Trying to be more active in the new year? Get new ideas for how to burn 100 calories with these 35 exercise and workout suggestions!
While burning 100 calories may not sound like a lot, even little bits of exercise like this can add up to significant results. If someone did the quick exercises below to burn 100 calories every day, that would mean in a year they would burn 36,500 calories. Now, assume that a pound of fat requires burning 3500 calories (which isn’t a perfect equation but is good for the purpose of general calculations like this). That means if all else stayed equal, this person would drop about 10 pounds that year – not bad at all!
The calorie burn estimates below are based on a 155-pound person. If you’re a bit lighter, you’ll burn fewer calories on some of the weight-bearing activities; similarly if you’re a bit heavier you’ll burn more.
You’ll find 15 in depth ideas – plus another 20 quick ideas in case you need more variety!
How to Burn 100 Calories: 35 Easy Ways to Do It!
1. Run – or walk! – a mile
There’s a big misconception out there that walking isn’t a good form of exercise, but on the contrary – it can be just as valuable as running. Most people will burn about 100 calories over a mile (give or take a few), whether walking or running. Obviously, the major difference between the two is time. You may be able to run a mile in 9 minutes, but it takes you 15-20 minutes to walk a mile. Choose whichever you prefer!
2. Lift weights for 30 minutes.
A 30-minute weight lifting session will burn 100 calories, so break out the dumbbells or resistance bands and start working in some bicep curls, shoulder presses, lunges, squats, and any other exercises you want! This estimate includes the rest times between sets, so you don’t need to be doing these activities for 30 minutes straight to reap the benefits.
Here’s the bonus: several studies have indicated that you also burn calories for a while after the weight session is done; a phenomenon called EPOC (excess postexercise oxygen consumption). So even though you may only burn 100 calories during the session, there may be additional calories burned afterwards.
3. Hop on the elliptical for 10 minutes.
When I first started my fitness journey, the elliptical was my best friend – and for good reason. It’s a calorie scorcher, burning about 100 calories in 10 minutes. And it’s great for anyone with joint issues since it’s lower impact than many other cardio activities.
4. Lace up those roller skates for 12 minutes.
There’s something about roller skating that feels less like exercise and more like a trip down memory lane to childhood. Wondering how to burn 100 calories by roller skating? Just skate for about 12 minutes and you’re there! Plus, this is a great workout for those glutes. You’ll feel the burn after a while!
5. Try 20 minutes of water aerobics.
While water aerobics may seem like a fitness class of prior generations, there’s actually so much value to this activity! Just 20 minutes of water aerobics is enough to burn about 100 calories. Since it’s done in the water, it’s a non-weight bearing exercise – which means it puts far less stress on your body. This can make it ideal for someone recovering from an injury or anyone with joint problems.
6. Paddle a kayak for 15 minutes.
Kayaking may seem simple – I mean, you’re sitting, right?! But it is a killer arm and core workout to paddle that thing! By doing that for 15 minutes, you’ll knock out 100 calories and have a blast in the process. This is a great summertime activity that you can do with the whole family.
7. Start up a quick soccer game and play for 12 minutes.
Whether it’s signing up for an intramural league – or just an intense day of kicking the ball around with your kids – 12 minutes of soccer will burn about 100 calories (provided you’re not the goalie of course).
8. Cover 10 minutes on cross country skiis.
This is on my personal list to try over the winter! Cross country skiing is an amazing workout, burning 100 calories in about 10 minutes. You’ll work the legs as you move forward, the core to maintain balance, and your arms as you use the poles to help propel yourself.
9. Ride your bike for a few miles.
A cyclist traveling around 14 mph will burn about 100 calories every 10 minutes – the equivalent of covering around 2-3 miles on your bike. Whether you go by time or distance, cycling is a great way to burn calories and explore your town.
If you’re dealing with a cold winter, you can also grab a trainer for your bike. These are a life savor for chilly days, and allow you to ride your bike indoors (and perhaps do a Netflix binge at the same time!).
10. Join in a beach volleyball game for 10 minutes.
Have you ever been to a public beach with pick up games of beach volleyball? This is such a fun way to get active! Just joining in for 10 minutes will burn around 100 calories, provided you’re moving around quite a bit. The benefit to the beach (compared to regular indoor volleyball) is that the uneven soft sand provides a tough surface to run on, making it more challenging.
11. Get your gardening skills on for 20 minutes.
Gardening may seem like an easy activity, but all the movements that go along with it – like digging and bending – can burn some calories. If you’re moving around quite a bit, you’ll burn 100 calories in 20 minutes. If it’s a little slower paced gardening, think more like 30 minutes.
12. Shovel snow for 13 minutes.
That’s right, those winter snow storms can be a fitness blessing in disguise! Shoveling snow is an intense activity – as any of you that do it regularly know. Just 13 minutes of shoveling will torch about 100 calories, and is sure to workout your core, back, and upper body. Be sure you use proper lifting technique while shoveling and switch your dominant hand frequently. This will help prevent back injuries.
13. Do 20 minutes of gentle yoga.
Calorie burning activities don’t always have to be vigorous. If slow and steady is more your style, consider something like hatha yoga. You can take a class at the gym, you can find online classes, or you can scope out free yoga YouTube videos. Wondering how to burn 100 calories with yoga? You’ll burn that amount in about 20 minutes with a gentle class.
14. Jump rope for 8 minutes.
Jumping rope expends a ton of energy and is one of the best quick calorie burners out there. For a 155-pound person, you’ll burn 100 calories in just 8 minutes of jump roping.
If you don’t have a jump rope yet, don’t just grab one from the dollar store – most are meant for kids and may be a little too light for adults. Instead, grab a good one from a sports supply store or online from Amazon – they’ll be better suited for your workouts!
15. Swim laps for 10 minutes.
Got a little extra time at the gym and want to knock out another 100 calories? Or at the beach with your kids and want to workout while the hubby watches the little ones? Swimming laps (or just swimming along the shoreline) at a decent pace is a great way to burn 100 calories in just about 10 minutes.
Need more ideas for how to burn 100 calories?
Check out these additional exercise suggestions:
16) Boxing – 9 minutes
17) Basketball game – 10 minutes
18) Football game – 10 minutes
19) Ice skating – 12 minutes
20) Sledding (all that hill climbing!) – 12 minutes
21) Rowing machine – 12 minutes at a moderate pace, or 10 minutes at a vigorous pace
22) Chopping and splitting wood – 13 minutes
23) Stair climber – 13 minutes
24) Fast pace dancing – 13 minutes
25) Hiking – 13 minutes
26) Tennis – 13 minutes
27) Water skiing – 13 minutes
28) Aerobics – 15 minutes
29) Softball – 16 minutes
30) White water rafting – 16 minutes
31) Calisthenics – 18 minutes
32) Curling (there’s actually a curling club near us and I want to try this out!) – 20 minutes
33) Horseback riding – 20 minutes
34) Bowling – 30 minutes
35) Frisbee (leisurely game) – 30 minutes
References: The calorie estimates here were derived from information from Harvard Health.