Everyone has been there, the soreness and stiffness in our muscles the days after a good workout. Recovery after exercise is important to our muscle and tissue repair, and also essential to strength building. There are a lot of methods of recovery, some better than others depending on the person and/or the sport or workout.
One of the top ways to help in recovery from working out is to get plenty of sleep, before and after the day of a big workout, and on a regular basis. Sleep is not just a necessity, but it gives your body the downtime it needs to restore itself. Lack of sleep and/or sleep disorders can definitely have a large negative effect on our recovery so make sure to get an adequate amount of sleep.
Second, you lose a lot of fluid during a workout, It only makes sense that you replace that fluid as you're working out, but drinking a lot of water after a workout is also a simple way to help boost your recovery. Water supports all metabolic functions, as well as, the transfer of nutrients throughout our body. When we hydrate ourselves with plenty of water every bodily function will be improved, including recovery time of a workout.
Stretching is, should be, an essential step at the beginning and end of a workout. It helps to improve circulation, assist in range of motion, decrease joint soreness/stiffness, and decrease muscle tension, just to name a few. If all those above things happen when you're stretching than you can imagine your recovery time after a hard workout happening faster.
Eating healthy is a good choice, as most of us already know, but eating the proper nutrients directly after a tough workout is even a better choice. Why? After a workout you have depleted most of your energy stores, and you will need to refuel for your body to recover. For this reason, and to be ready for your next workout, you should try to eat within 45-60 minutes from the end of your workout. Including lots of proteins and complex carbohydrates.