7 At Home Exercises for Your Hamstrings

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On Leg Day, most of us pay close attention to the quads, the visible muscles on the front of the legs. They get all of our time and focus, but the hamstrings (the ones in the rear of the legs) get neglected. DON’T let that happen to you !

If your hamstrings don’t get focused exercise and stretching, they will tighten up and your risk of lower back injury will increase. You MUST strengthen your hamstrings as well !

Here are some of the best exercises you can do to strengthen your hamstrings at home:


Any deadlift you do will hit your hamstrings, and the Classic Deadlift is one of the best. Bending over and using your lower back strength to lift heavy weights will help to keep your lower back, glutes, and hamstrings strong. You can do it at home with a heavy box, large soup cans, or a set of dumbbells or kettlebells. The more weight the better!

High Donkey Kicks

Donkey kicks are classic glute exercises, but you need to realize that you can often work the glutes and hamstrings at the same time! Instead of kicking your leg directlyout behind you like you would with a classic Donkey Kick, kick your leg up as high as you can. If you feel the pressure in your lower back or spine, you’re kicking too high. You should feel the strain in your glutes as well as your hamstrings.

Stiff Legged Deadlifts

The Stiff Legged Deadlift really hits those hamstrings hard, making it one of the bestexercises you can do. Instead of bending your knees as you lower the weight, keep your knees perfectly straight and let your back and glutes do the work. As your glutes engage to stand back up, your hamstrings will contract along with them !

Standing Leg Curls

Most people use a Leg Curl Machine at the gym to work out their hamstrings, but all you need are some ankle weights or a set of resistance bands. Wrap the weights or bands around your ankles, and, keeping your upper leg immobile, bend your knees and try to touch your butt with your heels. This is an excellent exercise to build hamstring strength.

Squat Jumps

This exercise may focus more on the quads, but your hamstrings do a lot of work every time you land. You basically perform a regular squat, but launch yourself off the floor once you stand back up. This ” Launch ” hits your hamstrings hard, and they are engaged when you land and slowly lower yourself back into a squat. It’s a complete leg exercise that works wonders !

Floor Glute Ham Raise

This is NOT an easy exercise, but it’s amazing for your hamstrings. It’s like doing a Superman or Back Hyperextension, but using your hamstrings to do the work instead of your back. You’ll need someone to hold your feet as you use your hamstrings to lower your body to the floor and pull back up.

One-Legged Deadlift

Using just one leg forces all of the muscles in that one leg to contract both to keep your balance and to do the exercise. You don’t even need much weight for thisexercise, as your body weight will do a lot of the work. With the proper form, you’ll hit those hammies hard !

Do these exercises at home and give your hamstrings the love they need !

( Source : http://www.fitday.com )


Trace Minerals : What They Are and Their Importance ?

Vitamin Tablets

Five percent of your diet typically includes macro minerals and trace minerals. Macro minerals are minerals that you need in quantities greater than 100mg/day and make up about 1 percent of your total body weight. These include sodium, chloride, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium. Trace minerals are elements that are needed is smaller amounts, 1-100mg/day by adults and are less than .01 percent of total body weight. These include Copper, Chromium, Fluoride, Iodine, Iron, Molybdenum, Manganese, Selenium, and Zinc. Trace Minerals are inorganic matter that cannot be destroyed by cooking or heat and are essential to the body for a variety of processes. The daily needs for minerals are labeled with either Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) or Adequate Intake (AIs).

Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) are the recommended daily needs of nutrients for most healthy adults of specific age and gender groups, this is chosen when there is firm scientific nutrient intake consensus.
Adequate Intake (AIs) are very similar to the RDAs, but this label is used when there is not enough evidence to determine firm RDAs.


Copper serves as a part of many enzymes, helps your body make hemoglobin and connective tissues, as well as plays a part in producing energy in your cells. Deficiency or excess intake is rare in the U.S.
Sources of copper include nuts, seeds, organ meats, and seafood.

  • M/F 14-18: 890 mcg/day
  • M/F 19+: 900 mcg/day

Chromium :
Chromium helps insulin in your body to use glucose. You are unlikely to consume excess from dietary sources but a deficiency could appear to look like diabetes.
Sources of chromium include whole-gains, cheese, peas, eggs and meats.

