You’d be surprised to find out just how many ways you can burn 100 calories. If you’ll just get up off the couch, those 100 calories will disappear with precious little effort.
In fact, if you commit to burning 100 extra calories every day for the next year, you’ll take the easy route to losing 10 pounds over the next year—without making any other changes. If you are looking for a full diet and exercise plan, learn how to lose weight the smart way with our book.
Drop 10 Pounds in a Year Effortlessly
It takes a deficit of 3,500 calories to lose one pound, so let’s do the math. 100 calories a day X 365 days = 36,500 calories burned over a year. 36,500 calories / 3,500 calories in a pound = 10.43 pounds lost over a year. I challenge you to join me in losing 10 pounds the easy way over the next year. Many of these activities also have a secondary and tertiary benefit.
How We Measure Time to Burn 100 Calories
According to a 2004 CDC report, the average male in the U.S. weighs 191 pounds and the average female weighs 164, and weights are rising rapidly. The first time calculation refers to how long it takes the average male to lose 100 pounds, and the second time calculation refers to the average female. Where you see only one time calculation, a specific breakdown was not available. Since caloric burn rate depends on weight, your mileage may vary, but you’re still going to burn calories fast.
The times are expressed in hours and minutes (rounded to the nearest minute), with first number for the average man and the second number for the average woman; for example, (:55/1:10). Where no breakdown is available, you’ll see one number of hours/minutes in parentheses: (1:00).
Household and Everyday Activities
We’ll start off easy, with activities that you (should) perform around the house—or perhaps you find excuses to avoid. Take a look at these from a fresh angle (calories burned), and you might just get motivated. If you’ve lost your motivation for everyday chores, we’ve provided a little nudge for each activity. Now GET UP OFF THAT COUCH… and let’s burn 100 calories fast around the house.
1. Sleeping – We’ve included sleeping as a baseline, because it requires the least amount of exertion, and it serves as a basis for comparison. (1:17/1:30)
2. Watching TV – We don’t mean to imply that you should increase your TV time, but in just a little over an hour you could burn about 100 calories! Now imagine if you were exercising while watching TV! (1:09/1:11)
3. Reading – You know—with an honest-to-goodness book in your hand—the kind that has pages to turn—with your hand. It’s a dying art, but leave your comfort zone every now and then. Gutenberg was on to something. Next, try reading on an exercise bike.(1:09/1:11)
4. Standing in Line – So, the next time you have to stand in line, think of the calories you’re burning. Just say no to Fandango and stand in line the next time you want to see a movie. (:58/1:07)
5. Cleaning House – Ya gotta do it or pay to have it done. Fire the housekeeper, save money and enjoy a paid-for vacation next year. (:23/:27)
6. Straightening the House – If you straighten the house on a daily basis, you have less “cleaning house” to do on the weekends and more free leisure time to have fun burning an extra 100 calories. (:28/:32)
7. Food Preparation – So you want to be the next Master Chef or the next Food Network Star, do you? You’d better get to practicing your technique, because the competition is fierce. (:35/:40)
8. Making Beds – Remember how your mother made you make the bed each day? Remember how fit you were back in the day? Hmmm, maybe there’s a correlation there. (:35/:40)
9. Vacuuming – Dust is a killer if you have allergies, and regular vacuuming keeps it at a minimum. Got a cat? Get a Dyson and get a workout at the same time. You won’t need to lift weights after lugging around a Dyson. (:20/:23)
10. Ironing – We don’t mean ironing in the dryer—we mean ironing the old-fashioned way. Summer linens have to be ironed, but if you know that you’re burning calories, it takes a little of the dread out of it. (:30/:35)
11. Food Shopping – If you usually order ahead for pickup, change your ways and wander the aisles—the outside aisles—yourself. (:30/:35)
12. Taking Care of the Kids – Running around giving the kids a bath, dressing them and changing diapers can start up your calorie burning furnace in no time. (:23/:27)
13. Washing the Windows – Sharpen your view of the outdoors, and think of all those calories you’ll burn wiping away the streaks. (:23/:27)
14. Bathing the Dog – Messy, but worth the caloric burn, you’ll also save on grooming costs. (:20/:23)
15. Moving Furniture – Not exactly a day at the beach, but occasionally you need to move the furniture just to get at the dust bunnies that have multiplied over time. (:12/:14)
16. Packing and Unpacking Boxes – You don’t have to wait for spring to clear the clutter! Pack some of that precious junk and haul it to the attic—or better yet, the charity of your choice. (:20/:23)
17. Playing with the Kids (Moderate Activity) – Age is only a number, and there’s no better way to stay young than to play with the kids or grandkids. (:17/:20)
18. Arts and Crafts – If you spend all your time watching TV because you’re bored, you’re not expanding your horizons, and bored people are most often boring. Take up a new hobby. Learn all you can about it and then practice it until you perfect it. (:39/:45)
Home Improvement Projects
With home sales on the decline, most people are staying put, and many are renovating their current digs on their own. It’s a win/win/win: save money, improve your home and burn calories fast all at the same time.
