If you want to lose weight, you know you need to create a calorie deficit. While it’s easy to focus on the calories you take in, the other side of the equation is the calories you burn. Would you like to know how to burn 500 calories in just 50 minutes? Yes, it’s possible! And you might be surprised how many ways there are to achieve this. Just imagine how far ahead you could be on your fitness goals by burning an extra 500 calories here and there?!
What, Exactly, Is a Calorie?
The word “calorie” is thrown around quite a bit, but what exactly is a calorie, and how do you burn them?
A calorie is simply a way of measuring energy. Various foods have different numbers of calories. For example, carbs and protein both contain 4 calories per gram whereas most fat contains 9 grams of calories per gram.
You burn the calories you take in through food by existing (known as your basal metabolic rate), activity (exercise and movement), and thermogenesis (e.g., the calories used to generate heat via digestion of food). It takes 3,500 calories to either create or burn off a pound of body fat. This is where the how to burn 500 calories comes into play. If you want to burn off a pound of fat every week, then burning off an extra 500 calories a day can help you reach your goal faster.
What Does It Really Take to Burn Off Calories through Exercise?
Yes, you burn off calories just by existing, but when you exercise, how many calories can you burn and how much effort do you actually have to put in? Well, not all exercise is created equal. And, of course (it should go without saying), the more effort you put into your exercise, the more you will get out of it. As always, be sure to get clearance from your physician before embarking on a new or strenuous exercise program.
How to Burn 500 Calories in Under an Hour
These exercises will burn approximately 500 calories for a 150-pound person in 50 – 60 minutes of activity. Keep in mind that everyone burns calories at a different rate, and your level of effort will determine how many calories you, as an individual, will actually burn:
1. Spin Class—spinning was all the rage years ago, and it’s still at the top of the list. Why? Because this type of class can have you burning a monstrous amount of calories. Not to worry, if you’re new to the game, you can self-adjust the tension on your bike to increase or decrease your effort. But, keep in mind, if you want to burn 500+ calories in under an hour, you will have to put in a solid effort.
2. Running—slow going still gets the job done. This completely versatile form of exercise can burn right around 500 calories for 50 minutes at 5 miles per hour and even more if you increase your pace.
3. Jumping Rope—this intense exercise will keep your heart rate up and your metabolic furnace stoked. If you can actually stick it out for 50 minutes, you’ll burn over 700 calories.
4. Stairmaster—this no-impact workout is a calorie-killer with its heavy emphasis on the leg muscles. Because you have to use your quads, hamstrings, and calves to propel your body upward and forward in this leg-dominant workout, you burn a lot of calories. So, if you want to incinerate 500 calories, ramp up your workout by jumping on the Stairmaster.
5. Snow-shoeing—while this exercise may look fun, it packs a punch when it comes to burning off the calories. Because you have to lift your legs repeatedly, balance your body, and propel yourself forward, sometimes through heavy snow, this cardio-intense exercise can burn up to 700 calories or more in 50 minutes.
6. Boxing—in particular, cardio boxing or kick-boxing classes will burn in excess of 500 calories in 50 minutes. They use strength training, cardiovascular training, HIIT sessions, flexibility, and more in a nonstop fast-paced fashion.
7. Hot Yoga—Bikram Yoga in particular is touted as a solid workout comprised of a sequence of 26 poses in a room heated to 105 degrees. The workout includes flexibility, strengthening movements, cardiovascular conditioning, and the usual regulated breathing and meditative qualities.
8. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)—these high-intensity workouts will have you burning an average of over 750 calories per hour. But, you don’t necessarily want to do a HIIT workout for such a long period of time. It’s better to do a 5- to 10-minute warmup and then engage in 20 to 30 minutes of HIIT exercise, followed by either an additional bout of steady state aerobic exercise or a 5- to 10-minute cooldown. But, there’s a huge advantage to HIIT training that occurs after your workout is complete. This is a phenomenon known as “afterburn” (or EPOC: excess post-exercise oxygen consumption). Afterburn can continue for up to 24 hours after you’ve worked out.
How to burn 500 calories with HIIT exercises? Try some of these popular high-intensity training activities:
- High-Intensity Interval Cardio Training—you can do a HIIT workout on most gym equipment such as a bike, treadmill, stair stepper, or elliptical. After your warmup, simply perform short bursts of all-out effort for 15 – 30 seconds followed by a slower recovery period of 1 – 2 minutes. Repeat for 7 – 10 cycles and include both a gentle warmup and a cooldown.
- Circuit Training—this type of training keeps you moving and your heart rate up. As long as you keep the pace fast and don’t allow for much rest (if any) between sets, you should get a significant calorie burn from this workout.
- Weight Training with Intervals—resistance training, coupled with short bursts of some form of cardiovascular movement in-between sets (stepping up onto a bench, doing jumping jacks, or jumping rope for 60 seconds) can significantly increase your fat- and calorie-burning potential.
- Tabata Training—this form of training usually involves doing eight sets of exercise consisting of 20 seconds of all-out effort, followed by ten seconds of rest. To increase your calorie burn, try doing four individual four-minute Tabata intervals.
Now that you know how to burn 500 calories fast, you just need to get started. Have fun!