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Ways to Burn 500 Calories a Day

By Caroline Schley ; Updated July 18, 2017

In the world of ambitious fitness goals, finding ways to burn 500 calories in a day is up there with training for a 10K run or an open water swimming event. It’s difficult and requires dedication, but the rewards are grand. If you torch an extra 500 calories each day over the course of a week, you will burn off a whole pound. Reserve 45 minutes to an hour for exercise each day you plan to burn 500 calories. Focus on cardio to supercharge your calorie burn.


Harvard Health reveals that a 125 pound woman burns 540 calories running for one hour at a pace of 11.5 minutes per mile. Blast extra calories by adding speed intervals or jogging over hills. Having trouble finding motivation? Try listening to music while you run. In a study published in the "Online Journal of Sport Psychology," researchers from Georgia Southern University found that athletes can utilize music to increase concentration and mood enhancement.

Indoor Cycling

Harvard Health says a 40-minute biking workout is guaranteed to melt 525 calories. Bike at a moderate level (you should be breathing heavily but able to talk) for five minutes. Bump it up to a higher exertion level (breathing heavily, not easily able to talk) for five minutes. Then, spend the next 30 minutes alternating intervals of heavy exertion and recovery. Mix one minute of heavy exertion (breathing heavily, not able to talk) with two minutes of pedaling at a recovery level where you are just barely able to catch your breath.

Rock Climbing

Rock climbing is an excellent way to burn over 500 calories in one hour. Rock climbing has the added bonus of employing lots of muscle groups that most people do not usually use, so your body has to work extra hard to accomplish a climb. Make sure that you choose a challenging route and don’t spend a lot of time hanging off your rope. Keep four points of contact with the wall and feel the burn.

Gym Class

Take an hourlong aerobics class to burn anywhere from 500 to 700 calories. Indoor cycling, capoeira, boxing, kickboxing and high-intensity step aerobics are excellent options. Added bonus? As you meet regulars in classes you like, you can trade fitness tips and make workout dates.


According to Harvard Health, a 155 pound adult can burn up to 744 calories in an hour by swimming laps. Alternating between laps, the breast stroke, the crawl and treading water will not only add more variety but still help you burn over 500 calories. Even the leisurely back stroke will nudge you over the edge of your goal calorie-burn.

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