A while back, Jane Fonda produced a series of aerobics workout videos and coined the phrase, “No pain, no gain.” The basis of that is rooted in the idea that you need to work your muscles to fatigue in order for them to “rebuild” to get stronger and longer. If you’re not hurting after a workout, then you’re not working out hard enough. Of course, taking this approach will mean that you’re going to be sore. That might knock you off your workouts all together. In order to avoid that relapse, you’ll want to make a fast recovery and the following hints can help with that:

Improve Your Nutrition

Nutritionists recommend that you eat within 15 minutes to one hour after your workout. This will provide your muscles with a needed protein boost to replace what you’ve just worked out. You don’t have to sit down for a full meal after a workout but a smoothie high in protein using things like almond milk, bananas and whey protein will do the trick. The caution is to add protein without adding calories. If you can stick to 15 to 30 grams of protein in your post-workout snack, then you’ll hit the targets.

Also note that not every workout requires protein replenishment. If you do a 30-minute treadmill walk, then you should be in good shape. But if you’re hitting CrossFit, then go for the smoothie.

Get Your Sleep

The harder the workout, the more your body needs to rest and that’s not just the cool off. Your goal should be a sound night’s rest. Towards the end of the day, start unplugging from your electronic devices and cut back on the stimulants. You want to fall into a regular sleep routine to bolster your chances of eight good hours of rejuvenating rest.

Take a Break

There are plenty of people who like to hit the gym every day. You might even notice them on your travels to your workout space. Most trainers would recommend giving your body a break. Do your intense workout every other day. If you can squeeze in some cardio in between, then go for it. But your muscles do need time to heal and if they’re constantly being strained, then you’re not going to achieve the results you’re looking for.

Protein after workouts. Sleep. Days off. That is what makes for a fast recovery.