Some time last year, we set out to walk 10,000 steps in one day. That’s five miles over the course of 24 hours, which honestly didn’t seem so bad. That is, until we whipped out our pedometers and got to steppin’. Turns out, meeting this magic number can be tricky when you work a desk job and don’t have a lot of errands to run. Even trickier if you don’t live or work somewhere clean and safe enough to walk around easily!

So, do you just give up on getting active, then? Nope! Giving yourself a daily activity quota can encourage better exercise habits, and walking is just the tip of the iceberg. 10,000 steps daily is roughly equivalent to 500 calories burnt (depending on your height, weight, and BMR, of course), which makes it a good place to start if you’re just getting into the fitness grind.

Now, If walking isn’t your speed but burning calories is, there’s plenty of other exercises that burn just as much—and in less time, too. Below, we walk you through 5 exercises that can burn 500 calories, fast!


Spin class takes some getting used to, but once you’re in, you’re in. Make friends at every high-intensity group session and have fun with it! Before you know it, you’ll be cycling your way through your calorie goals like you were born to ride.

If you love to dance, think of Zumba as club nights with a purpose. It tones your entire body, helps you de-stress, and improves your coordination, all while you bop to upbeat tunes. That’s 500 calories burnt, easy!

Thank god for our tropical climes—it makes swimming such a welcome, no-brainer workout option! It ups your heart rate, builds strength, and rigorously trains your muscles, all while keeping you cool. Running laps ‘round the pool may not seem like much in the moment, but trust us: all that time in the water will wash the calories away.

Even without the sauna-like room, yoga is already plenty beneficial on its own. But when you’re sweating buckets in a heated space, you’re burning fat, getting rid of toxins, and improving your circulation with every pose you twist yourself into.

We’ve known for a while that skipping rope is more than just a playground sport. It strengthens your legs, heart, and even your mind, so yes, it’s totally worth the leap. In just under an hour, you’ll be burning more than any of the previous 4 exercises we mentioned—plus, all you’ll need is a single tool.

Thinking of ditching the pedometer for any of these routines instead? Tell us how you’ll work it out below!

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