If you’re new to DIY, the big-box home improvement centers offer short classes to teach you how to accomplish these DIY tasks like a pro. There’s no better time to learn these skills and look how quickly you can burn 100 calories while giving your home a facelift.
19. Painting (Walls) – We’re talking about using a paint brush or roller, not spray painting. You get double points (but not double calories) for painting the ceiling. (:15/:18)
20. Refinishing Cabinets or Furniture – Sprucing up the cabinets can brighten a dingy kitchen, and refinishing furniture can transform junkyard castaways into treasures. (:15/:18)
21. Replacing Carpet or Tile – Installing tile costs as much as the materials. By installing yourself, you save around 50%. (:15/:18)
22. Sanding Floors – Sanding floors and adding a stain and finish will give you brand new floors—without the expense—if you do it yourself. (:15/:18)
23. Caulking – Remove and replace old caulking around windows and tubs as needed. There is nothing more disgusting than stepping into a tub with black caulking! High utility bills run a close second. (:15/:18)
24. Installing Drywall – Let’s hope you never have to do this unless you’re adding to your house, but if you do… (23/:27)
25. Installing Roofing – Stops the leaks and adds tremendous value when you sell your home. (:12/:14)
26. Hanging Wallpaper – Add life to boring walls and just pay for materials by doing it yourself. (:23/:27)
27. Plumbing/Wiring – Know what you’re doing before attempting either of these calorie-burning tasks. (:23/:27)
28. Installing Gutters – New gutters add to curb appeal and the new-fangled, never-clean gutters add value to the house and eliminate the need to clean the gutters. (:12/:14)
29. Carpentry – Built-in bookcases, desks, lockers, etc., add charm to your home. (:12/:14)
Outdoor Yard and Everyday Activities
Fire the gardener! Breathe in some fresh air while you save money and burn calories at the same time. You’ll be surprised just how fast you can burn 100 calories out in the yard.
30. Washing the Car – Have you priced a full-service car wash lately–$40.00 and up for the whole enchilada, and that doesn’t include detailing! (:23/:27)
31. Playing with the Kids Outside – Get outside and play a little tag or dodge ball. (:14/:20)
32. Chopping/Splitting Wood – A cord of wood is 4’ X 4’ X 8’, and one cord can run around $200. Chopped wood dries faster, so get to chopping. (:12/:14)
33. Weeding the Garden – Set aside a few hours once a month to yank the weeds. (:15/:18)
34. Gardening – Gardening is a lifelong, healthy activity that you can pass down to the kids. (:17/20)
35. Digging/Manually Tilling – Do you remember the late-night commercials for that manual tiller that makes you twist and turn? This is one late-night gizmo that works and gives your upper arms and obliques a workout at the same time. (:14/:16)
36. Planting – There’s no better time than now to plant a “Victory garden.” In moderate climates, you can use a cold frame to put fresh produce on the table three seasons out of the year. (:15/:18)
37. Mowing with a Push Mower – This is one of the best overall outdoor activities. (:12/:14)
38. Mowing with a Power-assist Mower – If you have a larger yard, you’ll still get exercise mowing, but you’ll be glad for the little boost that power assist provides. (:13/:15)
39. Operating a Leaf Blower/Snow Blower – Blow off the patio once a week and fire up the snow blower the next time a Nor’easter hits. (:15/:18)
40. Cleaning Gutters – Four times a year… to stop those downpours. (:12/:16)
41. Raking Leaves – Use raked leaves as a cheap mulch and a way to return nutrients to the soil as they decompose over the winter. Raking your leaves has the added benefit of keeping your neighbors happy. (:16/:19)
42. Trimming Shrubs Manually – Grab the trimmers and pruners for a good upper-body workout. (:15/:18)
43. Watering Plants (the Old-fashioned Way) – Watering plants by hand gives you a chance to note any problems in the garden before they get out of hand. (:28/:32)
44. Applying Amendments to the Lawn or Garden – Feed your soil and starve your love handles at the same time. (:28/:32)
45. Sweeping – Twist and turn, bend and stretch as you clear debris from your patio, walkways and drives. (:17/:20)
Outdoor Sports and Recreational Activities
Look at all the options for burning calories outdoors. If you’re in an exercise rut, consider substituting some outdoor aerobic activities a few times a week in nice weather. It’ll add some variety to your daily grind. Grab a buddy and shake up your routine while you burn 100 calories in no time flat.
