Fitness Articles

50 Easy Ways to Burn 100 Calories

Torch Your Way to the Top with These Activities

Everything you do burns calories—breathing, sleeping, standing, and all of the active pursuits you enjoy. But what does it take to burn just 100 calories? You may be surprised by how little—or how much—activity you have to do to achieve that goal! To put it all in perspective for you, we’ve gathered 50 different ways to burn 100 calories. From standard exercises you do at the gym, to everyday chores around the house, you can burn 100 calories in just a few short minutes of your day.

Keep in mind that not all movement is created equal. In order to classify an activity as a cardio ''exercise,'' you must be working at 60-80% of your maximum heart rate. (You can calculate your target heart rate here.) However, even though periods of less intense activity may not count as part of your workout, they still provide health benefits and burn extra calories. After all, the less sitting you do, the better!

50 Ways to Burn 100 Calories

(Values are approximate and are based on a 150-pound person.)

  1. Biking: 23 minutes of casual cycling
  2. Cardio dance class: 15 minutes
  3. Elliptical: 8 minutes
  4. Jumping rope: 9 minutes at a moderate intensity
  5. Lifting weights, vigorously: 15 minutes
  6. Pilates: 24 minutes
  7. Rowing machine: 13 minutes
  8. Running stairs: 6 minutes
  9. Running: 9 minutes of running at a 6 mph pace
  10. Swimming: 15 minutes moderate intensity
  11. Walking stairs: 11 minutes
  12. Walking: 20 minutes of walking at a 3 mph pace
  13. Water aerobics: 23 minutes
  14. Yoga: 20 minutes
  15. Zumba: 11 minutes
Sports and Leisure Activities:
  1. Basketball, shooting hoops: 20 minutes
  2. Bowling: 30 minutes
  3. Dancing around living room: 20 minutes
  4. Darts: 35 minutes
  5. Golfing, carrying clubs: 15 minutes
  6. Ice skating, moderate: 18 minutes
  7. Kickball: 13 minutes
  8. Mini golf or driving range: 30 minutes
  9. Playing catch with a football: 35 minutes
  10. Playing Frisbee: 30 minutes
  11. Playing soccer, casual: 13 minutes
  12. Skiing,downhill: 10 minutes
  13. Softball or baseball: 18 minutes
  14. Tennis (doubles): 21 minutes
  15. Tennis (singles): 15 minutes
  16. Treading water, moderate effort: 23 minutes
  17. Volleyball, recreational: 26 minutes
  18. Water skiing: 15 minutes
Yard Work:
  1. Mowing the lawn: 20 minutes
  2. Painting house: 18 minutes
  3. Raking leaves: 23 minutes
  4. Shoveling snow: 15 minutes
  5. Washing the car: 20 minutes
  6. Weeding the garden: 18 minutes
Everyday Activities:
  1. Carrying an infant: 24 minutes
  2. Cleaning, moderate effort: 26 minutes
  3. Cooking: 34 minutes
  4. Doing dishes: 40 minutes
  5. Mopping the floor: 20 minutes
  6. Playing with children: 23 minutes
  7. Pushing a stroller: 35 minutes
  8. Rearranging furniture: 14 minutes
  9. Shopping: 38 minutes
  10. Sweeping: 23 minutes
  11. Walking the dog, 26 minutes

Were you surprised by the amount of time it takes to burn 100 calories? Which of these activities can you incorporate into your life to burn an extra 100 calories per day? Pick one that fits into your schedule and go for it!

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Member Comments

  • Great information!
  • Great ideas! Thanks!
  • These are great! I bookmarked the article.
  • I liked #47, moving furniture, because that is in my to-do list.
  • Thank heaven for the everyday activities. I unable to do most of the others due to multiple medical conditions and since I can't I don't reach my target heart rate (I start at RH of 32-normal for me) that way so while I keep moving it takes me more than twice as long. When you are able to be active (and I was) you never think about what if. My weight is only slightly higher than college 50 years ago but I'm 3" shorter and lots "softer" since I can't do vigorous exercise without risking injury. I love to swim but meds made my skin too sensitive to the chlorine - would love access to a salt water pool but have yet to find one that is open to the public. Still looking.
  • Love these ideas! Not so hard to find time to torch 100 calories.
  • Some of those are calories you burn just being alive and going about your business. According to the chart "Harvard Heart Letter", in 30 minutes of sleep a 125-pound person burns 19 calories, while a 185-pound person burns 28 calories. (Sleeping is the one time that you can be sure that you're only breathing.) I figure that unless it's something like digging a new garden of vigorously pulling weeds, it really doesn't count toward my exercise goal.

    How many calories can I burn if I twirl my office chair around for 10 minutes? Silly.
  • 40 minutes washing dishes? I stand at a sink and move my hands to wash dishes. There's no way I'm burning that many calories.

    SP, please don't give your members unrealistic figures or make them think that an everyday task like washing dishes counts as exercise.
  • I showed this to my daughter who is a busy single mother and she was excited and motivated to get healthy and also joined Sparkpeople while we chatted over Easter dinner! Thanks for helping us see that exercise like good eating has to fit into daily routine
  • This is very helpful information. Thanks
  • Sorry, bit doubting this. I used to clean a school, for a living, that's about say 6 hours actually hoovering etc, climbing 44 flights of stairs a day, walking about 6 to 8 miles a day. According to this list, I should have been burning waaay more than I ate, and the weight should have been falling off me, but I couldn't get below 10 and a half stone, even tracking on SP to 1700 cals a day.
    This is really nice way
  • Today I spent 4 hours cooking, but SP does not give any credit for that.
    According to this article, 34 minutes cooking time burns 100 calories.
  • Really shows you don't have to practically kill yourself - like on those reality diet competitions on TV - to burn calories. This article gave me hope. Thanks
  • You can also do basic self defense moves at high intensity and burn a lot of calories in very little time. These can be done with no special equipment and take very little space, when they're done right they typically employ all or most muscles at least to some extent, especially the midsection, and you get the added benefit that in addition to better fitness you also improve your ability to defend yourself. They are a good way to add variety to whatever else you're doing.

About The Author

Erin Whitehead Erin Whitehead
is a health and fitness enthusiast who co-founded the popular website and co-wrote The Fit Bottomed Girls Anti-Diet book (available May 2014). Now busier than ever with two kids, she writes about healthy pregnancy and parenting at

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