Burning calories happens every minute of every day, whether you're sleeping or sprinting at 10 mph. While burning 5,000 calories per day through exercise and other activities is a challenge for the average person, once you've subtracted your basal metabolic rate from 5,000, the remaining amount appears more reasonable. You'll still have to work hard and focus on your activity levels, and you may fall short of 5,000 calories per day, but you can burn a lot of calories in a 24-hour period.
Basal Metabolic Rate
Your basal metabolic rate is the number of calories your body automatically burns every day simply by being alive. For a simple BMR calculation, males should multiply their current weight by 13 and females should multiply their current weight by 11. For example, a 350-pound man burns 4550 calories daily without performing any exercise at all. A 200-pound woman burns 2200 calories daily. Depending on your weight and gender, you may only need to add enough activities to burn between 500 and 3,000 calories to reach your goal of burning a total of 5,000 calories per day.
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Use Exercise to Burn Calories
To burn between 500 and 3,000 calories per day, you should engage in several hours of exercise. The exact number of calories burned through exercise depends on your current weight and the type and intensity of exercise. If you're a beginner, start out at a slow to moderate pace -- those excess calories aren't going anywhere. As your fitness level improves, add intense calorie-burning activities, such as vigorous cross-country skiing, running and using an elliptical trainer, which can each burn up to 700 calories per hour.
Add Extra Activity to Your Day
In addition to scheduling regular workouts, you can also burn calories simply by moving around throughout your day. If you're trying to burn 5,000 calories per day, take these simple activities into consideration. A 200-pound woman burns over 318 calories in one hour of vacuuming. Likewise, a 350-pound man burns roughly 794 calories by mowing the lawn and doing other yard work for 60 minutes. By simply parking on the far side of the mall parking lot and walking to the entrance, you can burn 75 calories and 131 calories respectively in your 15 minute 3 mph stroll.
Have Some Fun
Not everything in life is about exercise and work. Spend some time having fun and doing the things you enjoy. To burn calories, you'll have to get up and move, but make it an enjoyable experience. Throw that old disco record on the turntable or pull a video up on the computer and turn up the volume while you jam to the music. If you're a 200-pound woman, you'll burn 400 calories an hour while dancing to the disco. A 350-pound man will burn 714 calories in the same 60-minute period. If you prefer team sports, pull on your old ice hockey gear and go play a pickup game at the local rink. You'll burn up to 726 and 1,270 calories per hour, respectively.