46. Basketball – Got a driveway? Get a hoop and play a social game of hoops. (:15/:18)
47. Football (Touch) – The perfect Thanksgiving afternoon activity to work off the turkey dressing and gooey desserts. (:09/:10)
48. Baseball/Softball – It’s America’s favorite pastime for a reason. Put together a team and try the real thing instead of just watching. Softball is the same difference with a gentler, kinder ball. No fair to count time sitting on the bench. (:14/:16)
49. Soccer – Not just for moms—we’re talking non-competitive play. (:10/:11)
50. Swimming (Moderate) – Just as the egg has been called the perfect food, swimming has been called the perfect exercise, because the water supports the body while it adds gentle resistance. (:09/:10)
51. Swimming (Leisurely) – This is a perfect lifetime activity if you like the water and sunshine. It can be modified in intensity for all age groups. (:12/:13)
52. Swimming in the Lake/Ocean/River – Fighting the tide adds another dimension of resistance to swimming even if it’s the equivalent of leisure swimming in terms of calories. (:12/:13)
53. Running – If you enjoy running, go for it. Just remember to stretch before and after you run, and stop at the first sign of real pain. Talk about burning 100 calories fast—it doesn’t get much faster than running off the calories—and we’re talking a 12-minute mile (moderate running). (:09/:10)
54. Walking (Moderate/15-minute Mile) – This is probably THE best lifetime exercise. Don’t let the cold put you off on a sunny day, because there’s no better way to get your vitamin D while you burn, baby burn—calories, that is. (:14/:18)
55. Hiking – Hiking is a way to appreciate the changing of the seasons—off or on trail—while getting in exercise. (:12/:14)
56. Bicycling – It’s not just for transportation. Take a scenic route and vary your route between flat and hilly to get the most benefit from bicycling. (:09/:10)
57. Snorkeling – Not quite as taxing or exhilarating as scuba diving, but you’ll easily burn 100 calories while you get up close and personal with aquatic life. (:14/:16)
58. Golf (Walking) – Better exercise than golfing in a cart, just think of the miles you’ll cover in 18 holes. (:15/:18)
59. Golf (Riding in a Cart) – The preferred method among golfers, at least you’ll get in a little exercise while you socialize and hit the balls. (:20/:23)
60. Miniature Golfing – This is a great way to unglue the kids from the Xbox and texting. They’ll actually discover that there IS an outdoors. (:23/:27)
61. Ice Skating – This holiday season, head for the nearest lake or rink. Ice skating is a terrific way to work on balance while burning calories. Indoor rinks make ice skating available all year long. (:10/:11)
62. Horseback Riding – Trails are good, but there is no substitute for horseback riding on the beach! (:17/:20)
63. Kayaking – If you like the rowing machine, you’ll love kayaking. Two-seater kayaks are available for you to double your fun. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to double the burn rate. (:14/:16)
64. Cross-country Skiing – Cross-country skiing is a total workout and appropriate for those afraid of downhill skiing. You’ll traverse drop-dead gorgeous scenery to keep you occupied. It’s hard work, and it burns calories fast. (:08/:11)
65. Water Skiing – A day at the lake, a cooler of cold drinks, a basket of healthy munchies, a bunch of friends and a pair of water skis. What more could you ask for on a hot summer’s day. (:12/:14)
66. Powerwalking – If you’re a dedicated walker, kick up your walking a few days a week with powerwalking—a compromise between walking and running. Experts say that alternating power walking with regular walking—power walking 30 seconds, followed by moderate walking for 60 seconds—is even more effective than simply power walking. (:09/:12)
67. Skateboarding – Here’s another way to lure the kids away from the techno-fat-building gadgets and get them moving. (:14/:16)
68. Volleyball (On the Beach) – While you can play volleyball on a number of surfaces, wouldn’t you rather be playing on the beach while getting a terrific leg workout? (:09/:10)
69. Water Volleyball – Put down the magazine and the umbrella drink and join in a game of water volleyball to maximize your pool time and burn calories. (:23/:27)
70. Badminton – This is a terrific family exercise. It’ll ruin your tennis backhand and forehand, but if you’re not a serious tennis player, install a badminton net in the back yard and invite the neighbors over for an early evening summer game. (:15/:18)
71. Tennis – Tennis is a terrific social sport and the perfect way to start the weekend. (:10/:11)
A Walk on the Wild Side
We’ve added six activities that you might want to add to your bucket list—now! Woulda, shoulda, coulda are three words that you don’t want to say in your old age. These hair-raising activities are guaranteed to raise your heart rate and to burn calories fast (lots more than 100)!
