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Do You Burn More Calories Exercising During Pregnancy?

author image Roger Cahill
Roger Cahill has been a health and fitness professional since 2004. Cahill holds a Bachelor of Science in kinesiology from Arizona State University. He also has excelled as a professional runner and was a former Sun Devil Student Athlete. Cahill has earned his American Council of Exercise personal training certification and has trained many professional athletes.
Do You Burn More Calories Exercising During Pregnancy?
Yoga can keep you calm during pregnancy. Photo Credit: Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

During pregnancy, not only can exercise improve your mood but it may also make delivery easier. The amount of calories you burn during exercise when you are pregnant varies because you most likely are not working out at the same exertion level as you did prior to pregnancy. More important than a high calorie burn is your growing baby's health.

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Pregnancy Exercise

Pregnancy exercise varies from your routine before becoming pregnant because you are pushing yourself as hard. Most of the exercises you did prior to becoming pregnant are safe to continue during your pregnancy. According to the American Pregnancy Association, working out to the point of exhaustion should never be considered because that means that you and your fetus are not getting adequate amounts of oxygen. Monitoring your heart rate and keeping it at a lower level means that you are not burning as many calories.

Weight Change

A heavier person burns more calories than a lighter person because at a higher weight, you have a greater demand placed on your body and a larger work effort. The further along you are in your pregnancy, the more weight you have to carry. A healthy weight gain is 25 to 35 lbs. by the end of your pregnancy. Your increased weight can contribute to a slightly higher caloric burn per minute. For example, A 160-lb. person burns 277 calories walking at a 3.5 mph pace for an hour, while a 200-lb. person burns 346 doing the same activity.


While you may be trying to burn calories to keep a healthy weight during pregnancy, it is important that you are not choosing to try and lose weight during your pregnancy. Pregnancy is not the time to start trying to lose weight; instead, focus on exercising to feel healthy rather than to burn a high amount of calories. Incorporate 30 minutes of exercise into your day most days of the week.


Exercising during your pregnancy delivers far more benefits that just a caloric burn. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists explains that exercising helps reduce backaches, constipation, bloating and swelling. Your energy can increase, as well as your mood. You can prevent or treat gestational diabetes through your workout routine. Exercising also helps you sleep better, and improve your overall muscle strength and self-esteem during pregnancy.

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