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Hindu Squats vs. Running for Aerobic Fitness

author image Louise D E Jensen
Louise D E Jensen has written professionally since 1991. She has authored more than 12 books, has appeared on CTV news as a fitness and nutrition expert, and is featured in the "Globe and Mail." She holds degrees in dietetics and epidemiology from the University of British Colombia and the University of Toronto.
Hindu Squats vs. Running for Aerobic Fitness
A woman is running outside. Photo Credit: kjekol/iStock/Getty Images

Aerobic fitness is built through steady-state aerobic exercise, which the American Heart Association recommends adults do for 30 minutes per day, five days a week, for general fitness. While quite different from one another, hindu squats and running still affect your overall aerobic fitness. Hindu squats and running offer different benefits and drawbacks and the choice of aerobic activity will depend on your fitness capabilities and interest.

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Hindu Squats and Cardio

Doing a sustained series of fast Hindu squats over an extended period of time — 20 to 30 minutes — can mean a cardiovascular workout. However, this is an intensive exercise that is best done by those who are already at a strong fitness level. Hindu squats however, are excellent for building muscle and can be done by those with limited fitness experience so long as they do not overexert themselves. Hindu squats build up muscle in your lower body, particularly your quadriceps and gluteal muscles, but they also exercise your calf muscles and lower abdomen muscles.

How To Do A Hindu Squat

Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, raise your arms and fully extend them directly in front of you. Bending at your hips and knees, sink down as if you were going to sit in a chair, keeping your hips over your heels and your torso upright. A third of the way down, hold the pose for 10 seconds. As you sink down a couple more inches, raise your heels and hold the pose for 10 seconds. Sink down two more inches and hold the pose again, repeating once more. At the bottom of a deep squat, slowly rise back up in four increments, holding each stop for 10 seconds each. Repeat the full squat — with all stops — for three sets.

Running As Cardio

As aerobic fitness, running is one of the classic exercises. A steady-state cardiovascular workout, running is a high-impact form of aerobic exercise, so it may not be well-suited for folks who have undergone leg or back injuries. Running gets your blood flowing and makes your lungs work harder to provide oxygen for your body. As your blood flow increases, your heart rate also rises. Running helps you lose weight, burn calories and de-stress. A 5-mile run will burn almost 500 calories for a 150 pound person. You need to burn 3,500 calories to lose one pound of body weight.

Cautionary Advice For Running

Long-distance running should be started incrementally if you are not used to regular exercise or if you are only starting to run. In some cases, to reduce the risk of injury and to save your joints from damage due to pounding on the pavement, consider running on a treadmill or a track for one or more of your running workouts. These surfaces absorb more of the impact from your legs, reducing the amount of stress placed on your joints. Gradually build up speed and distance as you start running. Trying to run too fast or too long too soon can lead to sore muscles, injuries and discouragement.

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