  • Males 14-50: 35 mcg/ day
  • Males 51+: 30 mcg/ day
  • Females 14-18: 24 mcg/day
  • Females 19-50: 25 mcg/ day
  • Females 51+: 20 mcg/day

Fluoride protects your teeth from decay, hardens tooth enamel and strengthens bones. Inadequate fluoride can result in weak tooth enamel but an excess can cause tooth mottling, or stains.
Sources of fluoride include tea, fish, and drinking water.

  • M/F 14-18: 3 mg/ day
  • Females 19+: 3 mg/day
  • Adult 19+: 4 mg/day

Iodine works as part of your thyroid hormones to regulate how your body uses energy. It also has an impact on the regulation of body temperature. People who are iodine deficient may experience weight gain or develop goiters. Goiters are enlarged thyroid glands and are frequently still seen in developing countries where the salt has not been iodized. Excess iodine can result in irregular heartbeat.
Sources of iodine include saltwater fish, potatoes, cooked navy beans and iodized salt.

  • Adults M/F: 150 mg/day

Iron is an essential part of hemoglobin, needed to transport oxygen to every body cell and enzymes. It is needed for healthy brain development and immune function. A deficiency can lead to anemia, fatigue and infections. Excess amount can cause an enlarged liver, skin coloring, diabetes and internal damage.
Sources of iron include meats, beans, spinach, seeds and whole wheat foods.

  • Males 14-18: 11 mg/day
  • Males 19+: 8 mg/day
  • Females 14-18: 15 mg/day
  • Females 19-50: 18 mg/day
  • Females 51+: 8 mg/day

Manganese helps in bone formation, metabolism of energy from foods, and is a part of many enzymes. It works to help build cartilage and improve immune system response. It is rare to have a deficiency or consume excess from dietary sources.
Sources of manganese include whole-grain products, lentils, fruits (pineapple and strawberries) and vegetables (kale).

  • Males 14-18: 2.2 mg/day
  • Females 14-18: 1.6 mg/day
  • Males 19+: 2.3 mg/day
  • Females 19+: 1.8 mg/day

Molybdenum is a part of enzymes and works with riboflavin to help use iron to make red blood cells. Deficiency and excess consumption in a normal diet is rare.
Sources of molybdenum include liver, grain products, beans and dairy.

  • M/F 14-18: 43 mcg/day
  • M/F 19+: 45 mcg/day

Selenium works with Vitamin E as an antioxidant, both protecting cells and supporting immune function. Deficiency and overconsumption is rare in a normal diet.
Sources of selenium include seeds, whole-grains, seafood, organ meats and eggs.

  • M/F 14+: 55 mcg/ day

Zinc helps your body utilize food, supports enzymatic reactions and promotes cell reproduction and tissue growth and repair. It is needed for a healthy immune systems and skin integrity, and helps better utilize vitamin A. If there is inadequate amounts in the diet, zinc deficiency can impair growth in children and birth defects during pregnancy. Avoid excess zinc supplementation.
Sources of zinc include whole-grain products, meats, eggs, peas, nuts and seeds.

  • Males 14+: 11 mg/day
  • Females 14-18: 9 mg/day
  • Females 19+: 8 mg/day

To know more about the daily recommendations for children and pregnant or lactating women, refer to the USDA chart.

( Source : http://www.fitday.com )

How Women’s Fitness Differs From Men’s ?


Women can be just as fit as men, but that level of ” Fitness ” will never quite be the same. Women’s bodies are different from men’s. Not only do men and women have different levels of hormones, but the amount of fat and muscle in their bodies is very different as well. Your goal should be to work out for you, according to your gender, body mass and target goals !

