There’s a lot that goes into maintaining a healthy lifestyle – diet, exercise, vitamins, supplements, work-life balance, the list goes on.

But one often overlooked facet? Your post-workout recovery. Maybe that’s because we’re ingrained to push ourselves to our limits, or perhaps because many of us think of “rest” as a passive activity. Regardless, we should aim to be as purposeful with our recovery as we are with everything else in our lives.

Here are some tips on how to maximize your recovery.

Be mindful of what you put in your body
Instead of ravenously grabbing whatever’s in sight, eat something that can help replenish the electrolytes in your body. After a workout, your body is depleted of its energy reserves, so it kicks into muscle-repair mode. By eating proteins and carbs after you exercise, your body will be able to repair itself faster so you feel less groggy and weak.

Foam roll, foam roll, foam roll
A buildup of lactic acid is what causes you to feel sore after a workout. By adding foam rolling to your cool-down routine, you can draw blood to an area to wash the acid away and decrease recovery time.

Focus on an active recovery
One of the best ways to maximize your recovery time is to get some light movement in between sweat sessions. Go for a walk during lunch, do some non-strenuous yoga stretches, or simply hop on a bike for 15 to 30 minutes – it can do your body wonders.

Hydrate (duh!)
This might sound obvious, but it’s something many people neglect. Water supports every metabolic and nutrient transfer function in your body including regulating your body temperature, lubricating your joints, and helping you feel satiated longer. If you don’t like drinking plain water, try coconut water or add lemons or fruits to it. Be wary of sports drinks, though, as it’s often high in added sugars and sodium.

Listen to your body
Every body is different, so it’s crucial that you’re cognizant of what’s happening internally. Overtraining can put a wrench in your fitness goals, so if you’re feeling particularly weak, tired, or losing interest in your routine, consider taking a small break. It would be a major disservice to ignore the signs your body is giving you.

xx, The FabFitFun Team

If you don’t stretch before your workouts, you might want to start. Check out five reasons why your warmup is so important.