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Go Throw a Frisbee – Four Ways to Get Moving in April

Technically, spring started last month but April is the unofficial kick off to outside fun. If your exercise routine is in the doldrums, we've got some fresh ways for you to get those 30 minutes of daily moderate activity that can ward against cancer.

Being active protects against several cancers on its own, and it can also help with weight control. That's a big deal, because obesity increases the risk of eight cancers. Try a new activity each week – or more –

Week of April 7

Gear up for a Race

Marathons make the front pages but there's a bounty of shorter races that can give you a goal to strive for, whether you're aiming for a marathon-type race or not. You can sign up for 5K, 10K and obstacle course races. There's even races for zombies. Walk them, run them, walk-run them – you might get a T-shirt but you'll definitely get a fun day out.

  • Work up to running for 30 minutes at a 12-minute mile pace and you’ve burned around 290 calories. That’s 1 Spinach-Strawberry Salad plus 3/4 cup skim milk plus about 5 small chocolate eggs.

Week of April 14

Throw a frisbee

This is a great way to have fun with the whole family. It's cheap, easy, and you don't need any special equipment.

  • Toss a frisbee for half an hour and you'll burn about 100 calories. That will burn off about 25 small jelly beans of any color.

Ever wondered how a frisbee works? Here's a fun read in Scientific American on the aerodynamics of tossing a frisbee that will make you the toast of your next frisbee party.

Week of April 21

Walk Your Dog

Dog owners have a panting, breathing, pooping doey-eyed reason to get out there and walk. Don't have a dog? Offer to take a jaunt for (or with) your dog-owning friend or neighbor. Or visit a local pet shelter, where they may be looking for volunteers.

A review of the research published last year found that dog owners are slightly more active than their non-dog owner counterparts. Slightly over half of dog owners walked their dogs, taking them out on average four times a week for 40 minutes at a time. You can up that average.

  • Walking a dog for half an hour will burn about 100 calories or 3 small chocolate eggs.

Week of April 28:

Get gardening

If you've ever envisioned how nice it would be to walk outside and pluck a fresh vegetable or herb for your dinner, then this is the time to make a plan to grow them. Along with the exercise, gardening allows you to try unique vegetables, beautify your yard and get dirty for a good cause. And at the end of your efforts - enjoy some healthy and tasty cancer-protective foods. Gardening is also a great activity you can do with your kids that can inspire them to eat more veggies.  

  • Do some light weeding or planting for half an hour and you'll burn about 119 calories. That’s equal to the calories in one serving of a Spinach-Strawberry Salad plus 1 small solid chocolate egg.
  • More serious hoeing and intense gardening for 30 minutes will burn 146 calories. For that you could enjoy 2 medium carrots and 3 marshmallow peeps.

Tomatoes tops the list by far as the most grown veggie for US gardeners, according to the National Gardening Association; cucumbers and sweet peppers round out the top three. For guidance on what crops to plant when, use the map on the Association site.

Calories burned are based on the Compendium of Physical Activity and the Cornell University Ergonomics Web calculator using a 150 lb person.

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