72. Sky Diving – For that once-in-a-lifetime thrill… Former President Bush the Elder takes to the skies each and every birthday. If he can do it, so can you. (:20/:23)
73. Skiing (Downhill) – For some, this is just a routine winter activity. Give it a try to see what all the hoopla is about, and then you can enjoy a guilt-free après-ski experience. (:09/:12)
74. Scuba Diving – Another routine activity for some, but exotic for most, scuba diving gives you close-up views that you’ll never see anywhere else. (:10/:11)
75. Rock Climbing – Don’t look down! The anxiety alone will burn those calories quickly. (:09/:10)
76. Whitewater Rafting/Kayaking – Talk about exhilarating! There’s nothing not to love about the rushing water and the thrill of the ride. (:14/:16)
77. Hang Gliding – Right up there with sky diving—almost. (:20/:23)
Indoor Sports and Recreational Activities
Yes, you can have fun indoors and burn calories at the same time.
78. Racquetball – Faster than tennis, racquetball is a great way to rid the body of anxiety while burning calories. Why do you think so many Wall Street types play it regularly? Just imagine the ball is someone who annoys you to no end, and you’ll instantly feel better. (:10/:11)
79. Martial Arts – Imagine the confidence you’ll gain knowing that you’ll be able to defend yourself in most any situation. As the economy deteriorates, the dual arts of control and self-defense are going to become more important. (:07/:08)
80. Billiards – Rather than sitting in a bar all night, grab a group and head out to play to some billiards and darts. (:28/:32)
81. Wrestling – It’s not just for TV. Get down and wrestle! (:12/:14)
82. Boxing – Work out your aggressions on the punching bag. Alternatively, try kick-boxing for the stress relieving benefits of boxing combined with the all-over body toning of kick boxing. (:12/:14)
Unless you’re a year-round outdoor fan, you’ll probably spend a good part of the year working out in a traditional manner. Choose from some of the options below to shake up your routine every few months to keep boredom from setting in. Variety is the spice of life!
83. Stretching – Always start and end any fitness routine with stretching to warm up your muscles and cool them down at the end. Stretching is also a great alternative to sitting out your days off from heavier exercise. (:28/:32)
84. Aerobics (Low Impact) – If you’re new to exercise, start with low-impact aerobics. (:14/:16)
85. Aerobics (High Impact) – A step up from low-impact aerobics… If high-impact aerobic exercise is already part of your routine, you’ll want to explore some of the new high-intensity, extreme programs for even more burn. (:09/:11)
86. Water Aerobics – Did you know that even walking in water gives you a workout? (:17/:20)
87. Stationary Bicycling – Not exactly as scenic as the real thing, but it gives a solid aerobic workout and firms up the lower body. (:09/:11)
88. Elliptical Trainer – Stationary bicycling with a twist. (:10/:11)
89. Stair-step Machine – If you live on one floor, invest in a stair-step machine. (:08/:09)
90. Rowing Machine – Aerobic, fat busting and a great upper body workout. (:08/:11)
91. Yoga – All in one stretching, flexibility, relaxing, and controlling your body. (:28/:32)
92. Tai Chi – A collection of smooth, flowing exercises, not unlike yoga, but different. If you like yoga and want a change, try tai chi. (:17/:20)
93. Weight Training (Light to Moderate) – Light to moderate weight training with more repetitions lengthens the muscles for that lean, lithe look. (:23/:27)
94. Weight Training (Heavy) – Heavy weight training with fewer repetitions builds muscles. (:12/:14)
Just Plain Fun
Who says exercise can’t be really, REALLY fun! We can’t think of anything better than burning 100 calories fast while having a great time.
95. Hula-hooping – Take a trip back to the 60s, pick up a hula hoop and twist that waist and swing those hips to burn 100 calories fast. (:15/:18)
96. Frisbee – Got kids? If not, grab the dog and both of you will get a workout in no time flat chasing that crazy disc around the yard. (:23/:27)
97. Trampoline – Take a trip down memory lane and spend a little time jumping on a trampoline. (:31/:38)
98. Dancing (Ballroom, Such as Tango; Disco; Square; etc.) – Get in the swing. If you don’t know how to dance, you can take inexpensive ballroom dancing lessons and have fun while you learn and burn. (:15/:18)
99. Dancing (Slow) – Slow paced, but still fast at burning calories. (:23/:27)
100. SEX! – When all else fails to motivate, there’s always sex. “Aw yeah!” Calories burned? Does it really matter?
Share with us your favorite 100 calorie burning methods in the comments section below and please subscribe for more posts like this in the near future.