What's the best way to walk into the gym? With a workout plan. Having a goal in mind can help you stay focused, encouraging day-to-day progress.
But with that said, burning 600 calories a day during your cardio training probably isn't the most realistic or sustainable goal. Shedding this many calories can take longer than an hour, depending on your workout, and isn't the most exciting way to approach exercise.
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Learn how long it takes to burn 600 calories in one cardio workout and, instead, consider adjusting your goals for some more sustainable (and enjoyable) forms of movement.
How Long Does It Take to Burn 600 Calories?
Your calories burned depend on a number of factors, including your workout, your bodyweight and your sex. It can take anywhere from an hour to several hours to burn about 600 calories, so there's no one clear answer. Focus on increasing your daily movement instead of zoning in on a specific calorie goal.
How Long Does It Take to Burn 600 Calories?
As with most things in fitness, there's no one-size-fits-all way to achieve a goal. Everyone's body works differently and the number of calories your body burns during one workout may be totally different for another athlete. Factors like your sex, body size and genetics can all affect your rate of calorie burn. So, how long it takes you to burn 600 calories may differ from another person.
Different forms of exercise also affect your total calorie burn. High-intensity interval training, for instance, burns more calories than incline walking. But that doesn't mean you should interval train every day, according to Carolina Araujo, CPT, a New York-based strength coach.
"High calorie-burning activities are fine in appropriate doses — you still need to give your body plenty of rest and recovery days between your more intense workouts," she says. "Also, don't neglect activities you like because, on paper, they may not burn as many calories. Strength training, for instance, is a great way to improve your body composition and metabolism but may not burn as many immediate calories."
You can use the chart below to get an idea of how long it takes to burn 600 calories for different cardio activities. Again 600 calories is a lot to burn in one workout and can take quite a bit of time and sustained intensity. So, it's best to focus on overall movement, rather than a specific calorie count.
If you're new to exercise, it's best to consult a doctor before you try a new workout routine. Trying to torch 600 calories in one session may not be safe for your body and may not be the best way to progress toward your goals.
Approximately How Long It Takes to Burn 600 Calories Per Activity
Fast Walk (4 mph)
2 hours, 13 minutes
1 hour, 34 minutes
1 hour, 22 minutes
1 hour, 12 minutes
Running (5 mph)
1 hour, 3 minutes
How to Burn 600 Calories Per Day
While you can walk or jog long enough to burn 600 calories in one workout, it's probably not the best idea (and may take a while). Instead, focus on increasing your total movement throughout your daily tasks to increase your total calorie burn for the day.
3 Ways to Increase Your Total Calorie Burn
Above all, exercise should be a fun way to move your body and stay healthy and mobile. Although calorie goals are common and can be one way to measure progress, it's important to be realistic and focus on long-term progress, Araujo says. Most likely, burning 600 calories every workout would either take way too long or be overly strenuous on your body.
"Six hundred calories is a lot to burn in one workout session and for most people, it's not a sustainable goal and can take a very long time, depending on your cardio workout," she says.
But you can try little hacks to increase your overall calorie burn without overly exerting your body.
1. Switch Up Your Cardio
As mentioned above, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a vigorous-intensity cardio exercise method that can burn a lot of calories pretty quickly, according to the American Council on Exercise (ACE). Swapping a steady-state walk for some interval training can help you bump your overall calorie burn.
During a proper HIIT session, you should be training at a pretty strenuous level. So, it's definitely not a workout you want to be doing every day. One to two sessions per week is plenty, especially if you're doing other forms of exercise, too.
2. Add Weights
If your favorite form of cardio involves walking, you can wear a weighted vest for some extra challenge. Adding resistance helps build strength and increases the overall cardiovascular challenge of your workout.
Not to mention, adding some weight may help improve your balance. A small study published in the journal Rheumatology International in February 2013 found that people who walked on a treadmill with a weighted vest showed improved overall balance, compared to those who wore no vest.
3. Increase Your Incline
Walking or jogging on hills makes your cardio workout instantly more challenging, Araujo says. Plus it demands more power from your lower body, so you get some added strength-building benefits.
Try to choose a walking route that's a little more hilly or add some hills to your treadmill workout.
Although it may sound doable, burning 600 calories a day in the gym is a pretty lofty goal and probably isn't the safest way to approach your workouts.
Instead of focusing on the total calories you burn in one session, try to add more movement to your daily routine. This will help bump your overall daily calorie burn but won't leave you feeling exhausted after a gym session.
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