Ice work if you can get it 'Don't worry, I won't let you fall, I promise,"Says jarid norman, the instructor helping me adjust my ice skates. "But if you do fall, i'll make sure i'm right beneath you. "As jarid is a blue-Eyed, dark-Haired, 6ft 6in south african, losing my balance sounds significantly less objectionable. Outdoor ice rinks are always exciting, but the new one at the natural history museum in london is stunning.With the floodlit museum as a backdrop and 76, 000 fairy lights glittering in the trees, it's hard not to be enthusiastic. As i arrived, a number of five-Year-Olds on the rink were putting their parents to shame.Where the children whizz, the adults tend to wobble.As one little girl, dressed for the occasion in a faux-Fur jacket and sequinned jeans, skated off, her father stepped away from the side only to make a dramatic lunge for it a few seconds later.The film director guy ritchie was even less brave.When he pitched up with his stepdaughter, lourdes, nine, he kept his feet firmly behind the fencing. But, as jarid pointed out, the basics are surprisingly easy to pick up.The day before, he had taught a 65-Year-Old how to skate for the first time.His youngest client, a four-Year-Old girl, remained shyly silent during her half-Hour session until she gleefully shrieked,"Look what i can do, mummy", and hurtled around the rink at lightning speed. Unlike many rinks, the natural Buy Cheap Tiffany Pendants UK history museum has up to six skate marshals on the ice at any one time.They are there for safety reasons, but are also on hand to give advice, whether you want to learn how to turn, twist, triple-Spin or just have someone to grab on to for stability.The marshals include champion figure-Skaters(For the girls)And ex-Professional ice-Hockey players(For the boys). Having last skated 20 years ago, i wanted to know how to stay upright. I was told that one of the biggest mistakes Ear Nails that beginners make, apart from never leaving the side, is trying to walk on the ice.Instead, you should have your knees bent, feet in a duck-Footed position, and push off in a diagonal line with your back foot. Don't keep your upper body rigid(You should be swaying slightly)And don't have your arms widely outstretched;It will only complicate things when transferring your weight with each push off and, as jarid says,"Make you look goofy".When it comes to stopping, simply drag your back foot on the ice until you stop.If you have young children with you, or are feeling a bit wimpish, it may be better to start off on the junior rink.Ask for wrist guards when you pick up your skates, so that your hands are well protected. After a few circuits, you should be warmed up.Aside from being an enjoyable social activity, albeit one accompanied by a cheesy disco soundtrack(Lots of lionel richie and michael jackson), ice-Skating is increasingly recognised for its physical benefits.It is low-Impact, so good for anyone with knee problems, and it strengthens your core and gluteal muscles, inner thighs and hamstrings.The less gliding and more push-Offs you do, the more effective is your workout. As well as getting your skates on, there is a lot around to relax over.The caf which overlooks the rink, is a cosy haven of soft leather sofas, frothy hot chocolates and mulled wine.Otherwise, you can do some christmas shopping at the village next door:The stalls sell everything from christmas puddings to puzzles and toys. Elsewhere:Winter wonderland, edinburgh(0131 226 6550);Manchester united(0870 060 1789);Edf energy, norwich(01603 630000);Eden project, cornwall(01726 811972);Taunton, somerset(01823 336344).