Burning 500-600 calories per day can be a practical goal for weight loss. Cutting back your excess calorie intake combined with extra movement can help you maximize reaching your weight loss goals.
How do you know how many calories you are burning with different exercises? The amount of calories you burn for exercise or daily life can vary based on how much you weigh, age, sex, metabolic rate and genetics.
Some fitness apps or calculations try to take these factors into account for estimating how many calories you use for different activities.
Keep in mind that as you lose weight, your calorie burn will go down. For example, a 185 pound person will burn about 300 calories for 30 minutes of playing soccer, but a person weighing about 125 pounds will burn about 200 calories.
Here are some different estimates for burning 600 calories based on different weights according to Harvard Health Publications from Harvard Medical School.
Aerobic exercise like running, swimming, riding bike, etc. are considered high calorie burn exercises. The higher the intensity, the higher the calorie burn.
In order to burn 600 calories for general swimming, a person weighing 155 pounds would have to swim just under 3 hours, and a person weighing 185 pounds would have to swim just under 2.5 hours.
If you bump up the intensity for lap swimming, a 155 pound person can burn 600 calories in just over an hour and a half, and 185 pounds would take about an hour and a quarter.
Running 10 miles an hour, bicycling, martial arts, jumping rope and playing racquetball all have a similar calorie burn rate.
Walking is a common exercise that most people can do. However, it does take a longer time to reach a rate of burning 600 calories. It would take about 4 hours to burn 600 calories for someone about 155 pounds walking at a rate of 3.5 mph (17 minutes per mile) and a little under 3.5 hours for someone about 185 pounds.
You can add an extra calorie boost by incorporating intervals into any workout. Set a goal to increase your intensity every so often through your workout to give you an even higher calorie burn.
For example, if you are walking or jogging, every 10 minutes try to push the pace for 1-2 minutes.
Break up your exercise throughout the day
If this amount of exercise sounds unattainable at one time, remember you can break up your exercise throughout the day. You don’t have to do your exercise all at once; in fact, there may be a greater benefit to getting more movement throughout the day.
Breaking up exercise into 10 minutes cycles can still provide health benefits.
If you can’t fit in enough time that is estimated to burn 600 calories, do what you can do. Anything is better than nothing!
Yard and house work
It takes roughly 3 hours of yard work to burn about 600 calories. So, if you like to rake, garden, use a push mower, shovel or laying sod then don’t think you have to go inside a gym to get your workout. Enjoy being outside and get a great calorie burn.
Playing with kids or heavy cleaning are also an effective exercise; it would take about 3 hours of either to burn around 600 calories.
What doesn’t work
What’s not on the list for top calorie burners?
Pretty much anything with sitting involved. When we are sitting, the body does not need to use a lot of energy for muscles. Watching tv, being on the computer or sitting at a desk are not going to significantly help you burn calories efficiently.
It takes about 10 hours of sitting to burn 600 calories. Limiting time sitting can help bump up your total calorie burn for the day.
Burning 600 calories through exercise can be done in a variety of ways. In general, plan on spending at least 1.5-3 hours of exercise to burn 600 calories. Exercises like walking will not have as high a calorie burn and will require more time than exercises like running, cycling, aerobics or swimming.
Adding in bursts of higher intensity intervals is a great way to bump up your calorie burn. Keep in mind you don’t have to do your exercise all in one sitting. Breaking up exercise throughout the day may offer additional health benefits if it limits time you are spent sitting down.
The larger the size of the person, the higher calorie burn rate. As someone goes through weight loss, the body doesn’t burn as much energy. We don’t always have exact, accurate ways to measure calorie burn for every exercise, but there are some tools like fitness apps that can help estimate how many calories you are burning. Even if you aren’t burning 600 calories, any movement is better than nothing!