Where Men and Women Differ

It’s not just the sex organs that are different among men and women, but there are a few marked differences:

  • Testosterone — Men have higher levels of testosterone than women, and women have higher levels of estrogen than men. Testosterone is the hormone that helps the human body to pack on muscle, while estrogen leads to the growth of fat cells, along with all of the other markers of female sexuality. Women have a harder time packing on the muscle due to higher levels ofestrogen and lower levels of testosterone.
  • Weight Loss — What is the most effective way to burn fat and lose weight? Build muscle! The more muscle you have on your body, the more calories you will burn every day and the faster your metabolism will run. Seeing as men have an easier time building larger, more active muscle, it stands to reason that men will have an easier time losing weight as well. The same quality and amount of workout will often yield better results in men than in women.
  • Flexibility — This is one area where women always take the cake. Women are naturally more flexible than men, as their bones are shorter and have less pronounced corners. The female body tends to be more rounded, and the bones around the pelvis are more flexible than men’s pelvic bones.
  • Muscle Mass — Men naturally pack on more muscle mass than women, due simply to their higher testosterone levels. If you measured the body mass index of the average man against an average woman of the same weight, the man will usually have a lower body mass index (indicating greater muscle mass).
  • Body Mass Index — The body mass index determines the ratio of fat to total body weight. Women tend to have a higher body mass index (meaning more fat), but a “healthy” BMI for women is about 5% higher than for men. This is because the fat on a woman’s body is important for healthy reproductive function.

What does this mean ?

Basically, it means that men have a slightly easier time getting in shape than women do. Men can build muscle more easily, which will in turn help them to lose weight and get in shape. Men also have more strength than women, and they can handle heavier loads more quickly.

That doesn’t mean that women can’t get in shape as well. It just means that they need to find a workout program that plays to their strengths, and they shouldn’t try to compete with their fellow man. If you’re not seeing the same amounts of gain as your boyfriend/husband/male friend, don’t worry about it! Your bodies are designed differently, and what is ” Fit ” to you is not the same as his definition of ” Fitness “.

( Source : http://www.fitday.com )

Is Jogging in Place Beneficial ?


The at-the-gym grind is sometimes difficult to keep up with during poor winter weather, but icy roads and snow filled driveways shouldn’t deter you from your daily cardio fix. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, the average adult needs at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity cardiovascular activity each week to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Although jogging in below freezing conditions might be too treacherous and even dangerous jogging in place serves as a zero-equipment substitute that you can perform from the comfort of your own home. Even though it might seem silly to some, jogging in place will elevate your heart rate and help youburn calories during winter’s most brutal conditions.

The Benefits of Jogging in Place

Jogging in place doesn’t require additional gym equipment and can be performed within the temperature-regulated confines of your own living room. This easy to do exercise increases heart rate to regular fat-burning capacity. It can also complement additional exercises, such as pushups and planks, to form a complete workout. You also don’t need to be a fitness expert to jog in place. Simply find a suitable spot within your home and make sure you have enough space to lift your knees in cyclical motion. Jog in place for segments of five to 10 minutes before briefly resting for 60 seconds. Perform three sets of jogging in place to satisfy normal cardio output.

The Calorie Burn

According to information gathered by the MayoClinic, low impact aerobic exercise, such as jogging in place, will burn approximately 183 calories in a 160-pound person over the duration of 30 minutes. Although this might not seem like a significant number of calories burned, it’s more efficient than allowing yourself to become completely sedentary. You can increase the intensity of the simple movement of jogging in place by incorporating additional bodyweight exercise, which has the potential to increase total calories burned by nearly 50 percent.

The Jogging in Place Workout

A complete at-home workout focused on cardio exercise is entirely possible, even if you thought differently. To perform a 30-minute high-impact workout session focused on the concept of jogging in place, begin with a brief five-minute stretching period that loosens the muscles and tendons in the legs. Use a stopwatch to track your progress and begin by jogging in place for five minutes. After your initial jogging segment, drop to the floor to perform a set of 20 to 30 pushups, and then perform a 30-second plank. Rest for one minute and resume jogging in place for an additional five minutes. Then, perform 15 to 20 bodyweight squats followed by a 30-second segment of jumping jacks. Rest for one minute and repeat the cycle. This relatively simple workout will burn nearly 270 calories in a 160-pound person over approximately 30 minutes, and will work the muscles in the abdominal region and legs.

Tips for Success

You might find that it’s much more difficult to maintain a normal exercise regimen when dedicating yourself to at home workouts. Track your progress using a fitness log and stick to your routine. Remember to drink at least six to 10 eight ounce glasses of water per day and eat a healthy diet rich with vitamins and protein. Exercise for at least three times per week to yield results over time.

( Source : http://www.fitday.com )

The Importance of Cholecalciferol

vitamins and pills

Cholecalciferol, also known as vitamin D3, is a form of vitamin D often found in dietary supplements and vitamin D-fortified foods. Vitamin D is abundant in foods, but many Americans are deficient in this essential vitamin, according to a study published in 2011 in Nutrition Research. Therefore, taking cholecalciferol in supplement form may help prevent vitamin D deficiency.

Advantages for Bone Health

Vitamin D plays an important role in bone growth in children and healthy bone maintenance in adulthood. The Office of Dietary Supplements notes that vitamin D aids in calcium absorption and helps prevent osteoporosis, which can cause weak and brittle bones. Vitamin D deficiency in childhood can lead to a condition called rickets, which causes soft bones, skeletal deformities, bone pain, fractures, impaired growth and dental deformities, notes MedlinePlus.

Effects on Immune Function

Getting plenty of vitamin D helps keep your immune system strong. A review published in 2011 in the Journal of Investigative Medicine reports that vitamin D deficiency weakens your immune system and increases your susceptibility for infection. Therefore, authors of this review suggest that supplementing with vitamin D may be beneficial for people with autoimmune diseases. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin D is 15 to 20 micrograms daily for adults, according to the Institute of Medicine.

Importance for Cognitive Function

Vitamin D also plays a role in optimizing brain health and reduces your risk for developing cognitive impairment or dementia, according to a review published in 2012 in the Scandinavian Journal of Clinical and Laboratory Investigation. Authors of this review point out that brain tissue is full of vitamin D receptors, and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) may help protect against Alzheimer’s disease because low vitamin D levels are associated with the disease.

Heart Disease Risk Reduction

Getting too little vitamin D may put you at a higher risk for developing heart disease.A study published in 2011 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that men with higher vitamin D intakes from food and supplements had lower risks for developing heart disease. However, this study did not find the same association between vitamin D and heart disease risks in women.

Effects on Mood

If you’re deficient in vitamin D and suffering from depression, taking a vitamin D3 supplement may help boost your mood. A study published in 2014 in Molecular Psychiatry found that study participants with depression had low levels of vitamin D in their bodies. Furthermore, depressive symptoms were worse in people with the lowest vitamin D levels. Researchers who conducted this study note that vitamin D supplementation may be a cost-effective way to help treat people with depressive disorders.

( Source : http://www.fitday.com )

Techniques for Proper Breathing While Running

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It’s important to learn how to breathe properly while running because breathingefficiently during runs helps improve athletic performance, according to the American Council on Exercise. There are several different breathing strategies that can help your body get plenty of oxygen while running.

Try 2:1 Strides Per Breath Ratio

While there is no set technique that fits all runners, many runners prefer a 2:1 stride/breath ratio, according to a review published in 2013 in PLOS One. More specifically, authors of this review note that many runners prefer to take two running steps for each breath they take during workouts. However, while this 2:1 breathingtechnique is often the preferred strategy of many successful runners, you don’t have to adopt this breathing method to be an effective runner.

Find Your Own Rhythm

Not everyone is comfortable using a 2:1 stride/breath ratio, so finding what works best for you is what counts. The review published in 2013 in PLOS One reports that some runners prefer stride/breathe ratios of 2.5:1, 3:1, 4:1 or no stride/breathe coupling at all. Finding your own breathing rhythm based on experience and fitness level will help you maximize your running performance. For some runners, not using a stride/breath ratio at all helps them relax and enjoy their workouts.

Use the Talk Test Strategy

If you find it difficult or distracting to time your breaths with running strides, a simple talk test will help determine if your running intensity matches your training goals. TheCenters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that if you can comfortably talk during your running workouts, but not sing, you’re performing at a moderate intensity, which is often appropriate for longer endurance runs. If you can’t say more than a few words without pausing to breathe, your running intensity is vigorous, the CDC notes, which is appropriate if you’re running at a rapid pace for shorter periods of time or sprinting during interval workouts.

Check Your Heart Rate

To ensure your body gets plenty of oxygen and you don’t overdo it, check your heart rate during and after exercise. If you’re having a hard time catching your breath during or immediately after your runs, your workout intensity may be too high. Your body’s maximum heart rate is about 220 minus your age, according to the American Heart Association (AHA). The AHA notes that moderate-intensity exercise is when you work out at 50 to 69 percent of your maximum heart rate, and vigorous-intensityexercise boosts your heart rate up to 70 to 90 percent of your maximum heart rate.

For example, if you’re 20 years old your maximum heart rate is about 200 beats per minute. Fifty percent of your maximum heart rate is 100 beats per minute, and 90 percent of your maximum heart rate is 180 beats per minute.

( Source : http://www.fitday.com )

Are Girl Push-Ups Just as Effective as Regular Push-Ups ?


The “girl push-up” is a variation on the classic push-up that is often used by those who are not yet strong enough to do proper push-ups. They’re much easier on the body and muscles, but are they as effective as the regular ones ?

Why You Might Do “Girl Push-Ups”

The name “girl push-ups” is, in itself, highly offensive and a total misnomer. Women who regularly train can easily strengthen their muscles to the point of doing regular push-ups. They were only called “girl push-ups” by people who mocked women for being weak. In this day and age, that notion has gone out the door !

So who might end up doing girl push-ups?

  • Those lacking strength — If your arms, chest, or core can’t handle the strain of doing regular push-ups, doing them on your knees helps to reduce the load.
  • Those recovering from injuries — Regular push-ups can be hard on the muscles worked, but the reduced load makes it easier to work out during recovery.
  • Those with musculoskeletal problems — If you have weak wrists, shoulders, knees, or back, you’ll find that the lightened load of the push-ups on your knees is easier on your joints.

There are times when it’s advised to do push-ups on your knees, but is the exerciseas effective ?

Sadly, the answer is no.

While the form of the girl push-up allows you to do more work with less resistance,the truth is that this variation of the push-up is almost too easy for it to be considered a proper workout. Not only do you take the strain off your chest and arms, but you reduce the amount of work your core has to do. Push-ups are a great core workout, but doing this variation limits the exercise your abs and back muscles get. What was once an epic, full-body workout becomes something that only focuses on the arms and chest.

“Girl push-ups” are also pretty hard on your knees. Unless you’re doing push-ups on a Yoga mat or a thick pad, your knee joints are pressing against the floor. This can be painful, and it can actually lead to knee injuries if you’re not careful.

What’s the Alternative ?

If you can’t do a proper push-up (for one of the reasons listed above), there is an alternative to consider: Incline Push-Ups.

With Incline Push-Ups, you place your hands on a bench, chair, or box to do the push-up. Your head is elevated to the same angle as it would be with a girl push-up, but you maintain that full body tension and keep a proper load on your chest and arm muscles.

You can increase or decrease the incline according to your ability. If you are having a very hard time with regular push-ups, you can raise the incline to reduce the load on your muscles, transferring it to your legs. If you are close to doing proper push-ups, use a very short incline to increase the load on your chest and arms.

“Girl push-ups” should be like crunches: an exercise you no longer do. They’re far less effective than regular push-ups, and you’ll find that the alternative is a much better way to go !

Why Women Are Moody ?

In a new book, psychiatrist Julie Holland argues we’re underappreciating and overmedicating women’s natural emotions.


“We feel more deeply, express our emotions more frequently and get moody monthly.”

Women and tears get a bad rap. The same goes for women and anger, women and assertiveness, women and anxiety – the list goes on.

Call women crazy, but a more accurate descriptor might simply be “not men,” suggests Julie Holland, a psychiatrist and author of the new book released this week​, “Moody Bitches: The Truth About the Drugs You’re Taking, the Sleep You’re Missing, the Sex You’re Not Having, and What’s Really Making You Crazy.”

“We feel more deeply, express our emotions more frequently and get moody monthly,” Holland writes. “It’s normal.”

Not only is it normal, it’s a strength.

“Moodiness isn’t a weakness, it isn’t pathology to be stuffed down,” the 49-year-old from New York told U.S. News in an interview. “And the truth is, when you try to stuff down and not feel, you end up sicker.”

Anyone who’s tried not to cry or been told to calm down – only to get weepier or angrier – knows this. “You have to feel your feelings and experience them in order to integrate them and move on,” Holland says. “If you push it down, you get stuck.”

Holland talked to U.S. News about why women are moody, why that’s a good thing – and what women can do to manage their swings​ more naturally. Her responses have been edited.

Are women really more moody than men? 

Women’s and men’s brains are different. The truth is, women are wired to be more verbal and to talk more, to talk about feelings more, to feel feelings more deeply, to express more deeply, to notice feelings in other people – that’s the biology.

This is really one of our biggest assets. Our emotionality is potentially a source of power for us. It’s something that helps to keep us safe and keep our children safe.

What about environmental influences?

We’re totally not sleeping enough. Televisions at night, computer laptops at night, smartphones at night – all of that light is not only interfering with our sleep, but it’s screwing up our metabolism and making us fat.

The problem with less sleep is you have less control over your emotions, too. The frontal lobe sort of inhibits emotional sensors by saying, “Calm down.” When you’re sleep deprived, that whole mechanism does not work very well. This is another potential reason why you’re moody.

How did moodiness come to be viewed as a bad thing?

I do lay some of the responsibility at the feet of Big Pharma. If you look at ads for antidepressants, for anti-anxiety meds, even for anti-psychotics, they have targeted women for decades. Women who are feeling things too deeply and, honestly, women who bother their doctors too much. There are ads from Valium in doctor’s magazines from the 60s that say things like, “For your patient who calls you all the time, try Valium.”

​Big Pharma’s targeted women for a long time, and I think that’s just sort of our culture. Women aren’t encouraged to say what they feel, they’re not necessarily encouraged to express dissatisfaction or the fact that they’re angry. And that’s​ been going on for centuries.

By : 

( Source : health.usnews.com )

3 Reasons Why You Need 30 Minutes of Cardio a Day to Lose Weight


The daunting sensation of pushing yourself to exhaustion on the treadmill might not always feel like it was well worth it, but cardiovascular activity is an important component of a complete exercise regimen. Although it’s sometimes difficult to perform the recommended dosage of 150 minutes of cardio per week, just 30 minutes of moderately-intense aerobic exercise each day can improve your overall well-being and enhance your physical fitness level. The following details three reasons as to why daily cardiovascular activity is needed to help you lose weight.

Heart Health

The major muscle groups are often the primary focus of exercise, regardless of whether you’re sprinting, jogging or lifting weights. But it’s important to realize that your muscles aren’t the central point of emphasis when performing cardio-related activities; rather, it’s your heart. Cardiovascular activity increases your BPM (heartbeats per minute), which increases blood flow to working muscles, in addition to the heart. Even though you don’t need to perform high-intensity bouts of sprinting to improve your heart health, raising your BPM over 120 is necessary in order to enhance your body’s natural ability to burn fat.

Muscular Strength

Your respiratory system has a major impact on your body’s ability to build new lean muscle mass. Muscles need a variety of nutrients in order to grow stronger, which is why it’s important to eat a healthy diet. Muscles also require healthy blood flow in order to operate at a high level. Cardiovascular activity improves the body’s respiratory function, which helps supply working muscles with the oxygen they need to effectively operate. A daily regimen of brisk walking or jogging has the potential to increase your body’s ability to exercise at higher intensities for longer periods of time.


A regular habit of performing at least 30 minutes of cardio-related activity five times per week will increase your endurance level. If you’re relatively new to the process of habitual aerobic exercise, your endurance is an effective resource for measuring your progress. Consider the hypothetical challenge of training for a marathon. You likely won’t be able to run the full distance during your first attempt. Over time, your endurance will increase as your respiratory system and muscular strength improve. In addition to endurance, your body will also experience additional performance-enhancing benefits, such as improved metabolism, which is a necessary component of weight loss.

Tips for Improvement

It’s important to take proper safety measures when beginning a new fitness regimen. If you’re unaccustomed to the daily strain of cardiovascular exercise, consult a fitness expert or personal trainer to ensure that you’re taking the steps needed to reach your fitness goals. You should also consult your physician if you’re unsure if your heart is healthy enough for moderate- to high-intensity exercise. Also, remember to track your progress by using a fitness log. This will help keep you motivated throughout theweight loss process. Results will not incur overnight, although you will steadily begin to experience the benefits of a healthier you over time. Finally, don’t underestimate the power of sufficient rest time. Your body typically needs at least 24 hours to recover between high-intensity cardiovascular workouts.

( Source : http://www.fitday.com )