Burn 500 Calories A Day Fast: The 12 Best Workouts

Reviewed by Madhu Sharma, Registered Dietitian
by Charushila Biswas
ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition

Did you know that merely reducing calories does not aid weight loss (1)? However, burning 500 Calories per day, along with a balanced diet, can aid weight loss of 6 kg (13 lbs) and 8 kg (17.6 lbs) in women and men, respectively (2).

You need to burn 3500 Calories (500 Cal * 7 days) to lose one pound of fat (3). Creating a negative calorie balance (fewer calories in and more calories out) is necessary for weight loss (4). How can you burn 500 calories a day? Do these 12 fat-burning exercises for 30 minutes a day. Scroll down to check them out.

12 Best Exercises To Burn 500 Calories In 30 Minutes

1. HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training)

HIIT or high-intensity interval training is the best form of anaerobic exercise (does not use oxygen but fat as fuel) to burn 500 calories in a short time (5).

In HIIT, quick and high-intensity exercise sets are repeated for a short time to burn fat more effectively than regular cardio exercises. HIIT also creates EPOC (post-exercise oxygen consumption), which means that you will burn fat even after 2 hours of doing the exercises.

An example of HIIT is doing 12 squat jumps at a high intensity, taking 10 seconds rest, and repeating two more sets. Take 10 seconds rest and do 20 high knees at high intensity. Again, rest for 10 seconds and repeat two more sets. Here are the best HIIT exercises you can do.

2. Zumba/Dancing

Zumba or dancing is a workout that is perfect for people who want to have fun while losing weight. With only 1-2 minutes break during the session, you can burn somewhere between 400-500 calories, depending on your weight and intensity. Exercising with other people who are on the same journey will also boost your confidence and keep you on track.

3. Kickboxing

Kickboxing is a combat sport that burns about 400-500 calories in just 30 minutes. It improves physical fitness, stamina, balance, and mobility (6). Find a kickboxing class near you and get fitter.

4. Swimming

Swimming is an excellent fat-burning and full-body toning exercise, minus the sweat! If you weigh 130 pounds, swimming (freestyle) at a fast pace for 30 minutes will burn around 445 calories. Try various strokes, and you will get in shape in no time.

5. Running/Sand Running

Running and sand running are two effective aerobic or cardio exercises for the entire body. They burn more than 500 calories, depending on your body weight, distance, speed, and time. If you weigh 120 pounds and run at 12 mph, you will burn around 545 calories in 30 minutes.

Sand running adds resistance, which makes this exercise more effective for burning calories quickly. It also helps shed fat from the legs and tone the lower body. Run barefoot on a clean beach to make all the small muscles work, prevent injuries, and strengthen the leg muscles

We recommend practicing interval running. Jog at 8 mph for a minute, and sprint at 12-14 mph for 10 seconds. Repeat for 30 minutes. Take two 30-second breaks and walk at 6 mph.

6. Weight Training

Lifting weights or strength training is essential for building lean muscle and burning 500 calories a day. Use equipment like dumbbells, barbells, Swiss balls, medicine balls, kettlebells, resistance bands, pull-up bars, etc. to get your muscles fibers to work.  Do cardio and weight training on alternate days to get a fit and slim body.

7. Rope Jumping

Jumping rope or skipping is a great warm-up exercise. When you practice high-intensity rope jumps for 30 minutes, you can burn up to 500 calories. Wear proper shoes and land softly to prevent knee injuries. Take two 60-second breaks during the session.

8. Body Weight Workouts

Body weight exercises are like lifting weights without weights! You don’t need any equipment  to burn 500 calories in 30 minutes – just your body’s weight. Exercises like jump squats, plank toe taps, crawling, push-ups, mountain climbers, spider climbers, burpees, high knees, jumping crossbody leg kicks, leg drops, crunches, jumping lunges, skater lunges, etc. are amazing calorie burners.

9. Exercise Bike/Cycling

Whether outdoors or indoors, bicycling is a great way to burn 500 calories in 30 minutes. Fast biking at 14-15 mph for 30 minutes can help burn 460 calories in 30 minutes. However, if your endurance is not at that level, you may take three sets of 60 seconds break and catch your breath. Over the course of two weeks, your endurance will start improving, and you will start burning more calories.

