After a strenuous workout, the soreness really kicks in. After doing all those squats, biking with max resistance, and lifting weights, I don't regret it, but I definitely feel the pain. There are some obvious ways to recover from a workout, but there are some ways that are unique and definitely worth trying.

1. Stretch

I am starting with the obvious, but stretching is an effective way to ease tension in your muscles. When you work out, you often contract your muscles, and the muscle fibers get shorter. Lengthening them after a workout promotes mobility, and this can lead to a proper recovery.

2. Perfect the Protein

chocolate, flour, coffee, ice
Malia Budd

After a workout, you need to feed your muscles. Post-workout protein is vital and leads to muscle improvement. Aim for 20-50 grams of protein after each workout depending on your body weight. Whenever I go to the gym, I try to carry a protein shake or a protein-rich snack like peanuts. 

3. Re-hydrate

lemonade, water, lemon
Caroline Liu

Drinking water seems like an obvious step to take, but many active people (including myself) don't drink enough water after working out. When you work up a sweat during exercise, your body loses large amounts water, which can lead to dehydration.

4. Eat more before your workout

yogurt, porridge, granola, berry, milk, muesli, sweet
Letty DiLeo

A mistake that I often make is not eating before my morning workouts. Energy is needed to get through a workout, and food is fuel. One of the main factors linked to poor recovery is decrease in appetite, so try to eat some healthy carbohydrates before hitting the gym.

5. Foam Roller

Using a foam roller is like getting a massage without having to break the bank. Using a foam roller increases circulation, flushes away waste products and brings in fresh nutrients while easing the tension in your muscles. 

6. Sleep 

Sleep is when your body does its best repairing and rebuilding. Through the course of a night's sleep, you cycle through several phases of muscle and tissue recovery. Even taking quick nap after the gym can make a difference and ease the soreness.

7. Active Recovery

pasture, grass
Katherine Baker

If you feel up to it, some light movement after a strenuous workout can help ease the soreness. Walk back home, take an easy bike ride, or throw a Frisbee. 

8. Listen to Slow Music

It has been scientifically proven that slow-tempo songs can help reduce blood pressure and pulse rate more quickly after exercise. While recovering, I usually switch my playlist from Beyoncé to Adele. 

9. Ice It

Immediately after a tough workout, icing your muscles for a bit can stave off inflammation. Icing is a controversial method, but unless you ice so long that you give yourself frostbite, there’s really no danger here. 

10. Vitamins are Vital

Vitamins C, D, E, and ALA are all important in the recovery process. These vitamins help prevent damage done by free radicals and help strengthen your immune system. Taking supplements, drinking vitamin water, and/or eating citrus fruits can help. 

Recovering from a workout should not take any effort. If you're ever feeling sore after the gym, there are plenty of easy ways to make the rest of your day pain-free.