Fitness Articles

50 Easy Ways to Burn 50 Calories in 5 Minutes

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Calories in, calories out. Seems simple enough. However, sometimes getting in the exact amount of recommended exercise every day and burning off those calories (did someone say happy hour?) might seem insurmountable. If you don't have 30 minutes to devote to burning off those extra calories today, well, then might as well wait till tomorrow, right?

Not so fast. There's no reason you have to wait to do all of your exercise in one session during the day. In fact, studies show that spreading your workout into smaller sessions throughout the day is just as effective as one longer session. Whether you workout one time a day for 30 minutes, twice a day for 15 or six times a day for five, you can reap similar benefits.

Do keep in mind that your calorie burn changes as your level of fitness changes, but as long as you're challenging your body in different ways, you'll discover what works best for you. "It’s important to keep in mind that calories burned are all based on estimates and will vary from person to person," SparkPeople Coach Jen says.

"The more you weigh, the more you burn. As you become more fit, you’ll burn less calories in the same amount of time doing the same activity because your body becomes more efficient. That’s why it’s important to vary your routine regularly so you continue challenging your body in new ways. It’s good to keep an eye on calories burned, but don’t let that be the only focus on your weight loss journey. Look at the bigger picture and find activities you enjoy, because you’re much more likely to stick with those long-term."

Instead of waiting for that prime time to get in your workout, consider incorporating these five-minute activities into your day. Do as many or as few as you want. How much (and for how long) you feel the burn is up to you.
 

50 Ways to Burn 50 Calories in 5 Minutes


Gym Activites 

1. Running on the treadmill (6 mph)
2. Indoor cycling at a fast pace
3. Playing racquetball
4. Rowing machine (vigorous)
5. Boxing workout
6. Practicing martial arts
7. Circuit training or boot camp
8. Walking on a treadmill (4 mph with a 5 percent incline)
9. Kettlebell training
10. Doing pull-ups (vigorous)
11. Doing push-ups (vigorous)
12. Cardio kickboxing
13. Stationary biking (vigorous)
14. Burpees
15. Crossfit
16. Water jogging  
17. Using the ski machine
18. Using the stair-step machine
19. Step aerobics
20. Mountain climbers
21. High knees (vigorous)
22. Tabata
23. Doing sit-ups (vigorous)
24. 5 Minutes of the 10-Minute Jump Start Cardio Workout

Sports and Outdoors 

25. Jumping rope (continuously)
26. Kayaking
27. Playing basketball
28. Swimming laps or treading water
29. Rock climbing
30. Cycling (12+mph) or mountain biking
31. Running (at least 12 minutes per mile)
32. Jumping jacks (continuous)
33. Skipping (continuously)
34. Kickball (vigorous, continuous)
35. Playing lacrosse
36. Canoeing
37. Water polo
38. Sand volleyball
39. Playing touch or flag football
40. Playing handball
41. Playing rugby
42. Playing squash           
43. Cross-country skiing
44. Bicycle racing
45. Climbing hills (with a 42+ pound pack)
46. Speed skating

Home and Garden

47. Heavy lifting in the yard (digging, heavy yard work)
48. Moving boxes or furniture
49. Chopping wood and trimming trees
50. Heavy snow shoveling

What do you think about these activities? Did any of them surprise you? If you have five minutes—you can burn 50 calories! What are you waiting for? 
 
*Calories burned estimates based on a 160-pound woman. Men and people who weigh more will typically burn more calories for the same activity.

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About The Author

Elizabeth Lowry Elizabeth Lowry
I'm a member of SparkPeople's editorial team and I write, edit and manage the content you read. I am passionate about living a healthy lifestyle and enjoy cooking for my family and friends, running, strength training, teaching weekly spin classes and playing outside with my kids. I also love a good challenge and recently found that in Barre class. That's not to say I don't enjoy a good indulgence once in a while--wine and chocolate are two of my favorite things. I am grateful to be here, helping our members reach their own healthy living goals.