A new study says pregnant women reach the same peak levels of endurance as those competing in Ironman — so the physical intensity of pregnancy is like running a 40-week marathon!
According to Today’s Parent, researchers at Duke University looked at participants in the 120-day Race Across the USA and found that pregnant women “expend the same amount of energy as the high-level athletes competing in the 4,800 km race from California to Washington, D.C.”
In the 12-day race, runners complete six marathons a week for four months.
Today’s Parent reports that, according to the study, where athletes burned off the majority of their calories off the top, and leveled off at 2.5 times their resting metabolic rate, a pregnant woman maintains a slightly lower rate of 2.2 times her resting metabolic rate. The study says that’s kept up through a woman’s pregnancy.
“Pregnancy is the longest-duration, highest-energy-expenditure thing that humans can do. Mothers probably aren’t surprised by this,” said Duke University evolutionary anthropology professor Herman Pontzer, who co-authored the study.
Let us know your thoughts on our Facebook page: