No pain, no gain, right? Studies show this may not actually be the best method for seeing results. We can all relate to that bittersweet, and oddly satisfying soreness we feel after exercising. To us, it feels like we’ve conquered something, and if you’re not sore the next day, you really didn’t accomplish anything, or work your body hard enough, right?

Yes, soreness does indicate that you pushed yourself and got a great workout. But, there’s actually an extra step you must take in order to overcome that soreness, and 82% of people feel they are neglecting it. That step is recovery

While the actual workout is extremely important, recovery is one of the most overlooked aspects of fitness. Why? Because when you exercise, you’re breaking your body down. Allowing your body to adapt and repair damaged muscle tissues in order to continually see improvement is an important step in the process. Not only will you be able to go harder in the gym, but you’ll also prevent injuries, and function at an optimal level. 

Here are five recovery tools, tricks, and tips you should be adopting.

Stretching: Widely known, often overlooked. Stretching directly after a workout has quite a few benefits. It increases blood flow to your muscles which can reduce soreness and relieve physical tension. It also increases your flexibility and range of motion. AKA – if you continue to skip stretching, your body will remain tight, and you won’t be able to dip deeper into that squat.

CBD: Sleep and reducing inflammation are both huge factors that impact your body’s recovery time. On average, Americans are only getting 6.8 hours of sleep each night, coming in below the suggested eight-hour minimum. This is absolutely crucial in order to allow your body to repair itself. CBD promotes better sleep, while also working internally and externally to reduce exercise-induced inflammation. Resilience CBD is a great option focused specifically on athlete recovery.

Refuel Properly: It’s no secret that you need to be refueling your body after an intense workout, but are you providing your body with the right fuel? After a workout, your body is immediately looking to restock its glycogen (which your body uses as energy) to repair your muscles. You should direct your focus on carbs and protein. Carbs are a great way to allow your body to kickstart glycogen resynthesis, but it’s important you consume carbs directly after a workout with no delay. Your primary focus, though, should be protein. This is essential for providing your body with the amino acids that aid in muscular growth and rebuilding. You should aim for 0.15-0.25 grams of protein per pound of body weight.

Ice Roller: Rolling out or massaging those muscles after an intense workout not only feels great, but can do wonders for recovery. It increases oxygen and blood flow to the muscle tissues while also releasing muscle knots and tightness. It is a form of a myo-fascial release. Fascia is ultimately a connective tissue that encases your muscles, tendons, and other internal organs. Fascia is not extremely flexible and can contribute to muscular tightness, which is why rolling out your muscles can relax and relieve tension. Crysophere has a great massage ice roller that you can pop in your freezer.

Epsom Salts: Epsom salts are an excellent way to relieve muscular tension. Magnesium, a mineral found in Epsom salts is a very powerful anti-inflammatory. Soaking in Epsom salts promote recovery by actually perpetuating blood flow, and loosening the muscle fibers.