Lifting weights isn’t always convenient, especially when you don’t have access to a gym. Luckily there are many ways to burn 500 calories without using weights.
Maybe you are interested in this topic because you want to avoid bulking up while keeping some lean muscle on your body.
Thankfully, weight lifting isn’t the only way to burn fat and calories.
Plenty of physically demanding activities burn way more calories than you would expect, and not all of them require gym equipment. We’ll explain ten ways you can feel the caloric burn without hitting the gym!
First, how can we measure how many calories our bodies burn?
Individuals work off calories at different rates based on their weight and the duration of their physical activity, so not everyone will experience the same result.
The best thing that you can do is work out for a set period of time that is ideal for your body and your schedule.
While your fitness level, weight, and other individual traits will determine exactly how many calories you will work off, here are ten ways to get started.
Guys, some of these will surprise you, but remember this:
The point is to GET YOURSELF MOVING! Be active in some sort of way. Everyday. This is the key to maintaining a healthy weight and not having to kill yourself in the gym to do it!
1. Go for a long hike.
Getting outside and energized goes a long way in jump starting your caloric reduction. Hiking isana inexpensive (or free hobby) that people of any skill level can start enjoying.
Getting outside will also give you a healthy dose of Vitamin D, a nutrient that most people are deficient in!
From flat trails with few challenges to steep terrain with breathtaking views, hiking gives a seriously refreshing out-of-gym experience. You can also burn some SERIOUS calories doing it (think hiking uphill).
Hiking Science offers a dynamic calculator that hikers use to estimate calories burned. For example, for a 150-pound hiker who travels six miles with no elevation gain burns over 500 calories.
What’s great about hiking is it’s customizable for every individual’s comfort level, whether that’s 5000-foot peak hikes or leisurely lakeside trails.
Oh, and it’s usually FREE (unless you have to pay park fees).
2. Take an aerobics class.
While signing up for aerobics class might require a trip to your local gym, it will keep you away from the dumbbells. As Harvard Health Publications notes, all levels of aerobics slough off comparable calories.
In a 30-minute aerobics session, whether step or regular high-impact, a 155-pound person works off around 260 calories. That means that in one hour, you’ve easily exceeded the 500-calorie goal.
High impact step aerobics burns the most calories per hour while teaching an aerobics class burns fewer calories but still peaks at over 400.
You also don’t HAVE to go to the gym to do aerobics. You can do workouts from home like the one below:
3. Hop on the elliptical.
In-home or at your gym, jumping on the elliptical gives you a whole-body workout that burns over 330 calories per half hour. In about 45 minutes, those 500 calories are history, according to Harvard.
Ellipticals are great for cardio workouts since they get your heart pumping in a hurry. Plus, you’ll work multiple muscle groups- hamstrings, quads, glutes, triceps, and biceps- to name a few.
Once you get the hang of working out on the elliptical, it becomes an enjoyable element to your calorie reducing routine.
4. Get out and run.
Most people think that the ultimate calorie zapping activity is running. However, it would take the average 155-pound runner a seven-minute mile speed to banish 500 calories.
Seven miles…? No thank you.
When I used to run, I did get all the way up to 10 miles at one point. But I have to tell you, it was ROUGH on my body and I STILL wasn’t in the best shape of my life (not until I found yoga.)
Depending on your weight and mile time, you may burn significantly more or fewer calories per half hour. Still, for athletes who enjoy running, it’s a go-to exercise for vetoing caloric overindulgences.
If you have access to a gym, or a treadmill at home, working up to a faster mile time and more effective 500-calorie reduction isn’t too massive of a goal.
If you’re not a runner, you can also check out our article on workouts that burn more calories than running.
5. Bike your workout.
Justin Rubin, a group fitness manager at an Equinox gym, developed this workout, which ranges from low resistance and flat pedaling to hill surges and faster pacing.
Follow this workout, Women’s Health suggests, and you’ll get rid of those 500 calories in about 45 minutes.
Or you can simply take the old mountain bike out for a spin outside, you’ll just need to go a much further distance.
6. Mow the lawn.
Weird, right? But you would kill two birds with one stone and probably feel pretty darn productive afterward!
And no, we don’t mean a riding lawn mower… We’re talking the old fashioned push mower!
WebMD’s list of everyday calorie burners includes mowing that patch of green, which ranks at a draw of 250-350 calories per hour. If that’s not enough incentive to garden, yard work offers similar benefits.
Landscaping, moving rocks, and hauling dirt all rank at 400-600 calories per hour. Get your garden in top shape while sculpting your body too. Plus, getting dirty helps ground you- literally and figurately.
Just make sure to bend at the knees and follow proper form when digging, lifting, and hauling yard waste, says WebMD’s source. Then start toning the muscle groups this exercise activates.
7. Shovel snow.
Another productive task makes the list!
Shoveling snow burns between 400 and 600 calories per hour. That’s almost double the calories that the average aerobics class burns! Great news if you experience winter blizzards that keep you from getting to the gym!
Shoveling snow is a lot like lifting weights since snow is technically hefty. But getting outside and up close with nature earns points for your mental and physical health.
Plus, this exercise is a necessary activity for many people who live in colder climates. Why pay for a gym membership when you have your personal gym outside your front door?
8. Chase some children.
Playing with kids also ranks on WebMD’s list. They recommend engaging with kids and mimicking children’s natural energy. Get down on the floor, roll around, spin, climb, and jump.
Not only will you clock more hours of exercise, but you’ll also have fun with your kids (or someone else’s).
Plus, lifting an infant (or toddler, or preschooler) counts as an upper body workout too!
Most parents pass hours actively chasing their kids or engaging in imaginative play, especially outdoors. Make a conscious effort to increase your participation in games kids play daily, and torch those calories!
Depending on your activity level, child care burns 300 to 600 calories every hour. 45 minutes to 500 calories down is easy with kids in tow.
9. Go equipment-free for guided workouts
Christine Salus created a 500-calorie guided workout for her followers, which you can view below! This is a high-intensity interval training, or HIIT, workout.
Without any equipment, Christine guides viewers through a workout that’s challenging without the need for clunky equipment or weights.
She demonstrates each move beforehand, so you can try out each exercise before running the full, timed workout.
10. Take up martial arts.
Based on Harvard’s research, judo, karate, and kickboxing all cost about 370 calories per 30 minutes. That’s another less-than-45-minute workout for 500 calories.
Many gyms offer a range of martial arts classes, but guided demonstrations and mini lessons are also available online. Find your favorite fitness guru and learn their ways online, or join an in-person class.
Martial arts promote full-body fitness and an alignment of the body and mind. Two great benefits in addition to burning mega calories.
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If you enjoyed this article on the ways to burn 500 calories or have any questions, please leave them in the comment section below!