Photo courtesy of Smash*It Breakroom

Smash*It Breakroom
Acts of destruction help you get moving while simultaneously reducing the boiling in your blood. That’s the thought behind the Overland neighborhood’s new-in-September rage room, where smashable items (and all the tools you need to demolish them) wait inside a concrete-walled room for patrons 13 and older. The proprietors provide eyewear, gloves, and other safety equipment, allowing you to chuck plates against the wall and take a baseball bat to a television set without getting sliced up by debris. Where else can you Hulk out guilt-free? From $30

Skijoring
A Scandinavian sport in which a horse or dog pulls a skier through the snow, skijoring may seem like a cop-out—the animal is the motor, right? Not quite. Balancing makes your quads, hamstrings, and glutes burn, and you need to propel yourself, cross-country-skiing-style, to give your pup an assist. Devil’s Thumb Ranch and Frisco Nordic Center teach dogs and their humans how to skijor, and those feeling brave can try the horse-driven San Juan Skijoring competition January 11 to 12. There, kids and adult newbies enter the junior and novice divisions, respectively, before watching the pros sail off jumps.

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