10. Rowing

Get a water rowing machine at home or row at the gym. It will help you burn 500 calories and also tone your upper back, shoulders, chest, and arms. It also offers a host of benefits.

11. Outdoor Sports

Skiing, ice skating, football, basketball, and racquet sports like badminton and tennis are amazing outdoor sports you can bank on to burn 500 calories in 30 minutes. The serotonin and adrenaline rush also helps improve memory, reduce stress, and induce better sleep.

12. Running Up The Stairs

Running up the stairs is a fat-burning, leg-toning exercise that you cannot ignore if you want to burn 500 calories in just 30 minutes. Running up the stairs helps pump more oxygen and works the lungs, heart, muscles, and bones. You sweat and shed the fat away. It also improves your balance and coordination.

These are the 12 best exercises you can do to burn 500 calories in 30 minutes. But is it enough for losing weight? Find out in the next section.

Is Burning 500 Calories A Day Enough To Lose Weight?

Yes, burning 500 calories per day is good for reasonable weight loss per week. If you want to lose a pound of fat, you need to burn 3500 calories. If you burn 500 calories per day, by the end of the week, you will burn 3500 calories, which means you will lose a pound of fat.

Following the right nutrition plan and taking proper rest can help you lose more than 5 pounds in a month. Remember, gradual weight loss is always better than following fad diets and workout routines that cause long-term injury.

Here’s a list of other activities you can do to burn calories.

Other Fun Ways To Lose Calories

  1. Do gardening, be it in your backyard or someone else’s. Gardening can be quite tiring, and it will earn brownie points with your friends and family.
  2. Clean the house. You may listen to your favorite music to keep you engaged and entertained.
  3. Convince a friend to play racquetball with you every day for 45 minutes.
  4. Learn to play an instrument. There is enough mental and physical strain to burn plenty of calories.
  5. Laugh! Yes, laughing also burns calories.

Working out does not have to be a punishment. Have fun while taking care of your body and health. Mix cardio and strength training. Eat healthy and remain stress-free, and you will see a huge difference in the way you look and feel. Take care!

Expert’s Answers for Readers Questions

What is the fastest way to burn calories?

The best exercise method to burn calories fast is HIIT. High-intensity interval exercises not only burn calories during exercise but also 2 hours after you have left the gym. With HIIT, you do more in a short period, and you lose fat as well as retain muscle tone.

Is a 500-calorie workout good?

Yes, a 500-calorie workout is good. Make sure you eat a banana or have a smoothie 1 hour before exercise. Keep a bottle of homemade electrolyte water handy to keep yourself hydrated.

How much weight will I lose by burning 500 Calories in a week?

You will lose about 1 pound or more if you burn 500 Calories in a week. Consume healthy superfoods and follow a healthy lifestyle.

How many jumping jacks will burn 500 Calories?

Jumping jacks is not a very effective exercise to burn 500 calories. Sure, it is a good warm-up exercise. But to burn 500 calories, you have to do HIIT, kickboxing, swimming, play outdoor sports, etc. If you want to do jumping jacks, probably try 1000 jumping jacks!

What physical activities burn 500 calories a day?

To burn 500 calories a day, you have to do more than just reach your target of 10,000 steps a day. Do any of these exercises – running, HIIT, swimming, or Zumba or play outdoor sports. Along with these, you must also aim to remain active throughout the day, like taking the stairs, walking to work or school, and using a standing desk when you are tired of sitting.

How to lose 1 pound in a day?

Losing 1 pound in a day is harmful and may cause muscle loss and lead to compromised immunity. Here’s a detailed post if you still want to lose 1 pound in a day.

6 sources

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Charushila Biswas

Charushila Biswas is a Senior Content Writer and an ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition. She is an alumni of VIT University, Vellore and has worked on transgenic wheat as a part of her Masters dissertation from NRCPB (IARI), New Delhi. After completing her Masters, she developed a passion for nutrition and fitness, which are closely related to human psychology. This prompted her to author a review article in 2015. She has written over 200 articles on Fitness and Nutrition. In her leisure time, Charushila loves to cook and enjoys mobile photography.
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